TURKEY - Two spectacular chip-ins from off the green - one for birdie and one for eagle - helped South Africa's Dylan Frittelli to a sparkling five-under-par 66 as he moved sharply up the leaderboard in round three of the $7-million Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday.
The 27-year-old is on 10-under-par 203 and tied for seventh on the par-71 layout at the Regnum Golf and Spa Resort, four back of co-leaders Shane Lowry of Ireland and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnat. England's Justin Rose, who was paired with Frittelli, shares third place on 201 with Irishman Padraig
Harrington (they both carded day's best 64s) and Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, the overnight leader who slipped to a 73.
"It's weird, because I hadn't chipped in for quite a while and today I do it twice," said Frittelli. "The first one, for a birdie three at the third, was a high shot out of rough - a really difficult 15-metre shot. I hope they've got it on camera, because it must be a contender for European Tour shot of the month.
"And then at the par-5 12th I holed another longish chip for an eagle three. You couldn't go for the pin with your second shot as it was just behind a bunker on the front of the green. So I laid up just short and left and in it went."
Frittelli, who registered his maiden European Tour win in the Lyoness Open in Austria in June, was bogey-free Saturday just like he was on Friday when he posted a 67.
"Today I managed my game really well and played good the first nine with three birdies. But on the inward loop I misread a few lines and the putts wouldn't drop so I'm going to the putting green now to work with the 'flat stick'."
For the second day running, Frittelli hit his drive into the tall trees right of the fairway at the brutal par-4 10th hole. And for the second day running he threaded his approach through a gap in the trees into a back bunker and saved par.
"The shot was over 200 yards and the gap was a tiny one and I didn't want him to go for it," said caddie John Curtis, who played golf for Zimbabwe before ultimately turning to looping. "But he insisted, took out his four-iron and I just closed my eyes. Then he hit a beauty."
Frittelli said being paired with the great player that Rose is was both encouraging and enjoyable. "Him being born in South Africa, we kind of have the same roots and we chatted a lot. I felt comfortable playing alongside him, just as I did with (Race to Dubai leader) Tommy Fleetwood earlier in the week. I want my game to be up there with those guys and I believe it's going to happen. And as for tomorrow here. Well, the leaderboard is tightly stacked and I'm in the mix so let's see what happens."
Of the other South Africans, Haydn Porteous shot 69 for 208, George Coetzee 70 for 212, Richard Sterne 67 for 214, Brandon Stone 72 for 216 and Dean Burmester 70 for 218.