Golf | 03 Dec 2017 | By Michael Vlismas
Double delight for Dylan Frittelli after AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open win
Dylan Frittelli claimed his second European Tour victory this year when he beat Arjun Atwal in a playoff to win the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and climb to just outside the top 50 on the world rankings at the Heritage Golf Club on Sunday.
The South African finished regulation play with a 67 and tied for the lead with Atwal on 16 under par, with Atwal making birdie on the last for a 68 to force a playoff. Frittelli then won on the first playoff hole – the par-five 18th – with a birdie.
“It’s good for me to finally win a playoff. It’s been three on the European Tour and one on the Sunshine Tour which I’ve lost. I’m proud of the way I played the 18th hole,” said Frittelli.
His victory in this event as well as the Lyoness Open in the middle of the year have combined for the most successful year of his professional career, which will be confirmed when the Official World Golf Rankings place Frittelli within touching distance of the golden top 50 on Monday.
And with that comes the tantalizing prospect of getting into the biggest tournaments in world golf in 2018.
“I’m very excited about that. It was my major goal after winning in Austria to get inside that top 50 and secure some big tournaments next year.”
Frittelli dropped only one shot in a windy final round in which he and Atwal remained in touch of each other at the top of the leaderboard, and while seeing off a charge from world number 22 Louis Oosthuizen.
Oosthuizen went into the back nine with three birdies and an eagle in five holes and shared the lead on 14 under par. But then came a triple-bogey seven on the 16th that ended any hopes he had of a win. He birdied the last for a 67 and a finish of tied 12th on 11 under par.
“This is validation of all the hard work I’ve put in,” said Frittelli.
“It means a lot to win today. Some guys might say, ‘Oh, you won against an easy field in Austria’. Well I’ve won a tri-sanctioned event now against a very strong field today.”
Atwal, who led from day one following a course record 62, was understandably disappointed after the defeat.
“Dylan obviously did the right things and deserves to win. I’m happy with the way I played this week but right now I’m just disappointed to lose the tournament. You don’t get many chances especially at my age.”