Frittelli wins Bahrain Championship in emotional fashion – Golf News
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South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli captured the third DP World Tour title of his career with victory at the Bahrain Championship presented by Bapco Energies after a closing round of one under 71 saw him reach 13 under for the tournament, two clear of fellow countryman Zander Lombard and Sweden’s Jesper Svensson.
The 33-year old admitted he almost quit the game last year after struggling with his form.
“It feels great, it feels awesome,” said Frittelli, whose last DP World Tour win was six years ago at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. “It’s been a long road the last five or six years since I left the DP World Tour and went to States. I had an extremely tough year in America, but it feels amazing to be back on top now.
“Last year there were a couple of times when I thought about giving the game up to be honest and looking for something else to be honest. I found some resolve at the end of last year and did some good work with my physio and trainers and coaches and I’m glad I persevered.”
Frittelli started the final round with two shots over his compatriot Ockie Straydom. However, he struggled to get through the front nine. At the turn he was one shot over after missing a par three on the seventh. Another bogey was made on the next par-three, the 12..Lombard was putting a lot of blood on the board and it looked as if the winner would be from the first group.
Frittelli fought hard and his round sprang into life with back-to back birdies at the 12th.th13th. He regained his two-shot advantage after sinking a birdie putt on the par three 16..Give him some breathing room as he parred his final two holes and closed out his first global victory since the John Deere Championship on the PGA Tour in 2019.
“I felt the pressure from word go, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “I just couldn’t get anything going, couldn’t get any rhythm. But I knew that I had two consecutive par fives (on my back nine). My strength has been my driving the whole, week, it’s the strongest part of my game. I felt if I could get to those two par fives on the back side within one or two shots I could do a bit of leapfrog action and luckily that’s what happened. The putt at the first par five, number 13.thIt was important to get this momentum.
“I’d prefer to be five shots ahead coming down the stretch if I could be, that would be a whole lot easier. But I think it shows my mental toughness and the focus I have and those things that you can’t really quantify. I was swinging it great all week and then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t hit it on the planet on the Sunday round so I’m glad I managed to have the resolve to finish the job.”
After being presented with the trophy by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Fritteli said: “I didn’t know what to expect here in Bahrain, with my golf game and also the country in general, but I’ve been really impressed with everything – with my game, with the way the country is run, the way the tournament was put on, it’s really been a magical week.
“I came into the season in category 12 for PGA Tour players and I didn’t know how many tournaments I would to get into. So, this secures a card for the next couple of years and the rest of this year’s tournaments which means I can actually plan a schedule now. I was just playing as many as I could, wherever I could get in, so this is a really calming experience and I’m going to try and build on it.”
Svensson was joined by Lombard who carded an impressive four under 68 but had a little too much to do on the back nine. Strydom shot one over par and shared fourth place with Frederic Lacroix of France (70) at nine under. Lombard, who shot a four-under-68, was just a bit too far behind on the back nine. Strydom shot a one-over par to tie for fourth with Frederic Lacroix (70) of France at nine under.
WHAT’S IN DYLAN FRITTELLI’S BAG
Driver: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (10.5°), Fujikura Ventus Blue 6-TX shaft
Fairway: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (13.5°); Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (18°)
Utility: Callaway X Forged UT ’21 (22°)
Irons: Callaway Apex TCB ’21, 5-9
Wedges: Callaway Apex TCB P, A, S; Callaway JAWS Mack Daddy 5 60°
Putter: Odyssey Ai ONE Milled 11 T S
Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Tour X 360° Triple Track
Dylan’s new Paradym Ai Smoke Driver represents a quantum leap forward in Callaway’s Ai journey, featuring the most sophisticated driver face in Callaway history, the Ai Smart Face.
This face uses advanced machine-learning and real player data to create a number of sweet spots throughout the face. Triple Diamond is designed with a neutral-to fade face progression and compact overall head size. This model is for better players seeking workability off the golf tee.
Twelve of the top 15 players in Bahrain were also using an Odyssey Putter – the #1 Putter on all Major Tours – and Dylan relied on the new Odyssey Ai-ONE Milled Eleven T S model.
Dylan also used Callaway’s new Chrome Tour X 360 Triple Track Golf Ball, engineered to provide outstanding distance, workability, and spin to offer the best performance from tee-to-green, along with alignment-enhancing 360 Triple Track Technology.
Immediately after securing his third DP World Tour title, Dylan said: “It has been a long road the last five or six years since I left the DP World Tour and went to the States. It was a pretty tough year last year in America, but it feels awesome to be back on top right now.”