AAP Golf

Fraser on the money at Australian Open

By AAP Newswire

He proposed scrapping prize money, but Marcus Fraser won't be giving the $225,000 cheque back if he wins the Australian Open on Sunday.

"Not a chance," he said after opening with a three-under-par 69 on Thursday to be just two strokes off the first-round lead.

Fraser made the radical suggestion on Tuesday, after officials were unable to secure any of the world's top 25 players for this year's Open in Sydney.

With former world No.1s Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Jason Day all snubbing the event having graced Australia's fairways in recent years, Fraser figured the best way to bring them back was to sell the Open with its history and prestige instead.

"We're all here playing for prize money, but I would still be here next year if we weren't," he said on Thursday.

"It was a bit of a passing comment, I suppose, but we need to remember who's playing this week, not who's not playing, I think, and remember the championship's bigger than any one player.

"This is one of the best tournaments in the world and we would all give anything to have our name on that trophy.

"Yeah, I would definitely play it if there was no prize money."

Fifth at the Rio Olympics two years ago, and despite his good form, family man Fraser also made the surprising revelation that he's starting to wind down - at just 40.

"Yeah, the kids just get older and they're obviously the No.1 priority," he said.

"And I just feel like especially playing the European Tour from Australia most of the time, I was doing five or 10 flights to Europe within six months every year just about.

"So it it wears you down eventually, and I'm not someone who really wants to chase something that's not really there."