Centurion — Spurred on by two eagle hole-outs, South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli carded a three-under 69 in the third round of The Open at St Andrews on Saturday.
Though not in contention, Frittelli moved up 18 spots to a share of 18th on six-under overall.
Frittelli bookended both nines with eagle twos, and on both occasions it was his short game which came to the rescue.
“Not my best golf today at times, but I somehow threw two crazy hole-outs in there,” said Frittelli.
“The ninth hole was a terrible tee shot. Hit it in the fairway/greenside bunker and had 45 yards to the pin. Just trying to get it up there on the green on nine and it somehow went in. Really good shot. Hit it really well.
“On 18, hit a great tee shot. Thought it would get up on the green, didn't get up. Had a tricky one from the Valley of Sin there but somehow made that one as well. The rest was a bit patchy but happy with the overall score.”
The eagles did indeed save the 32-year-old as he dropped four shots on the day and made three birdies.
Frittelli explained he was fighting his swing throughout the round.
“Just a couple of wayward swings. Forced the drive on 10. Snap hooked it to the left. Hit a provisional on the green actually. I know I had the length to get there. On the 12th, same thing, a little toe off the driver, went left on me in the gorse, made a bogey there. A few errors with the tee.
“And then 17 was an almost impossible hole today. So five is worth almost par with the field.”
Dean Burmester was the next best SA player on five-under overall in 24th place, after carding an impressive five-under 67 in round three.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout was a further shot adrift on four-under in 35th spot.
Open debutant Thriston Lawrence dropped 23 places with a one-over 73 to fall to three-under in a share of 48th.
Completing the SA contingent to make the cut — Garrick Higgo battled to a four-over 76 to end on one-over as he dropped 39 places to settle for a tie for 75th heading into the final round.