Fritsch back in the hunt

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

After taking the rocky road in the first round at Q-School, Brad Fritsch enjoyed life in the fast lane yesterday.

The Manotick pro flew by almost half the field with a 5-under-par 67 at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., in the battle for playing privileges on the PGA Tour next year.

Only six players had better scores yesterday as Fritsch vaulted from 156th place after an opening 81 to a tie for 85th heading into today's third round, jumping 71 spots in the field of 162. The top 30 players and ties after six rounds will earn their cards for the 2007 PGA Tour.

Fritsch had a bogey-free round yesterday as play shifted from the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course to the Nicklaus layout. He had birdies on the 14th and 15th holes (he started on the back nine) and a string of three birdies on the fourth through sixth holes to post an inward 33 and get to five under on the day.

The big difference: Fritsch drove the ball better than he did Wednesday.

"With the exception of one tee shot, I drove the ball great. I played (yesterday) like I have been for the last two or three weeks," said Fritsch, who advanced to the final stage of qualifying for the first time in six attempts.

"It's such a long stretch that with a good couple of days you can leapfrog a lot of guys. I wasn't down (after the first day). I wasn't happy, but the bonus is you have five more rounds here than the three you typically have."

Fritsch now sits at 4-over-par 148 which is five shots back of the last qualifying spot (there are 32 players at 1-under or better).


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