Dylan Frittelli clinched his first victory on the European Tour on Sunday as he won the 2017 Lyoness Open at Diamond Country Club by one shot.
At the end of an absorbing final day, the South African produced a fine finish to his round, pulling clear of a clutch of players to finish on 12-under par for the tournament.
Frittelli's final-day score of 67 was enough to see him clear of Mikko Korhonen, David Horsey and Jbe' Kruger, who concluded on 11-under par in Atzenbrugg, Austria.
-12, Dylan Frittelli
-11, Mikko Korhonen
-11, David Horsey
-11, Jbe Kruger
-10, Richard McEvoy
-9, Johan Carlsson
-7, Joost Luiten
-7, Lucas Bjerregaard
-7, Sepp Straka
-6, Ricardo Gonzalez
For the full standings visit the European Tour website.
Frittelli Finds a Way
Felipe Aguilar was a leader by two shots heading into the final day, although he struggled to find his best form on Sunday. Indeed, he shot a three-over par round of 75 on Day 4 and with low scores across the board, he fell back into the pack.
Aguilar’s troubles opened up the field and provided spectators with a thrilling climax to the competition.
Throughout the day, there were five players in contention for top spot and for a while it was Kruger who looked in the best form of all those on court.
Frittelli had built up a two-shot lead as he reached the turn, but his countryman chopped that down with this stunning approach at 12 for an eagle, per the European Tour Twitter feed:
It made matters even tighter at the top, as Kruger rolled in back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 to take an outright lead. However, he bogeyed the last to finish on 11-under, a mark earlier reached by Horsey, who posted a brilliant 65 on Sunday.
As the players reached the final holes, there was potential for a five-person playoff at one stage. As aforementioned, Kruger and Horsey were already on 11-under, while Richard Mcevoy, Mikko Korhonen and Frittelli were also on the mark at various points.
The latter of that quintet was able to keep his cool despite the tension, as a birdie at the par-five 16th saw him out on his own on 12-under. Meanwhile, McEvoy bogeyed the last, meaning he was out of contention.
Frittelli did find trouble at 17, as a wayward drive prompted an erratic approach. The South African didn’t play the best approach into the green either, but he made a clutch putt to preserve his par and head to the 18th with a one-shot lead.
As we can see, he was delighted to make the putt:
At the par-three last, with water and sand hazards surrounding it, the pressure was on Frittelli to conjure up a solid approach. And he did exactly that, finding the middle of the green and taking a couple of putts to secure the victory.
The Press Association’s Phil Casey praised the temperament showcased by Frittelli down the stretch:
What made Frittelli’s win all the more impressive was that it came just over a month after he narrowly missed out on winning the China Open; Alexander Levy defeated him in a dramatic playoff that day.
There’s no doubt that would have been playing on Frittelli’s mind late on on Sunday at the Lyoness Open. It’s a testament to his mental strength that those nerves didn’t hinder the 27-year-old here.