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May 26, 2000

Harrison Frazar


LEE PATTERSON: Well, we appreciate you joining us. Very good couple days, and now we're heeding into the weekend. A couple thoughts about that and we'll open it up for questions.

HARRISON FRAZAR: It's my pleasure to be here. I'm happy I'm here. That means something good happened. The golf course was much more accessible today than it was yesterday. You know, the wind was relatively nonexistent, except for just a couple times coming down the last couple of holes. I would have to think that as these storms get closer, the wind might pick up a little bit. But this golf course is never easy. And today, I guess it was -- at least this morning, it was as easy as it is going to get. But a couple guys are playing well out there I think. I think I saw a couple at 4 or 5. I mean, I'm struggling about what to say. The golf course, it's one of the best we play all year and it's one of the hardest we play all year, and I feel very fortunate and very proud to be 9-under par after 36 holes. I told you yesterday, a 6-under round, that was a hot round, I was feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive about what was going to happen today. Knowing you've had some good shots, you know you've got some mistakes coming. I know this golf course can be very penal. I was fortunate that when I did make a mistake today, I missed it in a place that was playable.

Q. You seemed to be up-and-down a little bit, maybe the first six, seven holes?

HARRISON FRAZAR: The golf course -- seemed like yesterday, every club I pulled, it was the right club. And today I've had a lot of clubs that were kind of in between. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding if I want to try hit a hard 8-iron as opposed to a 7(-iron), and some of the reasons has to do with the pin placements and things like that. You don't want to go past it because you've got a tricky downhill putt or you don't want to leave it short because you can be in a 15-foot bunker. But it just seemed like I couldn't free-wheel it today as much as I was yesterday. Once I made a decision yesterday, I knew it was the right one and we could go ahead and hit it. Today there was a little more doubt, just because of some of the yardages I had.

Q. With the apprehensive feeling you had at the start, I presume the opening bogey did not alleviate that any?

HARRISON FRAZAR: You're going to make bogeys, whether it happens on the 1st hole or 18th or somewhere in between, doesn't make a difference. That one didn't bother me. It was a perfect example of a pin on the front, didn't want to go past because it runs away from you, but I tried to ease a 7-iron into it and I came off of it and hit it into the right bunker. But it didn't get in the bunker, it got on the far lip and stayed on the grass. So I had -- you know, I hit it pin-high. I just missed it a little bit to the right, 10 yards to the right of the green, and I had no shot from where I was. So that one really didn't bother me. Just figured after I saw where it I was it would end up on the green, make my 5 and move on. The bogey I made on 6 concerned me just a little bit because I hit a very poor tee shot into the right rough. I misjudged it out of the rough and pulled it almost in the water on the front bunker. Hit a very suspect bunker shot and missed the putt. It was overall a bad hole. And first time in however many holes that is, 26 holes, 25 holes, that I felt somewhat out of control or somewhat that the golf course was getting me. You know, fortunately, I came back and hit some good shots on 7, 8, and 9.

Q. I presume that you know the tee times have been brought forward tomorrow. How does that sit with you, all going out together or waiting until 2:00 in the afternoon?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I would rather everybody go together. Let's all play in the same conditions. If the starting tee time is 8:00 and the leaders go at 1:00, you have a much greater time frame in there to have some diversity in the weather. You know, the guys that go off early may have gotten the calm before the storm, so to speak; or they could go play 11, 12, 13 and really do well. Whereas right about the time the leaders tee off, the wind would be picking up and maybe start to rain. I would rather just see us all go and play and all play in the conditions and possibly get it the same. But when you have a two-hour time frame, or what is it, an hour and 45, two hours stretch of tee time, you have a much better chance.

Q. Harrison, the way you're talking after that 66 yesterday -- I know I look like a rookie, but I've been out here a long time. The guys always tell me it's really hard to follow up a super round like that, especially on a course like this, with another good round. So you've got to be pleased your round and your position, and I wonder your thoughts?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, it is very tough to follow up a good round. I've had some very good rounds in the past. That thought entered my mind last night; that I thought yesterday was one of the best rounds I've ever played. And I knew it was going to be tough to come out because I was still somewhat thinking about yesterday, trying to -- trying to think about the good things that I did yesterday, not think about what's going to happen Saturday, Sunday. And I think if, you know, you stay in the past -- if you think about the past too much, you'll stay there and I didn't -- it's hard to explain. I knew that. Like I said, I knew there was going to be some bad shots. It's just the way this game is. You can't hit it perfect for 72 holes. And yesterday, I didn't hit any bad shots, so I knew there was probably going to be some today. It wasn't that I was waiting for them to happen, but I would have been very surprised if I had shot another good round like I did yesterday.

