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Harrison Frazar makes an emotional return to the winner's circle

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Tour Insider

Harrison Frazar makes an emotional return to the winner's circle

    Written by Bob McClellan @ChampionsTour

    Like so many other PGA TOUR Champions players, Harrison Frazar ground out a steady and long career on the PGA TOUR, but it didn’t have a ton of highlights.

    Mind you, it didn’t have a lot of lowlights, either. Chances are any golf fan at least had seen the name on a leaderboard. It takes a very good player to keep his PGA TOUR card for the better part of two decades. But Frazar had only one win – the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2011.

    So when it came time for the Champions Tour, Frazar wanted more. Perhaps even he felt had something to prove. He knew it wouldn’t be easy. He knew the level of play was at an all-time high.

    But Frazar was ready to grind and figure out how to contend again. And in his third season and 47th event on PGA TOUR Champions, the Dallas native broke through last weekend to win the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of three events that compose the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. He finished at 11 under and beat Australian Richard Green in a playoff with a birdie on the first hole. He hit a wedge to 8 feet and buried the putt.

    Harrison Frazar wins in playoff at Dominion Energy

    “It's been a long time, long time coming,” Frazar said. “You think your career's over and, you know, through faith and through friends and through people who believe in you, you know, you decide to pick it up again because you feel like there's a void. And the void is this: The void is competing, the void is missing that win. It's the nerves, it's all the stuff. It's scary, but it's fun. You can never replace it.

    “So yeah, it's emotional. You just don't know if you're ever going to get there again, and when you do, it feels good.”

    Of course, it does. It’s the validation of the first part of a golfer’s career, especially one who cashed in only once. And if a guy can stay healthy and rediscover his game, PGA TOUR Champions is the ultimate mulligan. Scott McCarron won three times on the PGA TOUR; he won a Schwab Cup in 2019. Steven Alker was a four-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour and never won on the PGA TOUR; he won a Schwab Cup in 2022.

    The win means a full-year exemption for Frazar and an invite to the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hulalai for next year and 2025. It also propels him far enough up the money list to guarantee he’ll play in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship for the first time; it took him from 33rd (the top 36 make the finale) to 13th in the standings.

    Harrison Frazar’s interview after winning Dominion Energy

    “It takes a lot of work, but yeah, this is going to sink in at some point tonight, and probably when I get on my phone and call my parents, my wife and my kids and everybody else, yeah, it's going to hit,” Frazar said. “It means a lot. It means a lot to have a chance. At 52 years old, to continue to play your sport and to apply your trade, other athletes can't do that. Yeah, I think you appreciate the opportunity more than anything else.”

    Frazar didn’t have particularly great results over his past five events before the Dominion Energy Charity Classic. His best finish was a T20 at the SAS Championship the week before. Still, he believed his game wasn’t that far away, and if a player’s mental game remains strong that’s at least half the battle.

    “I felt really good about my game for the last couple of months,” Frazar said. “We just had a lot of stuff going on at home and a lot of -- just some stuff, right? So life gets in the way at times.

    “Tried to clear the path for the last couple weeks so I could focus on this. I worked on a variety of different things over the last couple weeks. We talked about attitude, we talked about patience, we worked on putting, on wedges, and to see them actually play out and things to go your way feels really good.”

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