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Brad Fritsch isn't where he wants to be.
But it could be worse for the 37-year-old Rideau View Golf Club member. Fritsch is at the final stage of Q-School for the Web.com TOUR Dec. 11-16 at PGA National's Champions Course in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
After finishing 151st on the PGA TOUR in the 2013-14 season and 105th in theWeb.com TOUR finals (the top 50 players earned their PGA TOUR cards), Fritsch lost his status on the big tour and will be playing the Web.com TOUR next season.
"It's still playing golf for a living," said Fritsch, "so it's not a bad deal."
He already has status on the Web.com TOUR, but is at the finals of the six-round Q-School to try and improve that status.
"If I hadn't played in the Q-School, I'd have the first four events and then I'd go into the shuffle," he said. "If I can finish 12th-45th, I'll get eight events before I shuffle. If I finish second-11th, I get 12 before I shuffle. If you win, you're fully exempt."
Fritsch played the PGA TOUR in 2013 and 2014. He played a total of 36 events, made $1,020,575 and had four top-10 finishes.
He played some of the best golf of his career in 2014. He had a stretch of about a month starting in mid-July where he played three tournaments in a total of 36-under-par.
He was 14-under at the John Deere Classic and finished tied for 13th. He had a spectacular weekend at the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal (after making the cut on the number with a nervy 30-foot, double breaking putt for birdie on his 36thhole), shooting 67-64 to finish tied for ninth.
After missing the cut at the Stableford-based Barracuda Championship, he achieved another first, playing in the final group at the Wyndham Championship after rounds of 69-63-65. He shot 70 Sunday and finished tied for eighth.
"I had plenty of events. Not as many as others, but I had plenty of events to get my card back," he said. "I did a lot of good things that I had never done before. I left a lot of it 'til the very end and still was playing well. I knew I had to play quite well and I did. That was a positive."
Fritsch would have earned some conditional status on the PGA TOUR if he had finished in the top 150, but got bumped out down the stretch.
"To miss by one spot... there was a guy a group or two in front of me in Greensboro and he birdied the last hole, which is a really hard hole, and ultimately threw me from 148 to 151. What do you do? I needed to play better that last day, but I didn't play too bad. I shot even par with a couple of three putts on the back nine. It wasn't that I was playing poorly, I just did what I did."
Now Fritsch will try and improve his status over the week Web.com Q-School and try and earn his PGA TOUR card back by finishing in the top 25 on the money list for the season. That's how he earned his way to the TOUR in 2013.
"It takes a little bit of a mindset change to come back and play on Web.com, but at the same time it's only been two-and-a-half years since I've been out here. It's not like I'm entrenched on the PGA TOUR," he said. "I've just got to suck it up and come and play and beat new guys who I've never played against before then also beat old guys who I did beat in 2012.
"I just want to make this a one year stop and get back out there."
You can follow Brad Fritsch at the final stage of Web.com TOUR School here: http://www.pgatour.com/webcom/leaderboard.html