Brad Fritsch earns medalist honours at Q-School

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Brad Fritsch (Keyur Khamar/ PGA TOUR)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Canada’s Brad Fritsch will have a little more reason to celebrate this holiday season. The 37-year-old carded a final-round 66 Tuesday to take home Tour Q-School medalist honours, earning $25,000 (U.S.).

Fritsch’s 27-under total of 402 (72, 64, 65, 65, 70, 66) at PGA National was 7-strokes better than American Andrew Landry, who finished runner-up.

Fritsch played the PGA Tour for the past two seasons, but his 2014 total of $568,391 (U.S.) in earnings left him 140th on the money list and 151st in FedEx Cup points, both outside the top-125 cutoff to retain privileges for 2015. He then failed to earn his way back onto the PGA Tour in the Tour’s four-event fall qualifying series.

Winning medalist honours gives Fritsch full Tour status for the entire 2015, meaning he has the flexibility of picking and playing any tournament he chooses.

The Ottawa resident isn’t new to the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit. In 2014, he had four top-10 finishes on the Tour without a victory. He had also previously maintained Tour status for next year, but prior to winning was only guaranteed entry into four tournaments before the ranks would be re-shuffled according to earnings.

“I think finally winning is great for my mind,” Fritsch told staff. “Because I was never much of a winner in junior golf, amateur golf, whatever. This is great, because I finally got out to a big, big lead. Usually for me, if I’m in first or second or third with one round remaining, I play an OK round and finish second or third. That’s not terrible, but it was nice to execute in the final round when I had to.

“I think executing down the stretch and learning how to build a big lead, learning how to play with a big lead, is important. You can start to play defense, and I didn’t, and I’m happy about that.”

For the rest of the field, getting into the top 45 was the goal for Tuesday’s final round. The top 45 finishers and ties are fully exempt until the second reshuffle of the 2015 season, while the top 10 and ties are fully exempt until the third reshuffle of the year. Anyone outside the top 45 has conditional status.

Unfortunately, only one of the other six Canadians in the field were able to crack the top 45. Peterborough, Ont.’s Ted Brown carded a final-round 73 to tie for 35th at 8-under 421.

Vancouver’s Ryan Williams (-3, 426) tied for 71st; Calgary’s Ryan Yip (+1, 430) tied for 100th; Victoria, B.C.’s Cory Renfrew (+9, 438) tied for 124th; Calgary’s Wes Heffernan (+12, 441) tied for 135th; and Montreal’s Beon Yeong Lee (+15, 444) tied for 142nd.

For full Q School results, click here.