COROWA’S Marcus Fraser landed one of the best wins of his rejuvenated career by upsetting US PGA Championship winner and 13th seed Keegan Bradley 1-up in the opening round of the World Match Play Championship in Arizona yesterday.
Fraser traded holes with Bradley across the entire match with neither player leading by more than a hole.
But a hole-out from the fairway for an eagle on the 10th for Bradley looked like it could be the killer blow until Fraser buckled down to the task on the 17th.
He had not led since the second hole of the match but faced with a 29-foot putt for birdie with Bradley just eight feet away for his birdie on the second-last hole, Fraser rolled the ball into the cup and watched as Bradley missed.
When the American went from a fairway bunker to the desert and took an unplayable lie, the Australian was moving on to a second-round date with Swede Fredrik Jacobson.
“I’m pumped,” Fraser said.
“I knew it was going to be obviously a tough match.
“Keegan is a major winner and Ryder Cup player, so he’s used to match play.
“Down the stretch, he’s probably one of the best in the game.
“We were probably both around level par, one over maybe but, as I said before, it’s match play.
“You can play really well and get rolled or you can play average and hang in there. And that’s what I did today — hung in there and made a nice putt on 17, which really helped.”
Fraser, who is 54th in the world rankings, is desperate to pick up as many points as possible this week to improve four placings by April and snatch a berth in the US Masters.
Fellow Australian Jason Day beat 2007 Masters champion and 24th seed Zach Johnson 6 and 5 yesterday, while Adam Scott was bundled out early for a seventh year running.