Q. What about your position, you've got to be pleased with it?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I'm very pleased. I feel like I'm playing well, and I feel like today was a bit of an up-and-down round. I feel like I've got some good rounds -- I've got my suspect round behind, me and feel like now I can go play and kind of got the jitters out.

Q. Could you talk about that stretch from 8 through 11?

HARRISON FRAZAR: No. 8, the pin was in the back right, and I had a really good comfortable yardage with a 6-iron, hit it about 10 feet. And made that putt, a little left-to-right. And I hit a 3-wood down the middle of the fairway. And perfect yardage for a 9-iron, for an uphill putt. Hit it about 10 feet, and hit an even better putt there than I did on No. 8. No. 10, I drove it right in the middle of the fairway and had -- I can't remember what it was, maybe around 158 or 160 yards, and hit an 8-iron to about a foot. And No. 11, I hit 3-wood off the tee. Laid it up with an 8-iron and hit a 60-degree wedge to about eight inches. So, you know, that's -- those holes played into my hands. I felt like I had good comfortable yardages and was hitting it in good positions, and felt like I could go out and hit aggressive shots.

Q. Tom Scherrer said because the starting times are all bunched together, he said the conditions are going to be the same for everybody; that it's going to make it harder for people to make a run at you. Do you agree? If you maintain --?

HARRISON FRAZAR: If I can maintain playing the way that I'm playing, I think it will, just because we're all playing on a level playing field, so to speak. But you look at the quality of the field in this golf tournament, it's not any big task to have anybody make a run at me. You're looking at guys that have won numerous major championships, and even more major events or big-time events on the TOUR. So, you know I guarantee you they are not thinking too much about -- let's put it this way: They are not real worried about me being four shots ahead of them. They are thinking, you know, this guy has never been there. He's been there a few times, but, you know, they are probably thinking they can get close to me. They can rattle my cage a little bit, and that's why they are the great players that they are.

Q. Are you worried about them being four strokes behind?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, sure. I'd rather be 12 strokes ahead. But, you know you can't have a lead that's big enough. All it takes is somebody to go out and have a good round like I did yesterday, shoot 66, 67, have me play with what everybody else is doing in the field. I think the average score through two days is what, 73? I could shoot 73, they shoot 66. There you go; I'm chasing them on Sunday. I'm not worried, per se, about them. But I'm trying to win this golf tournament, and to do that, you've got to shoot lower than everybody else.

Q. But the frame of mind you're in now, is it to the point where you walk off and say, "What's my lead" or "how am I playing"?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I'm worried about how I'm playing. I don't care if after tomorrow if my lead is 1 or 9. You know, I've still got to go play well on Sunday. And I know that if I can sit there and continue to do what I'm doing, I feel like I've got a very, very good chance to win this golf tournament. But the minute I get caught up too much about winning the golf tournament or too much about what everybody else is doing around me, it can turn you on pretty quick.

Q. The first two days, the ball has been holding pretty well in the fairway. You haven't been getting a lot of run -- (inaudible) -- the greens are baked. How appreciably different are the conditions going to be tomorrow if you are playing in the rain than they have been the first two days, as far as what the ball is going to do on the fairways and the greens?

HARRISON FRAZAR: The balls are not running anyways right now. My tee shots -- for the most part I'm getting about eight to ten feet of just roll, after the ball comes out of it's plug mark. The greens are very receptive as long as you're not hitting a 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron into them. We got a bunch of rain here on Tuesday. Most of the guys played the golf course on Wednesday in the practice round. It's very soft and soggy. I have to think that if it rains as much as they say it's going to, I know they don't like this idea, but they may have to play -- lift, clean and place, because there's a lot of mud on the balls. I don't think it's going to play drastically longer. It could be tough to judge sometimes the distance of your iron shots, things like that. It can make the rough play a lot heavier, and it's already very thick. But I don't think it's going to play a whole lot different than it has.

Q. You said outside that winning, to a large degree, was a matter of attitude, and that you'd been hanging around a lot of guys that had won a lot of golf tournaments. Can you talk about who some of those people are and what you have attempted to learn from them or pick up from them?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, not really anybody in particular. I've gotten to know a little bit -- you know obviously my relationship with Justin and just other people that I've met through him. People like Davis and Freddie Couples and some of those guys, not that they are outwardly giving me advice or anything, but my first couple of years I was very intimidated by them. Nick Price is another one. Vijay Singh is another one, Scott Hoch. They have all -- I think over the past couple of years, and even more so the past six or nine months, have kind of made me feel a little bit more worthy of where I am, of where I'm playing. My first couple of years, I was very intimidated. It was very difficult to walk up and approach guys about playing or talking to them about normal things, hockey games, baseball games, what have you. But now I'm starting to feel more comfortable, eating with them more often, practicing with them more often. And I think if you hang out with the guys that are struggling to try to keep their card, like I was my rookie year, sometimes it's easy just to focus on that. You set your goals on trying to keep your card, instead of focus on trying to win golf tournaments. Harvey Pinneck said it best, he said, "Go to dinner with good putters," and that's the truth. You want to go to dinner with people that are talking about the putts they made, not the ones they missed. You want to go to dinner with people that are talking about what it felt like when they won a tournament, not when they fell apart coming down the stretch and missed the cut. There's just a difference in attitude. There's a difference in the way they carry themselves and a difference in the way that they handle themselves.

