My latest Sympatico column went live this morning. It features an interview with Brad Fritsch, the latest Canadian member of the PGA Tour, having cracked the Top 25 on the Web.com Tour. Fritsch is an interesting, articulate and outspoken guy — making for a great interview. He’s also able to put some perspective on what he’s accomplished and the trials of his career, which makes him intriguing.
For Brad Fritsch on Sunday afternoon there was the joy of knowing that after more than a decade of chasing his dream, he’d finally made the PGA Tour. While Fritsch celebrated by making the Top 25 money list on the Web.com tour, a group that is elevated to the world or courtesy cars, million-dollar purses and Tiger Woods, Adam Hadwin was recovering from having his hopes dashed at the last minute. Such is golf – for everyone rejoicing, there’s someone cursing a single revolution of the ball that is the difference between reaching the PGA Tour or staying in golf’s minor leagues.
“I was just doing all I could do for him,” says Fritsch, from Manotick, Ont., who stood alongside Hadwin watching while watching the Abbotsford, B.C. golfer’s chances at the PGA Tour disappear by way of a birdie by player in the final group. “As a golfer you don’t want to root against another player, but it is hard to watch as their situation is in someone else’s hands.”
For Fritsch, 34, who played out of Rideau View Country Club before turning pro in 2000, moving to the PGA Tour is the culmination of a career in golf that would have left others walking away. He reached the Nationwide Tour – now the Web.com Tour – in 2007 after toiling on the Canadian Tour for six seasons. It didn’t stick, however, and he would return to Canada to play in 2010 and 2011. He was always the big hitter and a solid iron player, but somehow the transition beyond golf’s mini-tours eluding him.
“I guess if I had anything else to do, it might have been different,” says Fritsch after traveling home to North Carolina the day after the final Web.com tournament in Texas. “The one thing that kept me going was that I kept improving. You could see it in my scoring average and in my stats. But if I didn’t [play golf] I didn’t have another choice. As my Dad told the papers, there was no plan B.”