In December, 2010 the most popular item in the Orange County National Pro Shop near Orlando, Florida was a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “PGA Tour Q-School – Where Dreams and Nightmares Are Made.”
The PGA Tour’s Qualifying Tournament has moved West this year to La Quinta, California, but that slogan still applies, especially when you consider the rounds of golf played yesterday by two pros from Eastern Ontario.
Former Manotick resident (he now lives in Holly Springs, North Carolina) Brad Fritsch was on the positive side of things during round two of Final Stage Qualifying on Thursday. In conditions that saw sustained winds of 40 K/MH with gusts to 60 KM/H, enough to fill the air with uplifted sand from the nearby desert, Fritsch shot a sparkling round of 5 under par, 67. With the situation being so tough that allowed him to make a massive move up the leaderboard. Beginning the in a tie for 107th place, his score boosted him all the way to a share of 15th place. He still has four rounds to play but if he can finish within the top 25 players plus ties, he will earn a PGA Tour card for 2012. The next 50 players after that grouping will earn full status on the Nationwide Tour for 2012.
Earlier this week Fritsch told Flagstick that he will try and not worry about his position until the end of the tournament, a philosophy grown out of his past Q-School visits. Hopefully he can stick to the plan as the biggest event of the year for pros not currently on the PGA Tour plays out. It will wrap up on Monday.
The nightmare side of the equation happened to 2011 PGA Tour member and former Kingstonian (he now resides in Tampa, Florida) Matt McQuillan. McQuillan, who still has status on the 2012 PGA Tour due to finishing 137th on the money list this past year, blew up to a 9 over par score of 81 and now sits in 170th place out of 171 players. There were 172 players in the field but Brendan Pappas withdrew Thursday after shooting 86. It will be a long road back for McQuillan who already has full status on the Nationwide Tour for 2012; only a top 25 plus ties will improve his situation.
Other Canadians faring well at Q-School finals include Adam Hadwin of B.C., who shot 69 on Thursday and joins Fritsch at 5 under par total in a share of 15th place. Hadwin’s fellow B.C. resident, Stuart Anderson of Sooke, sits at 4 under par and is part of a group sharing 21st spot.
Other Canadians and their position after round 2:
Richard Scott 71-71-142 (t-47)
James Love 68-74-142 (t-47)
Ryan Yip 68-78-146 (t-108)
Mitch Gillis 75-73-148 (t-133)
Richard T. Lee 76-78-154 (t-166)