Scott discusses his opening-round 66.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
EDISON, N.J. -- Adam Scott only made one par over his first nine holes on Thursday at Plainfield Country Club.
Luckily for the Aussie, he also made six birdies and an eagle to offset his two bogeys, and Scott went on to turn in 31. Granted, he cooled off after the rain delay -- missing an 11-footer for birdie at No. 1 when he returned and playing the front in even par -- but Scott's still in the hunt after opening with a 66.
The round of 5 under left Scott, who won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last month, just two shots off the lead held by Harrison Frazar. He's tied with Jonathan Byrd and Charley Hoffman, who will defend his Deutsche Bank Championship next week.
"Turned into a pretty long day today, but it's a good start," Scott said. "Five under around here, I'm surprised generally by how good the scoring is. But I guess with the little bit of rain it softened it back up, and I think the pins were quite accessible today. It would be interesting to see how the rest of the week pans out for a lot of reasons, but very happy to start this way."
Scott said the Donald Ross layout, which is hosting its first PGA TOUR event, had firmed up well after absorbing more than nine inches of rain last week. Thursday's deluge, though, was a killer and more rain -- in the form of Hurricane Irene -- is on the way.
"It was starting to play very nice and now it's gone soft again, so that's disappointing," said Scott, who entered the Playoffs ranked No. 13.
Scott said he simply didn't see very many birdie opportunities when he returned to finish his round. He hit one "loose" shot at the par-3 third hole and made his only bogey on the front but the biggest challenge was adjusting to the speed of the severe and sloping greens.
"It was just tough today, because they changed pace obviously after the rain, and I even think this morning, they were not as fast as maybe the practice round or the pro-am," Scott said. "So it took a bit of adjusting to that. But then also, adjust again once it rained and slowed down. So it was more the variance in pace that made them a little tricky today."
Frazar discusses his opening-round 64.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
EDISON, N.J. -- As he waited out a weather delay of three hours and 16 minutes on Thursday morning, Harrison Frazar was just hoping to get his first round at The Barclays finished.
So to get all 18 holes done -- and post a bogey-free 64 that earned him sole possession of the lead -- well, that was quite a bonus for the Texan, who picked up his first PGA TOUR victory earlier this year at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
"It's never a bad spot to be in," Frazar said. "It's never bad to start with a good score. So we are going to have at least two rounds of golf left, hopefully three, we'll see what the weather does. Somebody is going to shoot low scores, they always do. I've got to hit the ball in the fairway more. If I don't, then it's going to be a struggle the rest of the week."
Frazar's unblemished round was one of only two shot by those in the stop-and-start Thursday wave -- the other belonged to Kevin Chappell. Frazar chipped in from no-man's land on the first hole to get things going and went on to shoot a 31 on the front, although he was more pleased with his play on the final nine holes.
"I hit it very well on the back," Frazar said. "I played maybe
about a 40 on the front and I played about 30 on the back.
But I think the scores showed differently. ... It could have gone
either way. I hit it so far right on No. 1 that I was over by 6 tee
box and hit it over the green from there. That's a
no-no. We all know that. But I hit a good chip and it
hit the pin hard enough that it went in.
"So you know, I didn't deserve that, but I'll take it."
Frazar enters the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup ranked No.
51. He's well aware of what a win at The Barclays could do for his
Playoffs push as he goes for the 2011 FedEx double .
"A win this week, it gets me in Atlanta," Frazar said. "It would virtually lock up a very good opportunity to win the FedExCup, so that's the goal, that's the ultimate prize there at the end, so that's the focus here. I'm not here to try to just kind of skirt by and have fun."
EDISON, N.J. – Granted, Harrison Frazar couldn't take advantage of the short par-4 18th, two-putting for one final par.
But he has just finished off a bogey-free round of 64 to set the pace early in the first round of The Barclays. Only two other players who have at least made the turn have yet to drop a shot to par -- Steve Stricker and Kevin Chappell, both of whom are through 15 holes.
Frazar leads Adam Scott and Jonathan Byrd by two strokes. Scott has two holes remaining while Byrd has three.
EDISON, N.J. – Jonathan Byrd has joined Harrison Frazar and J.J. Henry in the lead at 5 under after making his third straight birdie at the 11th hole.
