RIDEAU VIEW GOLF CLUB - OTTAWA'S PREMIER PRIVATE GOLF EXPERIENCE.
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The last time Brad Fritsch teed it up when it meant something, he double-bogeyed the first hole, a par-5.
How many times have you done that?
That might wreck your round, but it was a little different for Fritsch. The 37-year-old Rideau View Golf Club member played the next 107 holes of the Web.com Q-School in 29-under par, won the thing and is now fully exempt for 2015. The Web.com season gets under Thursday with the Panama Claro Championship in Panama City.
Fritsch rode some outstanding iron play - particularly with his wedges - and an adjustment to his putting setup, to his first win at this level.
That was six weeks ago, but Fritsch said he is hoping to carry over the momentum from his impressive win when play gets underway in Panama on Thursday, especially on the greens.
"I built some momentum out of that, for sure," said Fritsch from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport during a layover on his way to Panama.
"The more times you see the ball roll along the line you want, helps ... and the speed was real good, too. It was definitely an improvement statistically and confidence-wise. Now it's just a matter of hitting it close enough to have makeable putts."
Fritsch raised his hands a little bit in his putting setup, which helped him hit his lines.
The putting was coupled with some outstanding wedge play.
"I had four or five tap-ins for the week, which is such a momentum builder during rounds and over six days," said Fritsch.
Fritsch and caddie Jeff Scott were a pretty formidable team at Web.com Q-School. Fritsch has complimented Scott on his green-reading ability and the pair have become adept at coming up with a game plan for each course.
"I feel like we're on the same page when it comes to how to play a golf course. We joke that we ought to write a book about how to keep the stress level to a minimum during a round. We do a really good job of that," said Fritsch.
"Don't put yourself in a bad position and never question what you're hitting off the tee. Our goal is to never be over a ball and saying, 'Oh, maybe it is 3-wood instead of driver.' We want to figure out the perfect way to play a golf course with my game. That's where it starts --- off the tee. Where's the perfect balance of risk and comfort? You don't want to make it too difficult into the green. We're always looking to maximize that aspect of it and I feel like we've come up with a great system to do it."
The goal now, as it was in 2012, is to finish in the top 25 on the Web.com money list and earn exempt status on the PGA Tour for next season.
Fritsch has had 105 career starts in the Web.com TOUR beginning in 2007. His top finishes are a pair of T2 finishes in 2012 and 2013.
Some players in Fritsch's position might be tempted to chase sponsor's exemptions on the PGA TOUR, but Fritsch said those are hard to come by and his plan is to remain committed to the Web.com TOUR.
After playing the last two years on the PGA Tour, Fritsch said he's not going to be moping like some players might, lamenting how with a couple more breaks they would be still be on the PGA TOUR.
"I've seen that attitude before and it's not good. You don't make any friends and your play doesn't improve with that attitude," said Fritsch.
"This is all about going out there and doing the same thing every week: play as well as you can. Some of the courses I know, so that's an advantage over some guys. I feel like my level of play is where I would be competitive on the PGA TOUR. My mind has to be in the right place and if it is, I'll do quite well this year.
"I think I really need to keep focused on the end of the year goal. If I go about it exactly as I did in 2012, which was the same regardless if it was $2,000, or $5,000 or $30,000, my whole goal at the end of the year is to be in that top 25. Just chip away at a certain dollar amount and once I get there, reassess.
"I have a dollar amount in my mind and every week, it's going to be well, I'm five percent there or 10 percent there or whatever it is. That's where my focus is."