Q. You've had two runners-up places. You've finished third twice this year. What would it actually mean to you to get over that hump and win?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, it would mean everything, really. Everything for me on a personal level, on a professional level, everything outside of my family, it would mean more than -- more than I can really describe. We took a chance. After I got out of college, I went into real estate business, and after 11 or 12 months, decided I just couldn't really live with myself knowing that I never gave it a shot. And I told myself that I was going to give myself a couple years and I was going to work hard at it and I wanted to see how much I could go do. And one of the things I wanted to be able to do was to see if I had what it took to win a golf tournament on the PGA TOUR. And I feel like I've worked hard for that. I feel like I've grown a lot and feel like I've matured, and it would just be a good symbol and a good sign to myself to see how far I've come.

Q. It sounds like before when you were talking, you don't want to spend tonight thinking too much about Sunday, you don't want to spend too much time in the past. How will you do that?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, I think the easiest way to do that is to not get caught up about what's going to happen is to realize that there's fixing to be 70 other people in this thing that can change my plans for the weekend real quick. And they happen to be the best players in the world. And you know, I mean I could very easily go out and shoot 69-69 and have somebody beat me. So, you just can't think about it. Nothing is going to be handed to you. You just can't expect, "Well, if I can just hold on, I will win." You can't look at it that way. You've got to go out and attack it and you've got to go out and play it day-to-day, and hope that I can come out on top and hope that nobody makes a real strong run at you.

Q. Did you have much contact with Pinneck ?

HARRISON FRAZAR: No. I've read his books. I met him a couple of times at Austin when I was at school there. Unfortunately, the times that I did meet him, he was pretty much confined to his golf cart and was very difficult to understand. But he passed on his teachings, obviously, through a lot of people that I have had contact with, and obviously read his books and things like that.

Q. Was it in Austin where you were in the real estate business?

HARRISON FRAZAR: No. That was in Dallas.

Q. And was there some occurrence or some particular thing that made up your mind that you wanted to go back to golf at that time?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, a combination of a bunch of different things. We were -- just to kind of time line it for you, I went in. I was putting together investment packages for office buildings and retail center acquisitions, and we decided about four or five months into doing that we wanted to form a golf company that was going to do land development and golf course development. And the effort of doing that, we formed a partnership with Mark Brooks Design and Management Company. So, I began hanging around with Mark Brooks, playing golf with him some. And once I started doing that, I started beating him some. And the competitive fires were still there. We would go to the golf course and we would have -- it was fun. I mean, I could see that he wanted to beat me and I wanted to beat him. And sometimes I rose to the challenge and here I was sitting in an office. So I figured -- it began to pique my interest. I never figured I was anywhere good enough. I always compared myself to Justin, because he was the only person I knew that I thought was going to make it to that level, and I saw how good he was. I didn't know that he was going to become the superstar that he did and be ranked in the Top-10 in the world. There is some room in there in between. So when I saw myself being able to compete with Mark, I began to wonder what would happen; and why don't I give it a shot and why am I sitting here and why am I wearing a suit and tie. My wife and I decided -- we talked about it for quite a bit and realized -- and I walked away from a good job and good people where if you keep your nose to the grindstone and work hard, they are going to take good care of you for a long time, and that was tough to do. To come out here and do this, you've got to put a lot on the line. Fortunately, my wife has always been supportive and that always helped.

Q. How soon after that did you know that it was the right decision?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I still haven't figured it out. (Laughter.) If I win a golf tournament in the next couple years, then, yeah. You know, sure, we're making a good living, obviously, out here. In that standpoint, yes, it was the right decision. How it's going to affect my family in the next five to eight years, I don't know. What it's going to do to me in the long run, I don't know. I know it's given us some opportunities to do some things we probably would not be able to do. But I think it's the right thing. I think we're doing the right thing. I think we're doing it the right way. And time will tell. I'm having a lot of fun. I know that.

Q. When you decided to come out and play golf again, were you sponsored or did you have to fund yourself?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, you always have to fund yourself. Everything out here, we pay for ourselves. But the way that most people do it is you -- like what I did, I went and found a group of individuals who I knew very well that were influential business people in the community or wealthy individuals who love golf, who have known me for a long time and understood the risk associated with making an investment in me, so to speak, and they gave me a certain amount of money every year to be able to go play and to be able to cover my expenses; and in return for that, they got almost all the winnings. And it's okay. It's just like -- you've got to take a loan. There's a whole bunch of different ways to do it, but I felt most comfortable doing it like that.

