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May 29, 1998
WES SEELEY: 68, 69, 137 for Harrison Frazar. He is 7-under par and shares the lead back in the interview room after an unconscionably --
HARRISON FRAZAR: -- two-round hiatus.
WES SEELEY: Tell us about your round, and why don't you also compare yesterday's conditions to today's.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Today's conditions, you know, the -- it's hard and fast. The golf course is -- the fairways were just a little bit firmer today. The greens were a little bit firmer, and they're a lot faster. I mean, they're quick right now. If you go above the hole, it doesn't matter if you're 3 feet or 25 feet, you're lagging. You know, there are some spots you can hit it in that you can't quite recover from. Patience is a virtue out there on this golf course. You know, the wind is not blowing too much right now. But if it picks up this afternoon, the guys are going to have their hands full. I got a very good break this morning playing in the morning with little wind for about 6, 7, 8 holes. And I mean, it's just, you know -- it's the best manicured golf course I've played and they're the fastest greens that I've played. So I'm kind of in awe of that.
WES SEELEY: Let's talk about the birdies and the bogeys.
HARRISON FRAZAR: I've forgotten.
WES SEELEY: Birdie on 2.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Oh, 2, I hit a 4-wood down the center of the fairway, hit 9-iron to about 20 feet, made that one.
WES SEELEY: 4, the par 3.
HARRISON FRAZAR: 4, I hit a 7-iron to about 4 feet.
WES SEELEY: 5, par 5.
HARRISON FRAZAR: 5, I hit 3-wood in the fairway, then hit a 4-wood just pin-high left of the green, chipped it in about 5 feet and made that putt.
WES SEELEY: Bogeyed 9.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Bogeyed 9, yeah, I pulled my tee shot a little bit left and got a kick down into the fairway, 7-iron to the green and pulled it a little long, you know. Like I said, one of those positions you can't get it close really fast, chipped it down past the hole, went off the green. If it went another foot or so, it might have gone down in the water. Missed that putt about 15 feet.
WES SEELEY: Birdied 10.
HARRISON FRAZAR: 10, hit driver up the right side with the first cut of rough, hit a 9-iron to about 25 feet, made that one.
WES SEELEY: Bogey on 13.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Oh, 13. 13, hit 3-wood in the middle of the fairway, had 108 yards, and tried to hit a 60 degree wedge and plugged it in the down slope lip of the bunker. From there, had to go out sideways to about 8 yards short of the green, chipped it up to about 5 feet, made that for bogey.
WES SEELEY: And then par 5.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Par 5, 15, hit 3-wood off the tee there in the fairway, hit a 4-wood to about 10 feet and 2-putted.
WES SEELEY: Not a lot of drivers today.
HARRISON FRAZAR: No. It's odd, I think. I think most people know how to play this golf course from being wet. You hit driver and unplug it and wipe your ball off and drop it and play it from there. You're having to hit a lot of 3-woods, 4-woods, 2-irons, 3-irons; you're having to play, in some cases, as much as 30 to 40 yards a roll. You're having to play for at least, you know, 15 feet of release when the ball hits the greens. Sometimes it's as much as 30, 40 feet, so you can't attack it with a driver.
WES SEELEY: Questions for Harrison.
Q. A roller coaster year really until a couple weeks ago. What's happened?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I don't know. I think it took me a while to get -- to kind of calm down. Get to where I wasn't in awe of seeing everybody in the locker room. As soon as I did that -- I actually did that after the first couple of weeks, but by that time, then I started the learning process of trying to get my swing down to a point where I was comfortable with it, getting a ball that I was comfortable. Then I had to learn to pace myself, then learn how to manage the golf course. I think that's been the key the last couple of tournaments is learning how to, you know, look at a golf course and say this is where I want to go, you know. What makes the most sense to get it there, instead of hit it at everything, hit driver off every tee, you know, just trying to get some patience on the course.
Q. Do you consider yourself like a slow learner, then do you --
HARRISON FRAZAR: No, I think I'm a pretty fast learner. I've only been playing professionally for a little under two years. So, you know, I don't think I'm a slow learner. I think I'm a pretty observant person. Sometimes I can be a little stubborn in trying to do things my way, and it took some, you know, took some time to kind of get off my high horse, I guess.
Q. A litany of Texas golfers, you know, through the years on the Tour, and obviously you want to take your place among them, don't you?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Sure, yeah. You know, we've had, you know, a great tradition. I went to the University of Texas and we have, I think ten, either nine or ten guys that are on the Tour this year. So it seems like somebody every two or three years gets on Tour, and as well, Justin, Omar, Bob Estes, you know, there's a lot of guys. It kind of goes down the generations, so, yeah, you know, they've all done well. They've all been successful in their own way, and I kind of want to try to fit in there and be successful in my own way.
