Harrison Frazar of the USA picked up his first PGA Tour victory in the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis. In his 355th event on the circuit, he beat Robert Karlsson of Sweden in a sudden-death playoff.
Frazar, who has been playing this year on a medical exemption, had been considering giving up the professional game and had planned to find a new job at the end of this season. Now he has playing rights for two years and will have a start at next year’s US Masters.
“It just shows you how sometimes when you let your guard down or let your expectations soften, you can free yourself up,” he said. “It was a whirlwind there.”
Frazar should have won the tournament in regulation play but he dunked his second shot to the 72nd hole into the water and made a bogey to let Karlsson back in to the frame.
The pair traded pars on the first two playoff holes but Frazar took the title at the third extra hole when Karlsson raced his chip from the edge of the 12th green some 10 feet past the cup. Frazar secured his par leaving Karlsson needeing to make his putt to extend the playoff. The Swede missed and the title went to Frazar. Although disappointed, Karlsson was magnanimous in defeat.
“It’s one of those days where I think most of us had a lot of fun out there,” he said. “Congratulations to him on a great win. He played great in the last round after sort of being injured and stuff like that. He played really well.”
Camilo Villegas of Colombia played an excellent closing round of 64 to end the week tied for third with Retief Goosen, Tim Herron, Charles Howell III and Ryuji Imada.
FedEx St. Jude Classic
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
June 9-12, purse $5,600,000, par 70
1 Harrison Frazar (USA) 71 65 64 67 267 $1,008,000
2 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 66 65 68 68 267 $604,800
T3 Retief Goosen (RSA) 68 71 64 69 272 $252,560
T3 Tim Herron (USA) 73 65 69 65 272 $252,560
T3 Charles Howell III (USA) 72 67 67 66 272 $252,560
T3 Ryuji Imada (Jap) 70 68 68 66 272 $252,560
T3 Camilo Villegas (Col) 69 69 70 64 272 $252,560
T8 Stephen Ames (Can) 69 68 68 68 273 $162,400
T8 Carl Pettersson (Swe) 69 69 67 68 273 $162,400
T8 Cameron Tringale (USA) 71 68 66 68 273 $162,400
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
European Tour: Robert Rock wins in Italy