The little gremlins in my head were miles away, says Frittelli
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli shot a phenomenal final round nine-under 62 at the RBC Heritage, US PGA Tour event on Sunday, and put his incredible play down to his positive mental state.
The 30-year-old finished as the top SA player at the event, in a share of eighth on 17-under. American Webb Simpson triumphed on 22-under.
Golf in the USA had been halted since mid-March, and the RBC Heritage was just the second event since the resumption of play - meaning players have had to adjust quickly to playing tournament golf, as Frittelli explained.
“I guess the major thing I was struggling with last week was just the mental side. Not having played competitive golf, going out there and being able to execute a tough shot,” said Frittelli.
“The little gremlins that get in your head, they seemed to be miles away from me today. So I'm happy with that.”
During his round which included a back nine of six-under 29, Frittelli hit five approaches from outside 100 yards to within four feet or closer - a great indication that his ball-striking was key to his impressive play.
“My putting was solid. I missed, I guess, one short-ish one and one medium range one on 16. Besides that, I felt like everything was pretty much a tap-in, didn't feel like I had to make too many. That's kind of the strength of my game anyway. So I look back and think, oh, it's just a normal round of golf, hit it where I saw it and make the odd putt, but I'm extremely proud of the way I played today.”
The PGA Tour event winner said a good physical workout heading into the weekend, helped him considerably.
“The middle two rounds, I felt a little slow. I did a little workout with my trainer on Friday afternoon, and that probably set me up for today. I felt a little slow yesterday, slightly sluggish. I felt really good, had some physio with him this morning and just felt comfortable. The warmup felt great. The balls seemed to be in range.”
As for his mindset, heading into the final round in which he began way down in 47th position Frittelli said: “I'm just trying to birdie every hole, to be honest. Teeing off early on Sunday is not ideal. I was just trying to stay committed, to stay consistent.
“I birdied nine, and I thought, okay, here we go, three-under. I turned two-under yesterday and shot even, so that was kind of disappointing. I had to hold the bit between my teeth today to try to have a good back nine. So thankfully, I made some birdies early and finished it off with a birdie on 17 and 18.”
Erik van Rooyen was the next best SA player in a tie for 21st on 14-under, with Christiaan Bezuidenhout a shot further back in a share of 28th. Charl Schwartzel showed some good form with an 11-under total for the week in 41st position. Ernie Els, 50, rolled back the years to compete with the ‘young guns’ with some top play to eventually settle for a tie for 48th on 10-under.
Branden Grace completed the SA players making the cut with a seven-under total, in 61st place for the tournament.
African News Agency (ANA)