January 26 2013
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."