Q. When you look at what you've done the last few weeks, is it hard not to think about how close you came to not even being professional and wearing a suit right now?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, I did wear a suit for a while. I worked for a year, sat in an office in front of a computer, and I realized that wasn't any fun. I wanted to get outside. I'm very fortunate. Somebody asked me last week what's the best perk of your job. My job is the best perk, period. You think about what we get to do for a living and there's no better way to make a living.
Q. Talk about how frantic it was the last two weeks at home playing and then the weight on you?
HARRISON FRAZAR: The last couple weeks in Dallas, you know, it's wonderful. I've had great family support and great support from my friends. But you're staying at home and everybody knows how to reach you. The phones are ringing off the hook; people know where you live they're going to come drive by and see you if you're not answering the phone. We were entertained pretty much for two weeks. People calling and wanting passes, wanting to go to dinner, wanting to ride out to the golf course with us so they didn't have to park in the lots. All kinds of things like that. It's tough to tell everybody no. This week has been really nice. To be honest with you, right now I'm exhausted from the last couple weeks. I'm saving all my energy for the golf course. As soon as I'm done playing, I'm not practicing. As soon as I'm done, I'm leaving and going back to the hotel. I haven't even gone out to dinner yet. I've been ordering everything in. And just spent a lot of time sleeping and resting trying to make it through this week.
Q. You barely had time to let the Nelson sink in before Colonial. You had a great week there, too. Has that sunk in or are you too tired to do that?
HARRISON FRAZAR: No. I'm not too tired to do that. My life has changed, there's no question about that. But at the same time, you know, while a bunch of goals were accomplished, you know, I still have some that I want to do. So, you know, I'm not going to lay down until they're done. As soon as I can get some of these other goals done, then I might, you know, take some time to sit back and reflect on it. Right now, I'm trying to feed off my momentum so I can accomplish the other ones.
Q. Are you being recognized around here anywhere this week off the golf course?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I haven't been out. I don't know. I think this afternoon, you know, we might go somewhere and watch the Stars tonight, go somewhere and watch the Stars game. I don't think anybody is going to recognize me up here. That's fine with me. In Dallas, the last couple weeks a lot of people did if we went out. And at the same time, that's nice, too. It's always nice to be recognized for what you do.
Q. The room service guy didn't recognize you, though?
HARRISON FRAZAR: No, huh-uh. In fact, I didn't open the door long enough. Didn't want any of the air conditioning to escape.
Q. You talked about being in awe the first few tournaments out here. Your friendship with Justin, did he help you at all get through that?
HARRISON FRAZAR: He did, you know. Justin and I are good enough friends, he knows that -- he knows that I need to go make my own mistakes. He did it. And when he did it, he didn't have many people helping him. It made him a better player and a better person. So, you know, he would -- if something was coming up and he knew that I needed some help, he would say something. He would just give a little suggestion, not try to tell me what to do. If I asked him a question, or for some help on something, you know, he was always there to give me a direct answer. There's been several guys out here like that. Mike Standly is kind of my big brother out here this year. They have a Big Brother Program or Big Buddy or Little Buddy Program.
WES SEELEY: I'm not sure if it's the Little Buddy or the Big Buddy.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Mike has been great to me. He's kind of given me hints on where to stay, where to eat, what airport you fly into, things like that.
Q. It said in the Tour book that you and Justin also grew up at the same club.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Uh-huh.
Q. How early did you meet each other? How long have you been playing golf together?
HARRISON FRAZAR: We played our --
Q. Every day thing, did you play every day?
HARRISON FRAZAR: No. No. Well, it was for a while. We played our first competitive round of golf together when I was 12 and he was 11. And in 1986, my parents moved back to Dallas where Justin lived, and they joined the same club that the Leonards were -- not knowing the Leonards were members there. You know, just Randy Smith, our teacher and head pro there, had a great reputation for being a great person for young golfers. So my parents, therefore, joined the club. I was 14 and he was 13 at the time. From that point all the way until he graduated college we played together a lot. I mean, we lived together, we traveled together, we roomed together on the road, played a lot of practice rounds together, you know, spent a lot of time fishing together. You know, we've known each other for quite some time. When he turned pro and went to play and I went and took an office job, we didn't see too much of each other for a year and a half. So maybe even longer than that, two years.
Q. Did he ever tell you you were in the wrong business when you were sitting in the office?
HARRISON FRAZAR: No. Like I said, he wants me to make my own mistakes. Really everybody was great. Nobody messed with me. Nobody told me I was making a mistake. I still don't consider it to be a mistake. I think that was the best year of my life.
