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Golf | Frittelli hails Spieth for Austria win


Johannesburg – South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli has lauded the influence of his former playing partner and former world number one, American Jordan Spieth, for helping him win his maiden European Tour title – the Lyoness Open.

Frittelli (27) carded six birdies and one bogey to finish 12 under par and win by one shot at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria, last Sunday.

His victory made him the country’s first golfer to lift the trophy of the contest, which is also popularly known as the Austrian Open.

Dylan, who is from Woodmead, north of Johannesburg, but currently lives in Texas in the US, where he used to play the game with the two-time major winner Spieth, paid tribute to the American for his latest feat.

“Spieth is very close to me since he was my playing partner while we were at college in Texas,” said Frittelli.

“I met him before the Open and he gave me tips on how to approach the tough Diamond course.”

Chance of qualifying

The golfer, who went to the US in 2008 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in geography, said he was glad his golf career took off well.

“I studied for the same course with Spieth and he dropped out from college to focus more on playing golf, while I continued studying there until I finished my four-year course and obtained a degree,” said Frittelli.

He said he was pleased he was doing well on the greens, adding he was grateful to Spieth for his guidance.

Frittelli, who is at 17th in the Race to Dubai, said he was pleased with his victory as it boosted his chance of qualifying for the British Open at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport in Merseyside, England, which runs from July 20 to 23.

“With the current great showing on the greens, I hope to participate in the Open and win my first major. My … performance should move me up to the Race to Dubai.”

Frittelli is hoping to come back home in October.

Maiden European Tour win

“I will be there to prepare to compete at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. At the moment, I’m enjoying sunny Europe,” he said.

Frittelli finished second to Alex Levy at the China Open in Beijing in April.

He will be competing in the BMW International Open in Munich, Germany, which starts on Thursday.

“I’m fired up,” he said.

Frittelli is the third local golfer this season to register a maiden European Tour win. Brandon Stone won the Alfred Dunhill at Leopard Creek in Malelane in December, while Dean Burmester took the Tshwane Open title at Pretoria Country Club in March.

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