Manotick’s Brad Fritsch had a strong start at the final event of the 2011 Canadian Tour season on Thursday. In 11th place on the tour Order of Merit heading into this week’s Canadian Tour Championship, Fritsch is still chasing the one thing that has still alluded him on the Canadian Tour, a win. Brad is coming off three top 10 performances on the tour in his last four starts.
In round one of the Tour Championship Fritsch reeled off seven birdies and an eagle over the Ambassador Golf Club, offsetting them with two bogies and a double bogey for a total of 66 strokes, five under par.
Fritsch is tied for 8th place after round one and is three strokes back of the lead co-held by Roger Sloan and Richard Scott.
With their rounds of eight under par the duo now share the club’s new competitive course record.
Scott who grew up in nearby Kingsville, Ont. had six birdies, two eagles and two bogeys on the day. The three-time Canadian Amateur Champion closed his round with a 29 (-7) on the front side, which was his back nine for the day.
“You kinda try not to think about shooting a low round,” said Scott, who had a gallery of roughly 50 people following him. “The hometown crowd was definitely behind me, they were hooting and hollering and it was nice to have them out there,” added Scott who played Ambassador for the first time last week.
Roger Sloan carded nine birdies and one bogey en route to his course record matching 63. The Merritt, BC native was the first player to obliterate the previous course record of 68, finishing his round just after 1:00PM local time.
“There is a couple par 5’s out there that you can get home in two so you have to take advantage and I did that nicely today,” added Sloan who is right in the mix when it comes to being exempt into second stage of PGA TOUR QSchool. “I can’t really be thinking about all of the added bonuses that come with winning this week. It all goes back to Rivershore where I won and I was able to do that by focusing on the process,” added Sloan who can empathize with Scott having won near his hometown earlier this season.
Also competing at the Canadian Tour Championship is Kingston’s Brad Revell. Revell opened with a 69 on Thursday, two under par, and shares 40th place. He will need a strong day on Friday to ensure he makes the 36 hole cut. Revell is 102nd on the Order of Merit heading into the Tour Championship and will need to finish in the top 80 to retain his full status on the Canadian Tour for 2012. A made cut and a decent weekend should be enough to do that with a purse of $200,000 up for grabs.
Ottawa-born Scott Hawley shot 68 in the opening round to earn a share of 26th place.
The Canadian Tour Championship is the flagship event of the Canadian Tour. 2011 marks the first time the Canadian Tour Championship has been played in Windsor and the first time since 1991 that the Tour has been in Windsor. From 1979 to 1991 the Windsor Charity Classic was a staple on the Canadian Tour played at Roseland Golf Course.