For a whole lot of reasons Brad Fritsch will remember the round of golf he played on January 10th, 2013.
The 35 year-old from the Ottawa area not only made his debut as a member of the PGA Tour but he also posted his lowest round in just over a dozen games played on the circuit during his 13-year professional career.
His opening 67 (-3) at the Sony Open in Hawaii was full of highlight reel moments. He started his day with a 313-yard drive and just over an hour later had what was undoubtedly his shot of the day – a hole out for an eagle on the par 4, 5th hole from 154 yards.
Fritsch made turn in 33 strokes, -2 after a two putt birdie on the par five, ninth hole and then followed with a birdie on the tenth hole to reach -3 for the day. After a couple of bogeys on holes #11 and #13 Brad steadied thing for his run to the clubhouse. He made birdies on holes #14 and #16 and hit the 18th green , the only other par five on the course besides the 9th, in two shots. Unfortunately he could not take advantage and three-putted for par from just over 37 feet.
Despite the tumultuous nature of the round (he had five birdies, one eagle, and four bogeys) it resulted in a score that was one shot better than his previous best on the PGA Tour, an opening 68 at the 2012 RBC Canadian Open. Not bad for a guy who never broke par while he was in high school.
Brad shares 17th place after round one; he is five shots back of the leader, Scott Langley.
Fritsch’s Canadian flag on the leaderboard was just one of a grouping on Thursday.
Stephen Ames of Calgary led the five-man Canadian contingent with a five under par, 65 to share 5th.
Brantford, Ontario’s David Hearn matched Fritsch at -3 while Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Saskatchewan turned in a -1, 69.
2003 Masters Champion Mike Weir shot +1, 71, and shares 88th place.
Fritsch will have a late tee off time on Friday, meaning he will likely face some higher winds but he will be able to gauge the scoreboard and know exactly what he will need to shoot to make his second PGA Tour cut and his first as a Tour member.
He will start on the 10th at Waialae Country Club at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. That also puts him in the television broadcast window, giving the possibility that Fritsch’s many fans will be able to catch a glimpse of him rather than just following his play through PGA Tour’s Shot Tracker system.