|Brad Fritsch sinks his birdie putt on the first hole during the Max Keeping Foundation Charity Tournament at the Carleton Golf & Yacht Club earlier this year. (ERROL McGIHON/QMI Agency)
Brad Fritsch isn’t just satisfied with playing in the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club this week.
Fritsch made the cut at the Canadian Open for the first time in four attempts last year at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver. This year is the second time he’s competed in the event in Ancaster.
The 34-year-old Fritsch, a graduate of the Rideau View layout (ranked in Score Golf’s Top 100 this year), was given an exemption into the Open by Golf Canada and he’ll try to cash a cheque for the second straight year.
“I’d like to contend on Saturday and Sunday,” the Manotick golfer said Wednesday by phone en route to Buffalo to pick up his wife Megan and daughter Hannah.
“There’s no reason not to be able to. I like the golf course. It’s the kind of golf course that suits my kind of game. I really feel like I should be able to contend this weekend.”
Playing on the Web.com Tour (formerly known as the Nationwide Tour), Fritsch is ranked 40th on the money list with $68,878 in earnings. He has made the cut in eight of the 14 events he’s played this year, and has three top 10 finishes.
If Fritsch can move into the top 25 before the end of the season, he will earn a PGA Tour card for next season.
While Fritsch struggled with his driver earlier this season, his game has settled down and is in a good place.
“I’m starting to feel pretty good actually and it’s just a matter of making sure I feel comfortable (in the first round Thursday),” said Fritsch. “I went through a stretch where I drove it really poorly in the last month or so and I’m starting to get out of it. I’m starting to drive it better.
“It’s ever-evolving. My short game has continued to improve. More than anything else, it’s the way I play golf courses now, I’m a little bit more patient, but I feel like I’m playing the conditions more than I have in the past.”
Fritsch, who missed the cut at the 2006 Canadian Open at the 6,900-yard, par-70 Hamilton layout, said the course will be a good challenge for the players.
“It makes you hit a lot of different shots,” said Fritsch, who will tee off at 1:50 p.m. in the first round. “You have a lot of choices to make as far as maybe laying up on some holes. The greens are pretty traditional like you’re used to at old-style courses. You’ve got to keep the ball below the hole.
“If you’re above the hole, it can be pretty tough to make the putts, and it’s fairly narrow as well. If you can keep the ball below the hole, then you can be aggressive.”