Frazar wins 1st PGA Tour title in 355th start
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Harrison Frazar won his first PGA Tour title in his 355th tournament, beating Robert Karlsson with a par on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday at the St. Jude Classic.
• Play the Golfweek Major Challenge: Click here to enter our fantasy contest for the U.S. Open and win great prizes! Free to enter!
Frazar won a month before turning 40 when Karlsson pushed a par-saving putt 3 feet past the hole.
Now the man who was roommates at Texas with Justin Leonard has the biggest paycheck of his career, taking home $1,008,000 after missing a chance to win on the 72nd hole when he made his first bogey of the day. He shot a 3-under 67 to match Karlsson (68) at 13 under.
"I never thought it would happen to be honest with you," Frazar said moments after his victory.
Frazar became the seventh first-time winner on tour this year and the first to win his first title in Memphis since Dicky Pride in 1994.
Karlsson led after the second and third rounds, and he has shot below par on his past eight rounds here. Now the Swede has lost in a playoff at the TPC Southwind course for a second straight year.
Camilo Villegas (64) tied for third with Tim Herron, Ryuji Imada, Charles Howell and Retief Goosen. Lee Westwood, the defending champion here, finished tied for 11th.
Frazar had been thinking of quitting. He turns 40 on July 29, misses his family back in Texas, and is playing this year on a major medical exemption after separate surgeries on his hip and shoulder last summer. He came into Memphis having made four of nine cuts, though he just qualified for the upcoming U.S. Open at Congressional.
"It's pretty cool," Frazar said.
This final round turned into a two-man playoff almost from the opening hole with no one closer than three strokes early, a margin that expanded to six.
Frazar kept catching Karlsson atop the leaderboard, finally getting the lead to himself when Karlsson bogeyed No. 17 after yanking a 3-wood way left off the tee. Frazar promptly gave the stroke back on the 72nd hole when his second shot landed near the green and dribbled into the water.
Karlsson stroked in an 8-foot par putt to set up his second straight playoff in Memphis.
In the playoff, Frazar had a 17-footer for birdie and the win on the first hole at No. 18 where he had just bogeyed. But he pushed his putt a foot past. Karlsson had an 18-foot birdie putt for the win on the par-3 11th only to just miss right, while Frazar two-putted from 45 feet.
Frazar had a nice drive on the third hole, the par-4 12th, that left him 93 yards to the pin. He hit his approach to 22 feet and two-putted.
Karlsson had to chip onto the green, and the ball sped past 11 feet past the hole. Needing to hole out to extend the playoff, Karlsson missed his par putt left.