After an extended break from play prompted by scheduling and an injury, Manotick, Ontario’s Brad Fritsch returned to action with a flurry on Thursday.
It’s been seven weeks since he has teed it up on the Web.com Tour but to him it has felt much longer.
“Feels like I haven’t played a tournament in 6 months,” he commented from South America where he opened with a 67 (-4) at the Brasil Champions presented by Embrase.
His first tour of the Sao Paulo Golf Club this week included five birdies and just one bogey.
The score puts him in a share of 24th place after round one. It’s five strokes off the lead of Bhavik Patel of the United States. Even so, it’s a good start for the 38 year-old Canadian who now resides in North Carolina. He is playing a course that does not usually suit his style of play so he has to be extra vigilant.
“So it’s not a demanding course off the tee in terms of the clubs you hit – 4 drivers for me I think, plus a few 3woods. (The) challenge is to not get overconfident when hitting irons off tees, because it can lull you to sleep and then you’ve got a tough shot from the rough or fwy bunker to a tough green,” Fritsch shared.
“That’s where the challenge lies, the greens,” he added. “For the most part I did keep my focus, and when I missed a green or had a tough two putt, I made my pars.”
As for the lower body injury, in the vernacular of his beloved sport of hockey, Brad says he is dealing with it as best he can. He’s not quite sure on the exact cause of the ailment, but x-rays have revealed some bone spurs that maybe the root of the issue. It’s not an ideal situation for somebody who has to be on his feet for many hours a day.
“Foot feels good, have to go thru my routine every night with it, ice ibuprofen and stretching. But it’s gone well so far.”
He’s hoping that continues into Friday as a low cut line looms.
Brad is one of nine Canadians in the field this week in Brazil.
Their day one scores and positions are below: