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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 FedEx St. Jude Classic

Winner: Harrison Frazer

Around the wider world of golf: Mark Wiebe won the Greater Hickory Classic in a 3-hole playoff over James Mason on the Champions Tour; Kyle Thompson won the Rex Hospital Open on the Nationwide Tour (and, I should add, both of these events were played in NC where I live); Yani Tseng got her 2nd LPGA win and 5th worldwide win of 2011 at the LPGA State Farm Classic; Lisa Ferrero won the Teva Championship for her 2nd win in 2011 on the LPGA Futures Tour; Robert Rock got his first ET win at the BMW Italian Open; Becky Brewerton won the Tenerife Ladies Match Play on the LET; and Sun-Ju Ahn won the Suntory Ladies Open for her 2nd JLPGA win of 2011.

Frazer shakes hands with Karlsson after tournament
Photo from PGATOUR.com.

According to Wikipedia, St. Jude is "the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes." It also says that the item he is most often associated with is a club.

Harrison Frazer may have felt that all of these things applied to him over the last couple of years. After 13 years of wrist surgery, hip surgeries, shoulder surgery, and 354 starts without a win, he was feeling beat down and had begun to doubt he would ever win.

And then came Sunday at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Paired with Robert Karlsson, who lost in a 3-way playoff in 2010, the two separated themselves from the rest of the field and began a battle to see who would make the fewest mistakes. You see, Karlsson -- despite having won 11 times on the ET -- has a reputation for faltering down the stretch, and Frazer's come in second often enough that he's heard the "Down goes Frazer!" line too many times to count. Stepping onto the 12th tee, both were tied at -14...

And neither could buy a birdie. Each scrambled for par until Karlsson bogeyed the 17th... and Frazer the 18th. Another playoff ensued as each man continued to scramble for par. Finally, on the third playoff hole, Frazer nailed a gap wedge over 150 yards -- perhaps a bit of adrenaline there -- leaving him a putt across the entire green.

He laid it stone dead for a tap-in par, while Karlsson bogeyed. Apparently St. Jude feels that 355 is the lucky number!

With only a couple of tournaments left on his medical extension, Frazer needed to make around $400,000 to keep his card. That's not a problem now. In fact, Frazer's outlook has improved considerably... and on those days when he struggles, he'll have a shiny medal trophy to remind him that there's always hope, even for lost causes.

Heck, he may even buy a St. Jude medal to wear after this win.

So here's a Limerick Summary for the man with the cause that didn't lose on Sunday:
He felt lost, a cause for St. Jude;
Now Frazer is one lucky dude.
His body is mended,
His Tour card extended—
The saint helped him find a new 'tude!

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