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Childhood mate helping unlikely Rio front runner Fraser

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RIO DE JANEIRO – Marcus Fraser continued his unlikely journey to a medal at this week’s Olympic men’s golf competion, following his opening 63 with a 69 for a one-stroke lead over Thomas Pieters.

Fraser, who has played 15 events this year on five different tours, is only in the Olympic field after four other Australians, including world No. 1 Jason Day and Adam Scott, declined to play, but the 38-year-old is making the most of the opportunity.

His play is even more surprising considering he has a replacement caddie on the bag this week in Rio after his normal looper didn’t make the trip.

Jason Wallace, a childhood friend of Fraser’s and a former professional golfer, took the week off from work to caddie for the Olympic front-runner.

“Obviously having my best mate on my bag to have a chat to and laugh with and laugh at, it's been good fun,” Fraser said. “We're having a great time out there. It's a lot of fun out there with him.”

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Fraser needed a familiar face late on Day 2 when he stepped to the 16th tee and things got tense. The Australian attempted to drive the green on the par 4 but ended up in a poor lie and made bogey.

“I was probably 3 or 4 yards too far left of my line and got a little bit greedy with the tee shot,” Fraser said. “Normally you'd be pretty angry with yourself for making bogey, but you walk out there, and you think, well, the hole beat me up, only because I got a little bit greedy.”