JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli’s hopes of qualifying for the Masters at Augusta by the end of 2017, took a dive with an opening four-over 76 at the Indonesian Masters on the Asian Tour on Thursday.
Frittelli added the event to his schedule in his bid to improve his world ranking to inside the top-50 before the end of the calendar year - which would earn him an invite to the first Major of the year at the hallowed grounds of Augusta in April.
With his current ranking of 55th, the 27-year-old needs to finish in 10th position or better to move inside the top-50. Frittelli, however, finds himself in 134th place after round one at Royale Jakarta Golf Club. It means he will have to shoot in the mid-60s just to have a chance of making the cut.
The Indonesian Masters is also the seventh event in a row that Frittelli has played - as he tries to make the most of his red-hot form. Playing so many weeks consecutively though, may well be catching up with him at this point.
If Frittelli does indeed fail in his goal of qualifying for the Masters this week, he will have until the end of March to get his ranking inside the top-50. The Masters, which will take place from April 5 to April 8, will have its final exemptions cutoff a week before the event.
It would be no surprise if Frittelli maintains his lofty place in the upper echelons of world golf, as his rise in 2017 has been nothing short of meteoric. At the end of 2016, he was ranked 152nd and therefore is close to improving his ranking by 100 places this year. He finished the 2017 European Tour season in 19th position on the Race to Dubai money list - an incredibly impressive feat in his rookie season on the tour.
The highlight of his season would be his maiden European Tour victory at the the Lyoness Open in Austria in June, although he came close to topping that when he finished second at the Turkish Airlines Open behind Justin Rose at the beginning of November.
With the 2018 European season already underway, Frittelli finds himself third on the Race to Dubai after picking up his second victory on tour with his win at the Mauritius Open two weeks ago.
African News Agency (ANA)