PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Canadian Brad Fritsch posted a second-consecutive 65 to take a six-shot lead after four of six rounds of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament at PGA National Sunday. The 28-year-old from Ottawa recorded seven birdies, with the final two coming on Nos. 17 and 18, and one bogey on the Champion course. He sits at 20-under par.
In second position is Rick Cochran III of Paducah, Kentucky., who enjoyed a steady round of 68 to get him to 14 under. The 2009 Middle Tennessee State graduate was the second-round leader and in second position after both the first and third rounds.
Another shot back at 13 under is former PGA TOUR winner (2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship) Ted Purdy of Phoenix, Arizona.
“My caddie and I set a goal and we’re already there so we have to readjust the goal because I know there are a bunch of good players behind me,” Fritsch said. “I’m going to keep my head down and keep going.”
Among Oklahomans in the field, Ryan Spears of Del City is tied for 13th at 9-under. Rhein Gibson of Edmond is tied for 19th at 8-under. Trent Whitekiller of Sallisaw is tied for 58th at 3-under. Former University of Oklahoma golfer Abraham Ancer is tied for 78th at 1-under. Former Tulsa resident Brad Elder is tied for 103rd at 3 over and Will Kropp of Edmond is tied for 126th at 8 over. Click here for live scoring.
Fritsch faced a dilemma of sorts this week but in the end result realized he had no choice but to skip his brother’s wedding, which took place in their hometown of Ottawa yesterday.
“This is my job for next year on the line, so I knew I had to be here and my brother understood completely. I called him to congratulate him yesterday morning and apologized for not being there.” Younger brother Stephen is a forming touring professional himself and serves as Brad’s agent.
The low round of the tournament was turned in Sunday by Mark Silvers of Savannah, Georgia. He reeled off 10 birdies in his first 14 holes to shot 10-under 62 on the Fazio course. The round allowed him to improve 68 places from T81 to T13.
Every player in the field has earned, at a minimum, conditional status on the Web.com Tour in 2015 by virtue of getting to the Qualifying Tournament Finals. Approximately 1,200 golfers entered Q-School this fall, with some having to succeed in up to three previous stages of qualifying. At stake at PGA National is player positioning in the all-important priority ranking, which is used to determine Web.com Tour fields each week. The higher one finishes at Q-School, the more events he be eligible to play next year.