A couple of weeks ago with much of the world tuned into the Masters, Canadians would soon discover that it had become a banner Sunday for this country away from the glare of Augusta National.
In Cartegena, Colombia, Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont., won his first Web .com Tour event in a playoff at the Servientrega Championship, while on the Symetra Tour, Sam Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., took her first victory on that circuit since 2009 at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in Lake Wales, Fla.
Those victories had some serious impact on their respective futures as Richdale rocketed to the top of the Symetra Tour money list. If she remains in the top 10 until the end of the season, she will graduate with full status to the LPGA Tour.
Fritsch landed in fifth on the Web .com Tour money list. The top 25 at the end of the year will graduate to the PGA Tour, so another win will be huge for Fritsch and, lo and behold, look where he sits going into the final round of the El Bosque Mexico Championship after three rounds.
It’s considered bad form to mention a no-hitter to a pitcher or a shutout to a goalie until it’s done and in the books, so let’s not put the jinx on Fritsch, but we can agree that he will make it another interesting Sunday for Canadians with his two-shot lead in Mexico.
After rounds of 66-65, his one “bad” round so far wasn’t so bad at all as Fritsch shot a three-under 69 that included only his second bogey of the tournament. Let’s just say he seems to enjoy the view from the top of the leaderboard.
Should Fritsch hang on to win, the possibility that he’ll be joined by another Canadian winner on the Symetra Tour is a possibility.
This time, it’s Sara-Maude Juneau of Fossambault, Que., who shot a two-over 74 in tough conditions on Saturday at the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay in Sarasota, Fla. Juneau goes into Sunday three shots off the lead.
“I had a couple bogeys to start the round, but I kept my calm,” said Juneau, who made bogey on three of her first seven holes. “The golf course was once again difficult today.”
Juneau has two second places finishes and 14 total top-10s on the Symetra Tour.
“This isn’t my first time being in contention heading into Sunday and I know what is important,” said Juneau. “I know I need my rest and I’m ready for Sunday.”
Toronto’s Rebecca Lee-Bentham is tied for eighth, the same spot she holds on the Symetra Tour money list. She’s also eight shots off the lead and while her chance of victory would appear slim on Sunday, another high finish would solidify her position in the top 10 on the money list.
They say everything is big in Texas and in San Antonio, Nick Taylor, the last Canadian to win on the PGA Tour, made a big move up the leaderboard on Sunday, ascending 39 spots into a tie for sixth, which leaves him four off the lead.
While Taylor shot a six-under 66 on Saturday, David Hearn came through with a 67 and he’s just one shot behind Taylor, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship a year-and-a-half ago.
Fritsch isn’t the only player from the Ottawa area who is capturing attention. Yeah, as if you don’t know it’s Brooke Henderson, who has climbed back into contention at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco, where she finished third last year.
Henderson shot a bogey-free 69 on Saturday after a pair of 71s in the first two rounds and at five under, she’s tied for fourth, five shots off the lead.
She’ll need an outstanding round to win, but even if that doesn’t happen, it does look promising that Henderson’s consecutive streak of top-10 finishes will continue. Coming into San Francisco, it was at eight, including seven on the LPGA Tour.
As we all know, there are no guarantees on Sundays, but the possibilities are several for Canadians this week.
This is something we can get used to in this country.