Q. What kind of work was it?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I did -- I built financial models for a commercial real estate company. I spent a lot of time in front of a computer. Nobody really -- all my family and friends, you know, were very supportive. They knew I was tired and knew I didn't want to go play golf at that time so nobody forced it upon me. And I think that was the best thing that could have happened to me. It made me realize how much I liked the game.
Q. You spent a whole year in that job?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, almost a year, 11 months.
Q. Is it true that you and Justin were sort of the odd couple at Texas, and if so, could you talk about that as far as habits?
HARRISON FRAZAR: How well do you know Justin?
Q. I know he's a neat freak.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, exactly. He's a neat freak. I'm not going to classify him as a neat freak. He's very organized. You know, he's a list maker. When we lived together, it was one dorm room, you know, where the beds slide into the wall, that kind of thing, very, very small. His room was perfect; my room had crap all over the place. And about once a month, he would get mad and ask me to clean up everything. After that year, I think he got so tired of me being messy and having to look at it, he wouldn't live with me after that.
Q. Could you just talk -- I know you've gone through it before -- but just the whole reason why you wanted to get away from golf and was there any one thing that brought you back to golf?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, you know, when I was in college golf wasn't my main interest at all. I wanted to be a college student. I wanted to have a good time. I wanted to get my education. I wanted to go to football games. I wanted to spend the weekends hunting and fishing with my friends; therefore, I did not put as much time and effort towards my golf. And towards the end of the years, you know, which is -- which seemed like that's when I started playing well, when school was over, that's when I knew it mattered. I didn't want to disappoint my teammates and coach, so I kind of put forth the energy there. When I got done with that, I was so tired of kind of doing it, you know, halfheartedly I guess you want to say, without having any of the results that I wanted. I never won a college tournament, so I never got to see the real successful side of it and I was tired of that. It was hard on me to see, you know, close friends going out there being so successful, and a lot of people were pressuring me to go play. And I just couldn't do it. If I went -- if I would have gone and played for somebody else, then I would have been wasting my time. I would have been wasting my time. I would have been wasting a lot of money. So I had to get away. I just had to get away from it for a while completely. For that 11 months, I probably averaged one round of golf every three weeks. And I never hit balls. You know, I gave away all my clubs to junior golf. It was just a complete release. I had to just wait until I was ready to come back and do it on my terms. Do it when it was my deal, my wife's deal. You know, not for anybody else.
Q. Was there something that triggered your wanting to come back?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Not really. As part of the commercial real estate company, we formed a venture with Mark Brooks, and it happened to be during the time he was having his great year, winning three tournaments in the PGA, and we were going to do the golf course design and development. I worked part time for that company, as well. So I spent a lot of time with Mark, got to see, you know, see him, hang around him, see how he acted. We played a lot of golf together at Colonial there at Fort Worth, wherever the case may be. You know, I didn't beat him and he really didn't beat me. We probably played four times and we were pretty even. Then the Byron Nelson came in and the Colonial came in to town. I was entertaining clients. I went out and saw guys like Shane Bertsch and Joey Gullion, guys I grew up with in high school and college golf. They're out there playing. It made me think maybe I could do it.
Q. Does it advantage you at all playing so early in terms of the speed of play out there?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I think so. You know, we didn't play real fast today. I think the first group finished two holes before us, or something like that, but we were at the same time a hole and a half. It's nice not to have anybody around you. But you still have to maintain a certain level or a certain time limit, otherwise you're still going to get penalized or you're still going to get fined. So it was nice -- the best thing about playing this morning, was the wind wasn't blowing for 7, 8 holes. Other than that, it was kind of a nice walk in the park. We didn't have a lot of people around us.
Q. Are you generally satisfied with the speed of play on the Tour?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah. There's some times where it gets a little slow, depending on -- you know, there's a few real slow players. If you get behind them, it can be pretty slow and a bit annoying. But for the most part, it's going to take between four hours and four and a half hours; that's not bad.
Q. What advice would you give to the recreational golfer on speed of play, if there's anything in particular you can do?
HARRISON FRAZAR: If you're in a golf cart, take more than one club to the ball. You know, if you're ready to play, even it may not be your turn, if you're ready to play and the other guy is not ready, go ahead and hit, things like that. The main thing I see in a lot of these Pro Ams and a lot of time playing my home course, is that, you know, the foursome will be out there and they go down in the fairway. They've all hit their balls; they're somewhere. One of them is over in the trees. The other sits there and watches him hit their shots. Then they go over and talk about this shot, while the same group in the other cart is doing the same thing on the other side of the tree. Go hit your ball and you all can talk on the next tee while you're waiting on the group in front of you.
