A three birdie finish on Thursday pushed Manotick’s Brad Fritsch into a great position at the RBC Canadian Open.
The thirty-five year old who sits in the critical 125th position in the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup points race, turned in a three under par 69 during the opening round of Canada’s National Championship to lead the Canadian contingent. The top 125 in that list retain their full PGA TOUR status for the following year.
His tally puts him four strokes back of leader Brendan Steele headed into round two and in a share of sixteenth place.
“I felt like I played really well today. I felt like I drove it great,” Fritsch told the media after the round. “I think I hit less than 50% of the fairways, but I think that’s just the nature of this golf course. I looked like I got some horrendous bounces. When I was expecting one way, it went the other, and that led to a little bit of frustration. But I stayed patient.”
Patience is what the TOUR Rookie has been focussed on coming down the stretch of this season and he needed it on Thursday. Fritsch made two early bogeys on holes two and three and pressed on knowing their were plenty of opportunities for scoring on the balance of the Glen Abbey golf course.
Brad took full advantage deep in the back nine, pouncing on the two short par five holes in the closing trio and added a bonus birdie on the 17th that falls in between.
Fritsch matched the best score of the afternoon draw and will have the advantage of a morning tee time on Friday in his quest to make a critical cut.
It’s likely he has just two more tournaments after this week to secure his PGA TOUR status for 2014. His position on the FedEx Cup list means a big finish at Glen Abbey could secure his card for next year and take some pressure off his remaining events.
Fritsch tees off at 8:30 a.m. Friday for round two. You can follow the live ShotTracker for his round at this link.