by Adam Baum of the Cincinnati Enquirer
Years before he became one of the greatest golfers in St. Xavier High School history, a young Cameron Frazier got his start by hitting golf balls into the woods behind his grandparents’ Atlanta home.
As his golf balls careened and crashed through the trees, Frazier, a 2018 St. Xavier grad, found something that would alter the trajectory of his life.
“I just kind of fell in love with it,” said Frazier, who added a final feather in high school golf cap June 12-13 by winning the 2018 Ohio Junior Golf Championship at York Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio.
“My grandparents used to live in Atlanta and it was kind of like whenever I went down there my grandpa would play a little golf so I would always hit balls into the woods behind their house,” said Frazier. “Around 10 or 11 years old I just like it more than all the other sports. I was still playing baseball and basketball but I would always complain that I’d rather play golf than go to baseball practice.”
Those complaints were heard loud and clear, so he started playing competitive tournament golf, chiseling and crafting his game into its current form.
Today, hardly seven years later, the argument could be made that Frazier’s the most-decorated golfer in St. Xavier history.
He helped the Bombers win back-to-back Division I state championships in 2015 and 2016, and in 2016, Frazier not only won the individual state championship medalist, he also broke the all-time single-season scoring record with an 18-hole average 73.24.
St. Xavier golf coach Alex Kepley saw something special right away in Frazier.
As an incoming freshman, Kepley said, “Cameron did great at tryouts and that was at a time when our team was very, very solid which made it even more difficult for a freshman to make varsity because it’s kind of like if you’re a freshman you don’t have the potential to be in our top-7 on varsity, we’re gonna probably put you on JV so you can be our No. 1 and be a leader.
“Cameron made it and I specifically remember his first tournament as a freshman – it was the Anderson Invitational at Legendary Run and he was just a little kid with braces and kind of a high squeaky voice and he shot 77. I remember thinking ‘wow’ and from there it only got better.”
Kepley said, “To the best of my knowledge, Cameron is the only person that I can go back through 40 years of pretty accurate records that not only did our team qualify for the state championship for all four years of his career, but he’s the only who played all four years at state. Of all the fantastic players that we’ve had, the stars kind of aligned so that not only did we qualify but he played in all four state tournaments.”
Frazier, who’s headed to play at the University of Wisconsin in the fall, said occasionally he allows himself to think about everything the game of golf has already afforded him.
“But, whenever I do that I kind of hope it brings more, too,” he said. “I’d like to accomplish more. I have all the state medals and several of the bigger tournament trophies in my room, so I seem them … it’s a reminder.”
Before he heads to Madison, Wisconsin, Frazier figured it would be wise to go for one more trophy, so he signed up for the Ohio Junior Championship.
“I played a practice round before the tournament and I came home and I told my mom I really liked the course and I kind of had a good feeling,” said Frazier. “The first day, I birdied the first hole and it kind of set the tone for the whole week.”
After a smooth opening round, in which he shot a 2-under par 69, Frazier faced some adversity in the second and final round.
“The next day, I was 2-under through six holes and I had maybe a 3-shot lead and then I actually made a quadruple bogey on my eighth hole of the day so that kind of set me back and then I had a double on the 11th hole so I was 6-over through a stretch of three or four holes and then I went 4-under on my last seven (holes),” Frazier said.
Frazier thought that shaky stretch might have doomed him, but he battled back and drained “like a 35-footer for birdie on the last hole (to shoot even-par 71), and I knew that would probably get me to a playoff or maybe even win it.”
When the only golfer, in the last group, who could catch him shot into the woods, Frazier knew he had another trophy for his collection and a little confidence to take with him to Wisconsin.
He makes the move Aug. 26 and then he’ll start competing for a spot on the Badgers’ travel team (or the top five golfers). It will be a new challenge, one he’s ready and been waiting for.
“I’m definitely excited. Not really any nerves,” he said. “I’m just ready to get going.”