Q. What was the name of the company you worked for?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Lincoln Property Company.

Q. And what year were you in the real estate?

HARRISON FRAZAR: May of '95 until June of '96.

Q. So did you go to Q-school that November?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah. I cleaned out my office and called some people that I had known in the golf business and said, "Hey, I gave all my clubs away. I thought I was done; I need some stuff." They were nice enough to send me some clubs, balls and shoes and things like that so I can get started. And started playing in some mini tour events, just Lone Star Tour, and went to the qualifying school in September. Made it to the finals; missed getting my card by two shots, and then got on the Nike Tour and finished 13th on their money list, which got me status out here.

Q. A few years ago when Vijay won here, and I think it was '97, Norman said that he had such an advantage on a soft course because of how far he carried the ball off the tee, and when Tom Scherrer was in here earlier, he said you are another one of those guys can that carry it a long way.

HARRISON FRAZAR: It's definitely an advantage. You know, like I said, I think I'm probably averaging this week, I don't know what it is on the measuring holes, but I feel like I'm hitting pretty well. And I'm probably only getting 10 feet of roll, but I'm constantly hitting a couple of clubs less than most people I see either playing in front of me or in my group or behind me, when I do look back to check. But I think it is definitely an advantage on -- two reasons: One is when the ball hits the ground running it, can do a bunch of bad things. It can do four things, I guess, and three of them are bad. And on top of that, I'm flying it farther than most people are; so I'm hitting less club. I've got a better chance of the ball staying on the fairway. And being a little bit longer, obviously has its -- being a little bit longer obviously has its advantages. There's no bones about it. You're going to have a chance to hit less club into the greens means you can get them closer.

Q. You mentioned comparisons to Justin Leonard and all that, were you -- did you ever feel intimidated by Justin Leonard because of these comparisons?

HARRISON FRAZAR: No. I was bigger than he was. (Laughs.) Yes. Not by anything of what Justin had done, so to speak, towards me in any way. But, you know, we grew up playing together. We played our first competitive golf round together. I was 11 and he was 10 -- something like that. Maybe I was 12 and he was 11. And when we moved back to Dallas, I was 15 -- I was 14 and he was 13, and we started immediately practicing together and playing together. And here was this guy that was -- I was never big, you know, but if I was 5'6 155, he was 5'2 weighing 70, and I could outdrive him by 40 yards, 50 yards; and he beat me every single time we played. And when we went to high school, and he won state championships, he won big-time junior golf tournaments. He won state high school golf tournaments. He won everything. I won a couple of state team tournaments. I never won really on my own, individual play. Then we go to college, we went to the same place together. Things like -- even the coaches had said, "Oh, I've got you two guys coming in here, "Justin is going to be my superstar. He's the No. 1 recruit; you're a diamond in the rough. Hopefully, you'll play for us your junior year." I didn't take that as an insult, but that's okay, but I wasn't very good, and Justin was. And in college, he won, I don't know, I think 10 or 12 and I never won. He won the U.S. Amateur. I played in two. As an amateur, he was making cuts in the U.S. Open and he was out competing -- I think he was in the Top-15 at Baltusrol as an amateur for the first round. He just did a lot of things that I had never come close to. So, yes, it was intimidating on a golf standpoint. And when he came out a year ahead of me at college, you know, he went straight to the TOUR and got his card playing in seven, eight, nine events, I think made enough money to get his card. And here I was thinking if I would be able to make a living play on the Lone Star Tour. So my instinct was to think I'm not good enough. I can't do this; I can't beat him. Why do I think I can beat these guys that are the best players in the world? I didn't know that he was going to become one of the best players in the world.

Q. Do you feel that way now?

HARRISON FRAZAR: That I can't beat him? Oh, no. I can beat him now.

Q. When did that change take place?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I don't know, really. My rookie year out here, I started out playing very poorly and Justin started out playing very well; he won the TPC. Wasn't that in '97 when he won the TPC? Was it '98 he won the TPC? Well, in '97 he won Kemper and then he won the British and things like that. And then '98 was my rookie year, and he comes out and wins the TPC and I think he got his World Ranking all the way up to 7th or 6th in the world, and here I was played only seven, eight events on the TOUR and I had only made $30,000. I think when I started playing well at Nelson and Colonial and here my rookie year, I kind of got myself up a little bit on the Money List. I just started to feel like I belonged more. I started to hang around with guys that had been out here a lot longer. It was more comfortable, and I think once that happened, the change kind of started to take place, confidence started to rise a little bit. Better play I think over a good period of time was giving me the confidence to think that I can beat them.

End of FastScripts….

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