JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli finished a stellar rookie season on the European Tour with fourth place on 17-under at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Sunday.
In contention for 17 holes until a costly drop on the penultimate hole, the 27-year-old Frittelli carded a final round three-under 69 to finish two strokes adrift of winner John Rahm of Spain on 19-under. The world number-five fired a five-under 67 on day four to claim the title.
Fellow South African Dean Burmester also finished in a tie for fourth with a four-under 68 to conclude his season. The favourite coming into the day with a one-shot lead, England’s Justin Rose settled for 70, also in a share of fourth.
One of the early starters, Ireland’s Shane Lowry blitzed his way around Jumeirah Golf Estates in nine-under 63 to set the clubhouse target at 18-under. Lowry’s total would eventually see him finish second alongside Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Paired in the final group together, Rose and Frittelli had identical scorecards on the first five holes with birdies coming at the second, third and fifth.
On the par five seventh, Frittelli hit a towering fairway wood approach from 228 metres to 10 feet. Rose, meanwhile drained a downhill 25 footer for birdie to get to 19-under, but Frittelli had no problem in gliding in his putt to draw level at the top.
On the par four eighth, after a big drive Frittelli missed the green with a wedge which resulted in a bogey as he fell one behind Rose.
With Rose still ahead by one on the 12th, the Englishman missed the par four green in regulation which resulted in bogey. Frittelli safely found the putting surface, but from 40 feet away he three-putted for bogey as he failed to capitalise on the mistake by Rose.
The par five 14th, presented another opportunity for Frittelli who found the putting surface in two - nearly holing his approach from 238 metres, but which released towards the back of a huge green. Rose, meanwhile, hit a horrid second shot into the water hazard way right of the green which resulted in a costly bogey six. From close to 90 feet, Frittelli nestled his eagle attempt to within eight feet to setup a birdie to get back to 18-under.
Pars followed for Frittelli, until the par three 17th where he three-putted for bogey. With Rahm having posted a 19-under total a hole ahead, it meant the South African’s title-challenge had effectively ended.
Needing an eagle to force a playoff, another mistake followed at the par five 18th for Frittelli as he found a water hazard with his drive. To his credit, Frittelli was able to salvage par to end his season with another strong finish. Frittelli ended the season 19th on the moneylist.