Date: July 16, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes, St Andrews

Knowledge key for Marcus Fraser

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Few in this week’s Open field have more trips around the Old Course under their belt than Marcus Fraser.

The Corowa native is hopeful that knowledge will land him right in contention come Sunday.

Fraser, a European Tour veteran at 36, says the changes through the years that have added length to a handful of holes haven’t played into his hands.

But equally, he knows that his trademark precision is perhaps of greater value here than almost any other major championship venue.

“The new tees they’ve added here over the years you ideally need to hit it a little further, but on some holes there’s no advantage,” he said.

“It’s got a bit of everything. It asks you to use every part of your game and that’s why it’s such a brilliant golf course.

“Hopefully (I’ll be) right in the mix.

“With the greens being so big, a lot of guys will hit a lot of greens, but the long putting is going to be a pretty big key and, of course, holing those 10 footers for pars and hopefully birdies.

“It’s shaping up as a good week and hopefully the form carries on.”

Fraser played well without any luck at the recent US Open and finished T64 before returning to finish T15 at the French Open and missing the cut at last week’s Scottish Open despite shooting even par at Gullane.

Ever the realist though, Fraser downplayed that the European-based players had an edge, preferring to put his emphasis on management of a course that he says is softer than normal but “but probably in the best condition I’ve seen”.

“These are the world’s best players, they adapt pretty quickly,” he said.

“The winner this week will be the bloke who manages himself and the golf course the best.

“It’s not necessarily the guy who plays the best golf, but the guy who does all the other things really well.”