TSN's Bob Weeks takes a look at Canadian rookie on the PGA Tour, Brad Fritsch.
It's never easy for a rookie on the PGA Tour and Brad Fritsch knows that. Trying to learn courses on which veteran pros have played scores of rounds, attempting to get into tournaments with lower-tier status, and just getting comfortable on the toughest circuit in the world is certainly a challenge.
And this year, that will be magnified with a shorter schedule that doesn't include the Fall Series anymore. For that reason, getting off to a fast start has never been more important. Rookies will need to amass as much money as possible before the first reshuffle, which will take place before the Tour heads to Florida. Dropping down the pecking order could mean long stretches without a start.
Thankfully Fritsch is a talented and smart guy who understands the situation and is ready to face it head on. On the course the Manotick, Ont., native is a long hitter who averaged 300 yards off the tee last year on the Web.com Tour. He also managed to find greens in regulation a silky 71 per cent of the time. That's a deadly combination.
Off the course, he's a cerebral guy who has strong and well-founded opinions and a heart with lots of space for Canadian golf. Fans who don't know him yet will learn to cheer for those reasons alone.
At 35, Fritsch is not a kid. His maturity will certainly help him navigate the inevitable ups and downs of tour life. He's spent enough time in the minor leagues to realize the opportunity he has and the work that's required. He's going to drink it all in as his season unfolds and do everything he can to stay on the PGA Tour.
I expect Fritsch to play well in 2013 and the first two months of his campaign may dictate just how he fares. A solid beginning to his life as a PGA Tour member will be the key.