The Star Early Edition

Frit­telli hits form in Turkey

South African shoots a fi­nal-round 64 as he fin­ishes sec­ond to Justin Rose


IN A high qual­ity, thrilling back nine bat­tle South African-born English­man Justin Rose edged out true-blue South African Dy­lan Frit­telli and Bel­gium’s Ni­co­las Col­saerts by a soli­tary stroke to seal vic­tory in the $7-mil­lion Turk­ish Air­lines Open yesterday.

Rose closed with a six-un­der 65 for 18-un­der 266 at the tree­lined Reg­num Carya Golf and Spa Re­sort, Frit­telli had a day’s best 64, which in­cluded a fist pump and a “come on!” yell as he holed for birdie at the last for a 267 to­tal, and Col­saerts posted 66 for the same 72-hole ag­gre­gate.

Al­though vic­tory be­longed to the 37-year-old Rose, and fol­lows his WGC-HSBC tri­umph eight days ago, 27-year-old Frit­telli once again showed South Africa in 2017 that he is a player of im­mense stature. This joint sec­ond place in one of the pre­mium Rolex Se­ries events on the Euro­pean Tour’s Race to Dubai, goes with his maiden Euro­pean Tour win in the Ly­oness Open in Aus­tria in June, and sec­ond place in the big-money Volvo China Open be­fore that.

Re­mark­ably, Frit­telli chipped in for birdie three times on the front nine in his 64, In fact, those shots gained were in amongst a run of five straight birdies as he raced through the par-34 out­ward loop in just 29 strokes.

On the back nine yesterday Frit­telli hit three su­perb ap­proaches in­side 10 feet, but each time the birdie putt re­fused to drop. When he did hole from sim­i­lar dis­tance for a three at the last it put him tem­po­rar­ily up front with Rose and Col­saerts who were in the group be­hind him. Then Rose also birdied 18 for the win. He later paid trib­ute to Frit­telli, who he was drawn with in round three, de­scrib­ing him as an out­stand­ing tal­ent.

Frit­telli now moves on to this week’s $7,5-mil­lion Ned­bank Golf Challenge where he will make his de­but be­fore head­ing to Dubai and the endof-sea­son DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship. He was 39th in the Race to Dubai rank­ings ahead of Turkey, but now moves right up to 18. “And,” he said, “if I can main­tain this kind of form maybe I can make top 10.”

As for Rose, he is half­way in his bid to over­haul leader and fel­low English­man Tommy Fleet­wood and win the 2017 Race to Dubai. Rose is not play­ing Sun City as he has fam­ily com­mit­ments but if he can win in Dubai, he will have achieved his ob­jec­tive.

Frit­telli’s share of the hefty Turk­ish purse amounts to the equiv­a­lent of R8,5-mil­lion.

Be­sides Frit­telli, fel­low South African Ge­orge Coet­zee can also take some con­fi­dence into the Ned­bank as he shot 66 for 278. Haydn Por­te­ous had 72 for 280, Richard Sterne 70 for 284, Dean Burmester 68 for 286, and Bran­don Stone 76 for 292.

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