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Frazar wins first on 355th attempt

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Associated Press
June 13, 2011
— 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.

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.


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.


LPGA


At Springfield, Ill., top-ranked Yani Tseng won what could be the final LPGA State Farm Classic, closing with a 4-under 68 to hand Cristie Kerr her third straight second-place finish.


Tseng, from Taiwan, had a 21-under 267 total on the Panther Creek course for her seventh tour title in four years. She also won the season-opening LPGA Thailand.


Kerr, the 2010 winner, finished three strokes back, shooting a 67.


Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome (70) tied for third at 16 under.


Title sponsor State Farm Insurance Companies had declined to renew its commitment after this year and a replacement sponsor has yet to be found, putting the event in danger of folding.


Champions


At Conover, N.C., Mark Wiebe parred the third playoff hole following a weather delay and won the Greater Hickory Classic when James Mason missed a 4-foot par putt.


Wiebe earned his first Champions Tour title since 2008 in a bizarre finish that included a delay following the first extra hole at Rock Barn. Mason, a 60-year-old Monday qualifier, three-putted from 20 feet to end his chances of earning a one-year playing exemption.


Both players birdied the 18th in regulation for 7-under 65s to finish at a tournament-record 19 under. Fred Funk (62) and Chip Beck (66) tied for third, a stroke out of the playoff.



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