Open case closed for Brad

CHRIS STEVENSON

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

Brad Fritsch would love a chance to play in the Canadian Open this year.

As it stands, the Manotick pro isn't going to get it.

When the Royal Canadian Golf Association announced the exemptions it had granted for Canadian players this year, Fritsch wasn't on the list.

He is the only fully exempt Canadian on the Nationwide Tour not to get an exemption into the Open and that's just not right.

For sure, Fritsch hasn't played his best lately.

He is currently 132nd on the Nationwide Tour's money list. He's missed the cut in seven of his last 11 events and withdrew from a tournament last week after shooting an opening-round 79.

He opened this week's tournament with an 81.

But there should be some respect for the fact Fritsch earned his way onto the Nationwide Tour.

Every other Canadian who is exempt on the Nationwide Tour, one level below the PGA Tour, got an invite to the tournament July 26-29 at Angus Glen.

David Hearn, Jon Mills, David Morland IV, Chris Baryla and Bryn Parry are all on the Nationwide Tour this year and got exemptions.

To be fair, Canadian Open tournament director Bill Paul doesn't have an easy job. He's got to spread a limited number of exemptions around and try and make everybody happy.

Fritsch didn't make the cut.

"The other five guys (on the Nationwide Tour) are all in the top 70 and what's Brad? We have to draw the line somewhere and that's where we did it," said Paul. "It's the first year we've had so many good Canadians. It's a tough year (to hand out exemptions) because there are so many good Canadians out there.

"Everyone's got an argument. Brad played last year (in the Canadian Open). He's a nice kid. Hopefully he gets his game back on track."

The RCGA gave exemptions to rookie pros Richard Scott, Andrew Parr, Graham DeLaet and James Lepp because they are graduates of the RCGA's Player Development Program and they want to extend them a helping hand as they make their way in the professional world.

Fritsch was never part of the cozy RCGA club.

It would have been easy to give one of those exemptions to Fritsch. Nobody could have really argued because saying Fritsch is fully exempt on the Nationwide Tour ends the argument.

Paul has one more exemption to hand out after another six are claimed by the top players on the Canadian Tour's Order of Merit after this weekend's event.

The betting is it will go to Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, currently seventh on the Order of Merit, if he doesn't break into the top six this weekend.

There's a chance Mills and Morland could take a pass on their exemptions to play in the Nationwide event opposite the Canadian Open. They are only about $15,000 out of 25th spot on the Nationwide money list (32nd and 33rd, respectively).

The top 25 this year earn their PGA Tour cards for next year and get to skip the gut-wrenching Q-School.

"I'm still hopeful a spot will become available," said Fritsch yesterday after carding a 1-under 70, but missing the cut at this week's Nationwide event in Columbus.

Fritsch might still get an invite to Angus Glen.

But don't count on it.

HEAR AND THERE: Susan Pearl of Rideau View will be competing in Quebec Golf's Women's Senior Amateur at Milby beginning Tuesday. Pearl is one of the contenders for the interprovincial team ... Play at the Duke of Kent at Royal Quebec yesterday was delayed by thunderstorms.

SUN SCRAMBLE UPDATE: There are still opportunities in the inaugural Open B City Championship Aug. 21, part of the Ottawa Sun Scramble City Championship week next month. "This is a high-calibre tournament for players with handicaps of 13-25. This is a legitimate championship for these guys," said Karl Parks of Executive Golf, the tournament organizers. There are also still openings for women to get into the Ottawa Sun Scramble City Championship women's division Aug. 20 at the Chateau Cartier. The tournament is open to 40 two-woman teams. More information is available at ottawasunscramble.com.


Videos

Photos