Frazar wins FedEx St. Jude Classic
Harrison Frazar carded a final-round 3-under 67 to force a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Classic with third-round leader Robert Karlsson (68) at 13-under and won the sudden death playoff with a par-4 on the third-playoff hole, No. 12. Frazar earns his first-career PGA TOUR victory in his 355th start and evens his career playoff record at 1-1. Frazar earns 500 FedExCup points with the victory and moves to No. 40 in the season-long race, the highest he has been in the standings since he was No. 35 following the 2007 Northern Trust Open.
Nine consecutive events on the PGA TOUR, dating back to the Valero Texas Open, have now been decided either in a playoff or by one stroke. Sunday’s playoff was the 11th on the PGA TOUR through the first 24 stroke-play events in 2011 and the 14th in the history of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. As a comparison, there were only seven playoffs during the entire 45-tournament stroke-play schedule in 2010.
Harrison Frazar’s 71 in the opening round equals the high start by a winner on the PGA TOUR in 2011 and is just the second over-par opening round by an eventual champion in 2011. Rory Sabbatini opened The Honda Classic with a 1-over 71 while Bubba Watson began the Farmers Insurance Open with a 1-under 71. After his approach shot to No. 18 found the water in regulation, Frazar was able to salvage a bogey and force a playoff with Karlsson. He became the first player to bogey No. 18 and go on to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic since Justin Leonard in 2005. Frazar and Leonard are the only two winners of the FedEx St. Jude Classic to bogey No. 18 in the final round since the event moved to TPC Southwind in 1989.
Frazar’s victory is his first top 10 of the 2011 PGA TOUR season and comes in his 10th start. Entering this week his best result was a T14 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Despite eight-consecutive rounds in the 60s, Robert Karlsson came up short in a playoff for the second consecutive year at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. In 2010 Karlsson fell to Lee Westwood on the fourth-extra hole. In his first year as a PGA TOUR member, Karlsson collects his second top 10 of the season and moves to No. 41 in the FedExCup standings. Robert Karlsson was undone by the last three holes in both the third round and Sunday’s final round. He played Nos. 16-18 a combined 3-over-par Saturday and Sunday. In his previous six rounds at TPC Southwind he played those holes a combined 7-under. Over the last two years, Robert Karlsson has played TPC Southwind a combined 23-under with a 69 in the final round last year his highest score. After taking full advantage of the back nine at TPC Southwind in 2010, playing the second nine a combined 8-under, Karlsson struggled on the second nine in 2011. He played the back nine in 3-under for the week in 2011, including a 1-over 36 Sunday with no birdies.
Retief Goosen followed a season-low 64 in the third round with a 69 Sunday to finish T3 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, his best finish on TOUR since he finished 3rd at the 2010 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. A two-time U.S. Open winner (2001, 2004), Goosen’s T3 effort this week is his best finish on TOUR the week prior to a U.S. Open. Seven previous times Goosen has competed on TOUR the week prior to the U.S. Open with his best result a T15 here at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2010.
Villegas equaled the low round of the tournament with a closing 64 in Sunday’s final round to finish T3, his first top 10 of the 2011 PGA TOUR season. His last top 10 on TOUR came at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2010, where he finished T9.
Tim Herron carded his second 65 of the week in the final round to finish T3, his best finish of the season and second top 10 to go with a T4 at The Heritage.
With a closing 66, Imada equaled his best finish of the 2011 season with a T3 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He previously finished T3 two weeks ago at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Charles Howell III rebounded from an opening round 72 to play the weekend in 10-under at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and finish the week T3. The T3 is Howell’s third top 10 of the season and his best finish on TOUR since a T2 at the 2009 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Robert Karlsson 267 (-13)
Harrison Frazar 267 (-13)
Camilo Villegas 272 (-8)
Tim Herron 272 (-8)
Ryuji Imada 272 (-8)
Charles Howell III 272 (-8)
Retief Goosen 272 (-8)