Since entering the business world, Frazar had hardly touched his clubs, but he was astute enough not to turn down the chance to play with Brooks. "The guy had way too much game not to be out on Tour, and I made a point of telling him that," says Brooks. "If I did anything, it was bolster his confidence, because the times we played, he pretty much drummed me." Frazar recalls his rounds with Brooks as the first fun he had had on a golf course in ages. At the same time he was also being hectored by many of his former teammates, including Leonard, who, to no one's surprise, was making his mark on the Tour, in 1995 finishing 22nd on the money list as a rookie and then, while Frazar was contemplating his decision in the summer of '96, winning his first tournament, the Buick Open.
A year in the workaday world convinced Frazar that he ought to give golf another shot. He gave himself a three-year timetable. "And I was going to do it my way this time," Frazar says. "If I didn't feel like practicing six hours a day, I wasn't going to. If I wanted to hit driver, I was going to hit driver. I was going to be me."
At Q school that fall he earned his Nike tour card, and the '97 season served as a successful apprenticeship. He won the South Carolina Classic, shooting back-to-back 67s in the first 36-hole Sunday in the tour's history, and earned $104,023 to finish 13th on the money list, good enough for a promotion to the bigs in '98. Back in Dallas, Allison's fifth-graders threw him a welcome-to-the-PGA-Tour party.
A third of the way into last season Frazar was just another down-on-his-luck rookie, and then came two magical weeks in May, when the Tour swung through Texas. At the Byron Nelson Classic, back home in Dallas, he opened with a 64 and was the talk of the town. Frazar played in the final group on Sunday with Fred Couples and shot a commendable 70 to tie for second and earn $186,666.67, securing his card for '99. The next day Allison gave notice at her school.
The next week brought the Colonial, in Fort Worth, and again Frazar opened with a 64 and played well, tying for the lead after 54 holes. Exhausted, Frazar ground out another solid final round, a 71 that left him in fourth, worth $110,400. When he stepped out of the scoring tent behind the 18th green, Leonard was waiting. "Justin and I have always been proud of each other," says Frazar, "and we have always genuinely wanted the other to succeed, but it was something that was unsaid. I can only think of two instances when we really let out our feelings. The first was after he won the ['97] British Open, at the celebration at Royal Oaks. I hugged him and told him that I loved him and, not to sound too corny, he told me that he loved me, too. That was a pretty special moment. The other time was there at the tent at the Colonial. He shook my hand and said, 'Harry, I never once doubted that you had this in you.' "
The practice round is over. No bets were made and no scores were kept, which is a good thing for Leonard because he would have been drilled. "It's always been like that," says Frazar. "Coach Clayton used to shake his head and say, 'How come you always beat Justin in practice and he always beats you in the tournaments?' It's because in practice Justin plays my game, loose and freewheeling. Come tournament time when every stroke counts, that's Justin's game. I'm just starting to learn how to play it."
The Texas swing is upon us, and Frazar is heating up again. Just in time, too. Last year, when he finished 63rd on the money list and was nominated for rookie of the year, he made 16 of 26 cuts. In '99 he has missed eight of his first 14. The only bright spots came in January, when Frazar tied for sixth in the Phoenix Open, and two weeks ago in New Orleans, where he led with eight holes to play before settling for a tie for second. He was 51st at last week's Byron Nelson.
On the subject of how good his friend can be, Leonard says, "He's going to win tournaments and he's going to be out here for a long time."
Veteran Mike Hulbert, a frequent Tuesday-morning foil of Leonard and Frazar's, is more expansive. "The sky's the limit," says Hulbert. "Harry's got a beautiful touch around the greens and a very solid swing. He's learning how to ratchet it down, how to control his wedge game, how to squeeze a 68 out of a 74. He's been very astute about playing his practice rounds with Justin and learning all that he can. I can see that Justin—even though he would never say so—has taken Harry under his wing. That's a good wing to have."
Leonard is so accomplished that, at 26, he has already been bronzed. Royal Oaks has built a shrine to a select group of golfers—Leonard, Don January, Lee Trevino and D.A. Weibring—who have contributed to the club's lore, complete with, oversized busts and acclamatory biographies. If you look closely, there is some extra room on either side of the monument. According to Smith, this was left in part with Frazar in mind, should he ever fulfill his considerable potential. His spot would be next to Leonard's.