Brad Fritsch, the 35-year-old Canadian who just completed his rookie season on the PGA TOUR, was knocked out of the Frys.com Open before the third round with a bulging disc in his back.
Fritsch had shot 64 on Friday and began Saturday only six shots back of the lead. Fritsch was at the PGA TOUR season opener after regaining his card at the Web.com Finals, where he tied for second at the Web.com Tour Championship only two weeks ago.
Brad Fritsch has one top-10 finish this year on TOUR. (Cannon/Getty Images)
Canadian Brad Fritsch, who made the cut with a shot at spare in the RBC Canadian Open, withdrew before the third round, citing back pain.
Fritsch tweeted: "Not real sure how to describe the emotions of withdrawing this AM from
@RBCCanadianOpen. Just can't handle the back pain."
Fritsch, a rookie this year, was one of four Canadians to make the cut. He entered the week squarely on the 125th spot in the FedExCup standings with only a few weeks remaining until the FedExCup Playoffs. He is projected to drop to 128th.
He is entered next week at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Graeme McDowell hasn't ever played in the Farmers Insurance Open but he certainly knows the score.
Here's what he tweeted as Tiger Woods was finishing up a third-round 69 that left him with a four-stroke advantage in the tournament he has won six times.
"Was thinking of adding @FarmersInsOpen to my schedule next year. Maybe need to reconsider. Tiger owns the place.... #tigerwoodsshow"
Indeed. Woods is four strokes ahead of PGA TOUR rookie Brad Fritsch, who shot 70 in the third round. Defending champ Brandt Snedeker opened with two birdies in the first four holes of his final round to move into a tie at 9 under with Erik Compton, who was playing one group ahead of Woods.
"I played well," Woods said. "I played really, really well. I hit the ball good. I putted really good. ... It seemed like I was always in pretty good position.
Snedeker, you might recall, came from seven strokes off the pace to win at Torrey Pines a year ago. However, he didn't get into that playoff he won until Kyle Stanley triple bogeyed the 72nd hole.
Woods doesn't figure to come back to the field, though. He has a 68.64 scoring average in the final round of the 12 previous Farmers Insurance Opens he's played. And that includes a 75 on Sunday in 2011 when he posted his only finish outside the top 10.
Interestingly, Woods' 69 included his first bogey at the 18th hole in 36 rounds after he drove into a fairway bunker, found a greenside bunker with his third shot and ended up missing a 10-footer for par.
That miscue notwithstanding, Woods has been at his best this week. He ranks 12th in fairways hit after finding eight of 14 in the third round but his 15 greens in regulation was his high for the week. Woods also had 31 putts in the third round.
Woods will tee off at 6:10 p.m. ET in the final round while Fritsch and Compton are scheduled for 10 minutes earlier. Snedeker will likely have completed eight holes about the time Woods steps to the first tee at the South Course.
The final round will conclude on Monday. CBS will broadcast the remainder of the final round beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Rookie Brad Fritsch, who needs a top-10 finish to avoid a sprint to Phoenix to see if he can Monday qualify for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is hanging tough so far at Torrey Pines.
The Campbell (N.C.) University grad birdied two of his first six holes and has moved to 10 under which puts him in a tie for second place with Nick Watney, three strokes off the pace being set by Tiger Woods.
Fritsch, who tied for seventh at q-school and finished 18th on the Web.com Tour money list last year, has played eight holes. Watney, the Sacramento, Calif., native who picked up his fifth PGA TOUR victory at The Barclays last fall, just made the turn in 3 under to join him at 10 under for the tournament.
Josh Teater and Steve Marino are another stroke behind. Teater is playing with Watney, the 2009 champ at Torrey Pines, while Marino is in the penultimate group with Fritsch. Both are 1 under for the day.
The final round will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. Players will not be repaired in an attempt to complete as many holes as possible. Sunset is expected at 8:16 p.m. ET.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Brad Fritsch had planned to be playing golf on Monday. Only, he expected to be trying to qualify for the Waste Management Phoenix Open not trying to win his first PGA TOUR event.
Fritsch is three strokes off the lead held by Tiger Woods at the midway point of the fogged-in Farmers Insurance Open. Like the other 87 players who survived the 36-hole cut, he'll return to Torrey Pines on Sunday for the third round.
Regardless of what he shoots on Sunday, Fritsch will be playing on Monday, too. Tournament officials expect to have to complete between 9-12 holes that day and Fritsch will be playing in the penultimate group because the field will not be re-paired after the third round.
Anyone playing in the final two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open will be given late tee times in the Monday qualifier in hopes that they can get to Phoenix in time. Of course, Fritsch could make the field for the Waste Management Phoenix Open if he finishes in the top 10 at Torrey Pines.
Fritsch, who shot 69-67 in the first two rounds, is playing in just his third event as a PGA TOUR member. The rookie, who tied for seventh at q-school and finished 18th on the Web.com Tour money list last year, knows how important the next two rounds could be for him.
"You can't look ahead," he said. "You have to focus on this one. It's an important two days for me. It could set up the rest of the year. Like I was saying earlier, it can, if I play well, great. If I don't play well, then I can learn from it. I'm still learning out here."
Fritsch, who graduated from Campbell University, will be playing in the group ahead of Tiger Woods -- and trying to beat the six-time Farmers Insurance Open winner -- the next two days. He's eager for the opportunity.
"That's why we play, right?" Fritsch said. "He's the best there's been, so you want to challenge yourself. Again, you're not just playing against him. You're playing against all the guys who are playing well.
"You've just got to go out there and take care of your own."