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.