Friday was a good one for golf fans from Eastern Ontario…at least some of them.
Those following the play of Manotick’s Brad Fritsch and Brooke Henderson of Smiths Fall will be happy to know the duo will be playing the weekend in their respective tournaments.
Tiger Woods fans looking for his return at next week’s Masters tournament will be left empty by the news that he will, in fact, not be playing.
In Brazil, Brad Fritsch, despite still dealing with a foot injury, has turned in scores of 67 (-4) and 69 (-2) to move on to the final 36 holes at the Web.com Tour Brasil Champions presented by Embrase. The six under par total has him in a share of 29th place and 7 shots off the lead.
There were nine Canadians playing in the tournament in Brazil and five, including Fritsch, Roger Sloan, Adam Svensson, Eugene Wong and Taylor Pendrith, made the cut. Pendrith is the top Canadian in a share of 9th place.
At the LPGA’s first major championship of the season, the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California both Alena Sharp (70-74) and Brooke Henderson (73-69) will get the opportunity to work up the leaderboard this weekend.
Henderson hovered near the cut line through 27 holes but shot a four under, 32, on her back nine to push up the leaderboard. At -2 overall she is tied for 25th.
Sharp is tied for 40th place.
In other professional golf news on Friday, Tiger Woods cleared up any speculation and declared that he is not ready to play at this year’s Masters which will take place next week in Augusta, Georgia.
On his website Woods released the following statement:
“After assessing the present condition of my back, and consulting with my medical team, I’ve decided it’s prudent to miss this year’s Masters.
“I’ve been hitting balls and training daily, but I’m not physically ready. I’ve said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what’s best for my long-term health and career. Unfortunately, playing Augusta next week wouldn’t be the right decision. I’m absolutely making progress, and I’m really happy with how far I’ve come, but I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf.
“I’d like to express my disappointment to Billy Payne, the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I won’t be competing. It’s a very important and special week to me, and it’s upsetting to miss it. I do plan to attend the Champions Dinner and see a lot of old friends.
“I’d like to thank the fans for their concern and support. The last few years have been difficult, but I have the best fans anywhere, and I want them to know that.”