Frit­telli edges Kruger in Aus­tria

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - eu­ro­pean­

SOUTH African Dy­lan Frit­telli claimed his maiden Euro­pean Tour ti­tle after pro­duc­ing a fi­nal­round 67 at the Aus­trian Open.

The Chal­lenge Tour grad­u­ate carded six birdies and a sin­gle bo­gey yes­ter­day to get to 12 un­der par and fin­ish one shot clear of near­est chal­lengers Mikko Korho­nen, David Horsey and Jbe Kruger.

Aus­tria has proved a happy hunt­ing ground for Frit­telli, who won his first Chal­lenge Tour event there four years ago at the Karn­ten Golf Open. And after suf­fer­ing play­off heart­break in the China Open in April, the 27-year-old now has a Euro­pean Tour ti­tle.

Frit­telli be­gan the day on seven un­der, two shots be­hind overnight leader Felipe Aguilar – who had led after each of the open­ing three rounds – but made gains at the first and third to grab a share of the lead.

He tapped in his close-range birdie putt at the fourth to take the out­right lead, be­fore safely par­ring the next four holes.

Frit­telli was joined at the sum­mit by Mikko Korho­nen after he carded his fourth birdie of the day at the ninth, but the South African knocked in a 15 foot putt at the ninth to get to 11 un­der and go one shot clear.

And when Fin­land’s Korho­nen dropped a shot at the 10th, Frit­telli (pic­tured) was in pos­ses­sion of a twoshot lead. Frit­telli gave him­self a great birdie chance at the 10th but could not take it, miss­ing his putt from two feet.

He did not let that closerange miss af­fect him though, rolling in an eight­foot birdie putt at the next be­fore pulling off a good par save at the 13th.

Frit­telli dropped his first shot of the day at the short 14th to sac­ri­fice his out­right lead and Kruger made back-to-back gains at the 15th and 16th to knock his coun­try­man off the top of the leader­board al­to­gether.

But Frit­telli fired his sixth birdie of the day at the 16th to get back to 12 un­der, be­fore sav­ing par from eight feet at the next.

With Kruger drop­ping a shot at the last, Frit­telli stood at the 18th tee with a one-shot lead, and he knocked in his close-range par putt to se­cure the tro­phy.

English­man Horsey, who matched the course record with a stun­ning 64 on Fri­day, posted the low­est round of the day once again yes­ter­day – card­ing seven birdies and no bo­geys in a flaw­less 65. –

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