Fritsch on right course

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

OTTAWA - At 33, Brad Fritsch is still in hot pursuit of his childhood dream.

But having his own child has slightly altered priorities for the Manotick, Ont., pro, who calls Rideau View his home course.

“This is my career, but it’s not PGA Tour or bust,” Fritsch said over his cell Wednesday from the practice green at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, site of the $5.2-million RBC Canadian Open. “Obviously, it’s the ultimate goal, but it’s not just about October and November (and Q-school). The tournaments you play in summer and spring, those are to make money. It’s my job. I have to put bread on the table.”

The father of (almost) two-year-old Hannah and husband of Megan currently sits 11th on the Canadian Tour’s money list this season with $25,818 in earnings, but he’ll have a chance to boost that number significantly starting this morning in Vancouver, when he tees off in the sixth PGA Tour event of his career.

While he has failed to make the weekend cut in three previous Canadian Opens, a U.S. Open and a Greater Greensboro Open, Fritsch hit the west coast in full stride with two top-five finishes in his last three weeks.

“I’m playing as good as I ever have,” said Fritsch, who will head out with Jim Herman and Joseph Bramlett — one group before Kingston’s Matt McQuillan. “Every part of my game is solid right now.”

While Fritsch’s parents flew out to Vancouver Wednesday, his brother Stephen didn’t accompany them. (“He has a job now. I told him it wasn’t good for him to come caddie for me,” chuckled Brad.) Instead, fellow Canadian Tour pro Darren Griff will carry the bag as Fritsch tries to tackle what he calls a “bear” of a course.

The way he’s going, maybe he can.

“Typically, ball-striking is the most consistent part of my game,” said Fritsch. “Hit the fairway, green, go from there. One- or 2-under every day should be good. Five-under won it last time it was here.

“I have this little saying when I get to a course that’s tough,” he added. “Fifty-one other weeks of the year, members play this golf course, and I bet there’s a good amateur member that could shoot under par. There’s no reason why a guy like me, who plays the game for a living, shouldn’t be able to do the same.”

At the same time, Fritsch hasn’t set a specific goal for the tournament.

“I’ve been playing really well, now I’m just interested to see how I can handle the different stage,” he said. “I’m genuinely curious.”


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