Byrd, who entered the Playoffs ranked 24th, started the spurt with a 13-footer at the ninth hole and followed it with a putt of 26 feet. The South Carolinian also made a birdie and a bogey on the front nine before getting back into red numbers with a 12-footer for eagle at the fifth hole.
Byrd got his 2011 season off to a great start when he beat Robert Garrigus in a playoff at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He was also in a playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship but that time his former college teammate Lucas Glover ended up getting the victory.
EDISON, N.J. – Nick Watney, who entered the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup ranked No. 1, has just become the 11th player to birdie the driveable 18th hole.
Watney hit his drive short and right of the green on the 285-yard par 4. He then chipped on and made a 13-footer for birdie to move to 2 under.
Meanwhile, Harrison Frazar, who picked up his first PGA TOUR victory earlier this year, has made birdie at the par-5 12th hole, rolling in a 16-footer, to move into a tie for the lead with J.J. Henry at 5 under.
Adam Scott also was in that group but he missed the green at the par-3 third, his 12th hole of the day and couldn’t get up and down for par. So he’s tied with Vijay Singh and Ryan Palmer at 4 under.
With two months to go before the first tee shot is struck in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, much remains to be sorted out.
The top 125 players in the FedExCup standings are eligible to begin the four-event Playoffs series at The Barclays, which will be held Aug. 25-28 at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. A year ago, it took 380 points to make the field for The Barclays – and a total of 83 players have already earned that many points in 2011.
Seven rookies are among those 83 -- including Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (No. 19); HP Byron Nelson Championship winner Keegan Bradley (No. 22); Bob Hope Classic winner Jhonattan Vegas (No. 24); Valero Texas Open winner Brendan Steele (No. 31); Robert Karlsson, who recently lost in a sudden-death playoff to Harrison Frazar at the FedEx St. Jude Classic; Chris Kirk (No. 50), who tied for second at the Shell Houston Open; and Kevin Chappell (No. 61), who tied for third last week at the U.S. Open.
Another rookie, Scott Stallings, is knocking on the door as well. at No. 84 in the standings.
The history of the FedExCup has shown that it takes more than just qualifying for the Playoffs to make a run at the title and the $10 million bonus, though. In the four previous season-long competitions, only three rookies total have managed to qualify for the Playoffs and advance to the finale at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola: Marc Leishman (2009); Andres Romero (2008); and Brandt Snedeker (2007). All three went on to win Rookie of the Year that season.
Of the players who were in the FedExCup top 30 entering The Barclays in 2010, all but eight continued their strong play through the Playoffs and advanced to the TOUR Championship. And while all 30 players at the TOUR Championship will have a mathematical chance to win the FedExCup, the top five in the standings control their own destiny and can win the FedExCup with a victory in Atlanta. So position in the FedExCup standings entering the Playoffs is key.
With that in mind, Bubba Watson could regain the No. 1 position the FedExCup this week at the Travelers Championship, where he won his first PGA TOUR title last year. Watson, currently No. 2, is only 38 points behind leader Luke Donald, who is idle this week. Watson gained the FedExCup lead in May when he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and held it for five weeks, until Donald took over when he tied for seventh at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
Of the other players in the current top 20 who are competing at the Travelers Championship, Nick Watney (No. 6), David Toms (No. 8), Brandt Snedeker (No. 12), Martin Laird (No. 15), Webb Simpson (No. 16), Aaron Baddeley (No. 17) and Hunter Mahan (No. 18) could take over the FedExCup lead this week. All but Watney and Toms would need a win to do so.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Two weeks ago, Harrison Frazar was on a baseball field with a team of eight-year-old, the Little Red Sox, when one of the boys who’d noticed Frazar hadn’t played much asked him when he was going to play golf again.
“I said, ‘I don't know. Maybe the Byron Nelson’,” Frazar said.
The boy then asked if he was going to win and Frazar responded, "I don't know. I'll figure it out."
The boy followed with, "Have you ever won?"
“No, I haven't ever won," Frazar responded.
After 355 starts, however, Frazar finally has his first victory.
“My middle boy, who is so hyperaggressive, he said, ‘Yes, you did’,” Frazar continued. “I said, ‘You're right, son, I've won’
“He said, ‘Yeah, but you didn't get a trophy,’” referring to his q-school victory a few years ago.