Q. If you donated all your clubs, did you buy new clubs?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I'm sorry?
Q. If you gave away all your clubs --
HARRISON FRAZAR: Oh, no. I kept one set just for things. Because people would call me and ask me to play some charity events and things like that, you know, where maybe it was a Pro Am and they didn't have enough pros. Or if it was a College Am, you know, fund raiser for the Texas Golf Team or whatever the case may be and they didn't have enough players, so I kept a set just in case.
Q. Did the people around you, your friends, family, whatever talk to you or about you as, "Man, Harrison, you should be out there. You should be doing this." Did you hear a lot of that?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Very rarely.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah. They just knew that, you know, I didn't want to hear it pretty much. You know, I -- people used to tell me that earlier, and I've never considered myself special, never considered myself better than anybody else on the golf course. You know, I consider all of us the same and some people have better weeks than others. You know, I didn't want to hear that. I didn't want to hear anybody say, "Golly you should be out there playing golf. You don't need to be sitting here in an office working." You know, I really respected and looked up to everybody I was working for, so I was trying to be like them. I wasn't trying to be like the guys out here playing on the Tour at that time. So nobody said anything to me.
Q. You talked about all the people and all the attention you had in the Texas tournaments the last couple of weeks, then you come here and probably as you mentioned nobody knows you and you don't get much attention. Compare the number probably in the galleries in Texas and how many people were with you this morning, any idea?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, at the Byron Nelson on Thursday and Friday morning, probably two or 300. Playing in the last group on Saturday and Sunday, and it's probably due to Freddie, but playing with Fred, we probably had 15 to 25,000 watching our group. It was amazing. I've never seen that many people. I think they had 95,000 people out there that day, it seemed like a fourth of them were watching our group. Our parents couldn't even see any shots. They just had to listen and listen to the crowd react. But Colonial, obviously they scale it down and don't sell as many tickets. I played first thing in the morning on Thursday, there was probably 3 or 400. By the end of the day there was probably a thousand. On the weekend playing in the last couple of groups, there was 8 to 15,000, maybe, you know, surrounding the holes and then following our group.
WES SEELEY: And today.
HARRISON FRAZAR: Today, it probably started out with about 75 or 100. And at sometime during the round, maybe got to 200, 250. And, you know, I don't know how many people were surrounding the 18th green and the 18th fairway, but that was pretty much the most people we had seen.
Q. Talk about the Nike Tour experience last year, what it did for you, how good was it for your game to come out and do that for a year?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I think the Nike Tour, as far as professional golf, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, because, you know, I didn't really start playing golf again until June. Somehow I was fortunate enough to make it through the Q-school. I think there is no way last year I was ready for this, and if I would have gotten from there -- you know, I think you have to go step by step. I don't believe in big jumps. I think you have to go step by step, because I think the worst thing that somebody can do is start here and make a big jump somewhere that they're not ready for, get their head kicked in for a while, lose all the confidence they've ever had and fall all the way down and never be able to recover. You see it happen all the time with guys coming fresh out of college that get on the Tour that aren't quite ready. And it takes them five, six, seven years to get back out there because they got demolished. The Nike Tour provided me a way to get out there. The camaraderie is very, very good. People are very friendly. It doesn't matter if you're 47 years old or 21. Bobby Wadkins' best friend out there on the Nike Tour was Brian Bateman. There's 25 years of difference there, 23. And you can learn a lot that way. You learn how to travel, you learn how to pack your car, you learn how to fly, you learn what hotels to stay in, how to eat, you know, things like that. And it just prepares you. Prepares you very well.
Q. I know you played a practice round with Brad Elder. I mean, do you have any advice for him just out of college?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Brad's a -- Brad's a very special player. He's got a ton of talent. He's got the work ethic of a mule, and he's got a lot of good people telling him what to do. He's pretty good friends with Fred Couples, and, you know, Fred is helping him. Brad's father in his own right is a very good player who was a very good college player who could have played professionally. He's got that side of it helping him. My only advice to Brad would be to, you know, try to learn how to play the game, you know, rather than learn how to hit the ball. There's a difference there. You have to learn how to manage the golf course and pay attention to when you go out and play a golf course or play a practice round with Fred Couples or John Cook or Phil Mickelson, whatever the case may be, watch what they do. There's nothing wrong with being in awe with these people, you can learn something from them. So pay attention would be the biggest thing I would tell him.
WES SEELEY: Okay folks?
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