Sunshine Tour

Cool Frittelli takes Mauritius title in playoff

2017-12-03 16:06
Dylan Frittelli (Supplied)

Bel Ombre - Dylan Frittelli won his first playoff as a professional to take the Mauritius Open at Heritage Golf Club on Sunday.

He finished regulation play in 16-under-par after a closing round of four-under-par 67, and watched as the man who had led throughout, Arjun Atwal of India, lipped out with an eagle attempt on 18 which would have snatched victory from the South African’s grasp.

In the end, Atwal’s birdie forced the payoff, and Frittelli striped a drive down the 18th fairway in the first playoff hole to set up a birdie which gave him the eventual edge after losing two playoffs on the European Tour (in Perth and in Shanghai) and once in the PGA Championship back in February.

“It’s good for me to finally win a playoff,” said Frittelli.

“I’m proud of the way I played the 18th hole in the playoff. I hit a good drive there which pretty much sums up the week. Just great ball striking and putting pressure on the rest of the field. And the putting held on at the end.”

Frittelli joked that he had made too many two-putts after he had won, but the reality was that in gusty breezes, his putting - especially from within three feet under pressure - was nerveless throughout the week. And, from long range, he had a few graze the hole on Sunday which may well have vaulted him well clear of any opposition instead of seeing him having to get through sudden-death.

But it was indeed his very secure long game - longer than it used to be, and mostly very accurate - which gave him the win.

He birdied the 10th after taking driver off the tee, which was not something many other players were doing, and that gave him the lead which he never relinquished. And he used his distance to get his second onto the green in the par-five 14th into the wind. That set up his final birdie in regulation and it proved to be an important one.

“I made a few crucial decisions,” said Frittelli.

“Hitting driver on 10 was big and hitting the green on 14 was huge. Those two were probably the biggest positives for me.

“The conditions were tricky. It was similar to yesterday. We had a bit of knowledge of how it was going to play like coming off Saturday. I felt comfortable so Saturday definitely prepared me.”

Throughout the week, he was the picture of concentration, and he credited his caddie John Curtis for a lot of that.

“He’s very good, very calm,” he said.

“And this win is a great reward for some tough times - he lost his wife three months back.”

What was also impressive about the victory was that it came at the back end of a long stretch on the road.

“This is my fifth week and I’ve been to Turkey, South Africa, Dubai and Hong Kong,” he said.

“I have my fitness trainer Garth Milne with me and he has kept me fit and strong. I’m feeling good. This is validation of all the hard work I’ve put in. It means a lot to win today.”

His 2018 quest is not quite over. The win in Mauritius will take him close to the top 50 in the world, and he wants to get inside that mark to secure his spot in the 2018 major championships and other important tournaments.

So it’s on the road again for him.

“I’m playing the Joburg Open next week and I’m looking forward to that,” he said.

“Hopefully I’ll be strong and be in contention on the weekend again.”

Scores:

268 - Dylan Frittelli 67 66 68 67, Arjun Atwal 62 70 68 68 (Frittelli won at first playoff hole)

270 - Romain Langasque 67 69 67 67

271 - Louis de Jager 66 67 67 71

272 - Matthieu Pavon 69 68 69 66, Miguel Tabuena 66 68 67 71

273 - Louis Oosthuizen 67 68 71 67, Jose-Filipe Lima 68 66 69 70

274 - Ockie Strydom 66 68 73 67, George Coetzee 67 71 68 68, Jean-Paul Strydom 71 69 66 68, Oliver Bekker 67 67 71 69, Joel Stalter 67 68 70 69

275 - Jeff Winther 71 68 72 64, Justin Walters 68 66 69 72

276 - Darren Fichardt 70 66 70 70, Shiv Kapur 69 69 68 70, Laurie Canter 67 66 72 71, Ricardo Gouveia 68 68 68 72

277 - Ashun Wu 72 68 70 67, Jinho Choi 71 66 70 70

278 - Paul Peterson 70 69 70 69, Sam Horsfield 68 72 69 69, Scott Vincent 70 70 68 70, Neil Schietekat 70 70 68 70, Masahiro Kawamura 68 70 69 71

279 - Shubankar Sharma 68 72 71 68, Andrea Pavan 68 69 73 69, Nico Geyger 71 69 70 69, S S P Chawrasia 69 67 73 70, Dean Burmester 71 70 68 70

280 - Lyle Rowe 72 69 72 67, Scott Fernandez 73 68 71 68, Pep Angles 68 69 73 70, Richard Mcevoy 68 73 69 70, Jacques Blaauw 71 70 69 70, Jbe' Kruger 67 72 70 71, Casey O'Toole 68 72 68 72, Mark Williams 69 66 71 74

281 - Jason Knutzon 67 73 72 69, Gaganjeet Bhullar 70 71 67 73, Haydn Porteous 69 71 66 75, Doug McGuigan 69 71 66 75

282 - Pedro Oriol 71 70 73 68, Jens Dantorp 70 70 72 70, Steven Brown 73 68 71 70, Ashley Chesters 72 69 71 70, Phachara Khongwatmai 71 68 70 73, Carlos Pigem 73 68 68 73

283 - Johannes Veerman 69 72 75 67, Jarin Todd 68 69 76 70, Clement Sordet 70 69 74 70, Sutijet Kooratanapisan 76 62 73 72, Marcus Kinhult 67 72 72 72, Suradit Yongcharoenchai 69 71 71 72, Peter Karmis 73 67 70 73

284 - Pavit Tangkamolprasert 72 69 74 69, Christiaan Basson 72 69 72 71

285 - Anders Hansen 67 69 75 74, Adilson Da Silva 66 71 74 74, Marcel Schneider 72 66 72 75

286 - Jaco Prinsloo 69 68 77 72, Jacques Kruyswijk 68 72 72 74, Sebastian Heisele 66 73 72 75

289 - Jack Harrison 71 69 73 76, Pontus Widegren 67 74 70 78

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