Fritsch, Curry in PGA card game

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

It's been called the most brutal six days in golf.

The pressure is intense because 166 players will be deciding their futures for the next year.

In a remarkable accomplishment for Ottawa golf, Brad Fritsch and Lee Curry, two products of the Rideau View Golf Club in Manotick, take on the grind of the 108-hole PGA Tour qualifying tournament starting today in Orlando, Fla.

They will tee off at the Crooked Cat course at Orange County National as part of a field which includes 14 former PGA Tour winners, all vying for 25 PGA Tour cards for 2008.

All the players who have made it to this final stage will have at least some status on the Nationwide Tour -- the Triple-A of pro golf -- next year.

"If I keep doing the things I've been doing lately, I should be fine," said Fritsch, the 30-year-old who made it this far last year and played last season on the Nationwide Tour.

He struggled for the latter part of the year and finished 172nd on the money list, but has played solidly through the first two stages of qualifying. He credits the opportunity to work with his coach, Patrick Kelley, in Raleigh, N.C., where he lives now, for reviving his game.

Another key has been a turnaround in his putting. He didn't have a three-putt in 72 holes in the second stage near Houston.

Curry, 29, has made it to the final stage for the first time. He played last year on the Canadian Tour, finishing 29th on the Order of Merit with $18,588.

He fired three straight 68s at Oak Valley, near Los Angeles, in the second stage to advance to the final.

They join Bryan DeCorso of Guelph and former PGA tour winner Ian Leggatt of Cambridge as the only Canadians in the final stage.

The next 50 players, after the Top 25 and ties earn their Tour cards will receive fully exempt status on the Nationwide Tour next year. The rest will have conditional status.


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