Col­saerts on all cylin­ders but SA’s Frit­telli shoots the shot of the day

Saturday Star - - SPORT - GRANT WIN­TER

AN­TALYA, Turkey: Bel­gium’s long-driv­ing phe­nom Ni­co­las Col­saerts leads the $7-mil­lion Turk­ish Air­lines Open by four shots on 14-un­der-par 128 af­ter a pair of su­perb 64s, from Eng­land’s Ed­die Pep­perell on 132, with Thai­land’s Ki­radech Aphibarn­rat on shot fur­ther back.

Lead­ing South African is Dy­lan Frit­telli, nine shots off the pace, but who had some con­so­la­tion in that he played the shot of the day in round two yes­ter­day.

The par-4 10th hole at the Reg­num Carya Golf and Spa Re­sort is a 505-yard, mon­ster with wa­ter all down the left and hard up against the green, and gi­ant trees all the way down the right. It was Frit­telli’s fi­nal hole of the day as he started his round at No 11 and he was go­ing along nicely, four un­der par and bo­gey free through 17 holes.

“But I manged to carve my drive way right into the trees,” said the 27-year-old. There was a gap through the tall tree trunks but the shot off the pine nee­dles from nearly 200 yards out needed to be ex­e­cuted per­fectly to avoid fur­ther tim­ber, or wa­ter. He played an out­ra­geously good re­cov­ery, his ball find­ing the putting sur­face only to trickle past the pin at the back of the green into a bunker. But from there he got a re­mark­able par, a fine round of 67 and a five­un­der-par 36-hole re­turn of 137.

Col­saerts, though, is go­ing great guns and has made 13 birdies and an ea­gle so far, with just a soli­tary bo­gey.

“Ni­co­las is go­ing to to take some catch­ing so all I can do is to try and make 12 or 13 birdies my­self over the week­end,” said Frit­telli who cap­tured the Ly­oness Open in Aus­tria in June for his maiden Euro­pean Tour vic­tory, and in col­lege golf was an All-Amer­i­can along­side team-mate Jor­dan Spi­eth at the Univer­sity of Texas, sink­ing a 30-foot putt at the 18th to give his side vic­tory in the 2012 NCAA Cham­pi­onship.

Be­ing 39th in the Race to Dubai, Fit­telli’s a shoo-in for next week’s Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge, where he will make his de­but, and the end-of-sea­son DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship in Dubai af­ter that. “My goal is to try for top 10s in th­ese last three big­money events, which hope­fully will get me into the top 30 in the fi­nal Race to Dubai stand­ings, and top 30 gets you into the 2018 Ma­jors.”

Fel­low South African Haydn Por­te­ous, who co-led with Col­saerts and Joost Luiten on seven-un­der 64 overnight, stum­bled to three double-bo­geys en route to a 75 to be on 139. Ge­orge Coet­zee had a triple-bo­gey eight at the par-5 15th but re­cov­ered to shoot 71 to be on 142.

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