OTTAWA - Brad Fritsch will take about a month to re-acquaint himself with his wife and daughter before he heads off to California — for one reason or another.
After becoming the first Ottawa-area golfer to earn a PGA Tour card by finishing the season 18th on the Web.com Tour money list last weekend, Fritsch is now in the process of deciding whether to attend the final stage of Qualifying School, Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in La Quinta, Calif.
Playing at the PGA West Stadium-hosted event would give him the opportunity to improve on his chances of getting invited to more tournaments early in 2013, as the PGA ranks the top 25 Web.com Tour finishers and the top 25 Q-School finishers when filling out its field for its early events. Should he elect not to go to Q-School, Fritsch still has to head to California anyway for rookie orientation, which begins in early December.
Also, he wants to develop some familiarity with the courses hosting the early PGA tournaments.
“I’m giving it consideration,” Fritsch said Tuesday from his home in Holly Springs, N.C., while enjoying time with his bride Megan and their 3 1-2 year old girl Hannah. “I have to find out when the withdrawal deadline is, because I’ve already paid (about $4,000) for it.
“I’m still talking with a few different people who have kind of been in my position before. And I just have to make my decision, probably based on their advice and the information they give me. So I’m contemplating it.”
Getting a head start on his pursuit of a top 125 finish on the PGA Tour — which is needed to maintain one’s card — is important.
“I’m ranked 18th on the Web.com Tour, so if you extrapolate that to 50 players, I’m 36th, because they interconnect,” said Fritsch. “It goes back and forth (when the field is being filled). If I can move up to approximately eighth, now I’m 28 spots better in terms of the priority list to get into each tournament.
“Obviously it would be tough to project, to say I’m going to finish fourth in a field of 170 players (at Q-School). I could be just spinning my wheels and wasting my time, depending on how I played.
“I’m just not real sure what I’m going to do.”
Since returning from Texas with his PGA Tour card, Fritsch, 34, has been a busy man. He was greeted at the airport by Megan, Hannah and a friend. They picked up some Chinese food and had a quiet celebration at home.
On Monday night, he let loose a little by going out for some beverages and to watch the football game with buddies in his neighbourhood.
“There’s been a lot of media stuff,” he said of interview requests. “I’ve done a few media things throughout my career, but not to this extent. E-mails and calls and tweets of congratulations, and I’ve been trying to return as many messages as possible.
“Other than that, I’m just really tired. We came off 13 events in 14 weeks. I’m just beat.”
Fritsch will be in Ottawa Friday for a party honouring him at the Rideau View Country Club, where he honed his game and remains a member. If it was earlier in the season, he would probably also get an invite to play golf from Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who on Tuesday marvelled at Fritsch’s accomplishment in making it to the PGA Tour.
Alfredsson, a strong golfer himself, sent Fritsch a congratulatory message and said he hopes to get out with him at some point. While they haven’t yet met, Fritsch is a big Senators fan and is being sponsored by the NHL team.
“That’s a pretty cool deal,” Fritsch said of the agreement with the Senators that will see him wear their logo on his shirt as well as boast it on his golf bag. “I think it’s a good opportunity.”