Now Frazar has one after nearly giving up the game because he’d been fighting an uphill battle against age, injury and a career without a victory. He seriously pondered the idea of quitting playing for a career in something along the lines of tournament management or sports marketing and even doing so for the PGA TOUR.
He probably will still pursue those plans but they’re now on hold after winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Robert Karlsson to earn his first victory in 355 starts.
“This is not about bad play,” Frazar said about his contemplating retiring. “It's about -- it's about how do I get my game back up to that level and can I make those sacrifices. I didn't know if I could.
“I had a few people that were emotionally attached and they were upset. They wouldn't talk to me for about a week after that article [in Sports Illustrated] came out. Once they realized that me saying that in the article is not -- I was not packing it in. That's me just being brutally honest about what it's like for somebody at my age and at my stage of my career.
“I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a 40-year-old that's been out here 15 years who hasn't thought maybe it's time that I find something else to do.”
Now Frazar, who also earned 500 FedExCup points with the win, doesn’t have to find something else to do. He has a spot on TOUR for the next two years, and a spot in the 2012 Masters, among other tournaments.
“Early in my career I tried to make the sacrifices, and it was very selfish,” Frazar said. “You have to be selfish in this game up to a certain level.
“When we started having kids, I didn't want to be selfish anymore … When your four-year-old is in the car and he starts crying and puts your arms around you and says ‘Daddy, don't leave,’ it's really, really hard to walk through that door and go get on the plane. I've managed to do it for 13 years. I haven't done it very well at times. I've been just as upset as they have.”
The next time he sees them, they’ll be happy. And Frazar will have a shiny new trophy to show off.
It took 355 starts, but Harrison Frazar finally got his first career victory Sunday, beating Robert Karlsson on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff. Send him a note of congratulations here and we’ll pass it along.
The playoff between Robert Karlsson and Harrison Frazar will begin on the 18th hole, where Frazar just hit it in the water on his way to a bogey that resulted in the playoff. The order of holes in the playoff will go No. 18, then Nos. 11 and 12 and then back to the 18th if necessary.
18TH HOLE: Karlsson and Frazar both hit it on the green in two on the first hole of sudden-death. Frazar is closer, about 17 feet away. Karlsson is much farther away at 38 feet. Both two-putted for par, however, and the playoff will now move to the par-3 11th hole.
11TH HOLE: Frazar hit a gap wedge on the 134-yard par-3 and did so to the back of the green about 45 feet away. But Karlsson this time was the one who was closer, hitting it to around 20 feet or so. Frazar lagged his putt to tap-in distance, while Frazar missed just right. On they go. Up next: No. 12.
12TH HOLE: Frazar teed off first on the 12th, which has water to the right off the tee. He split the fairway, however, and Karlsson did the same -- though Karlsson is well back of Frazar after what looked like a 3- or 5-wood. There’s about a 70-yard difference between the two. Karlsson still had just a 9-iron in, but he missed the green to the right. Frazar, meanwhile, hit a lob wedge to about 20 feet.
After Karlsson hit an indifferent shot to around 10 feet, Frazar two-putted for par. Karlsson then missed his par putt, giving Frazar his first victory in 355 career starts on the PGA TOUR.
“The last couple years have been really long and really hard,” an emotional Frazar told CBS following the win. “It’s pretty cool.”
For the second straight year, the FedEx St. Jude Classic will be decided in a playoff after another mistake on the 18th hole at TPC Southwind.
Leading by one coming to the final hole of regulation, Harrison Frazar pulled his approach shot left and into the water on the difficult par-4 finishing hole.
That opened the door for Robert Karlsson, who led most of the day. With a chance to redeem himself and force extra holes, Karlsson missed his approach shot to the right of the green but got up-and-down for par, sinking an 8-foot, 9-inch putt.
Frazar, who dropped just off the green and chipped it close, then made his putt for bogey to drop back to 13 under and into a tie with Karlsson. The two will head back to the tee on the 18th hole to begin the playoff.
A year ago, Robert Garrigus triple-bogeyed the final hole of regulation to lose a three-shot lead and was eliminated on the first hole of a three-man playoff eventually won by Lee Westwood.
This marks the ninth straight week that a PGA TOUR event will be decided by one stroke or in a playoff.