Dylan Frittelli wins Lyoness Open to secure first European Tour title
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 12/06/17 10:25am
Dylan Frittelli claimed his first European Tour victory by one shot after a tense finish to the Lyoness Open in Austria.
The South African, who had twice been denied a maiden tour win in a play-off, secured the par he needed on the 72nd hole to beat Mikko Korhonen, David Horsey and Jbe Kruger.
Frittelli was two strokes behind Felipe Aguilar going into the final 18 holes but, after a birdie at the first, it proved to be a day to forget for the Chilean.
He carded five bogeys over the rest of his round and was way out of contention as playing partner Frittelli came down the stretch looking to hang on to his advantage.
Horsey stormed into contention by birdieing his first four holes, with three more shots picked up getting him to 11 under to set the early clubhouse target with his round of 65.
Kruger made his move on the back-nine, holing from the fairway on the 12th for an eagle two, but he would be left to rue a dropped shot at the closing par-three which dropped him out of a tie for the lead.
Frittelli looked strong for the first 11 holes, birdieing three of the first five and moving to 12 under with his fifth birdie of the day at the 11th.
But the leaderboard was always a tight one throughout Sunday's round, with Korhonen making a big move at the 16th where an eagle saw him join the fun on 11 under.
Frittelli had dropped back to that score when he bogeyed the 14th, but the 27-year-old got that shot back at the 16th and joined Kruger.
Kruger's last hole bogey gave Frittelli the lead again, with the remaining contender Richard McEvoy dropping shots at the last two holes to fall back to 10 under.
Frittelli made a superb par save at the 17th to stay on 12 under and rolled his putt for birdie on the last to within inches, securing a tap-in for the title which he duly holed.
"I was just trying to get it on the green [on the last], make a par and avoid a play-off," Frittelli told Sky Sports.
"My 0-2 record in play-offs is not very good so I didn't want to have extra guys in the play-off - trying to beat them there on the 18th would have been tough.
"Five years ago I played this tournament on an invite and managed to miss my second round tee-time so I'd like to think this is a role-reversal here and culmination of the hard work I've done in between those two periods.
"Hopefully this means big things for my career, get me in the Open Championship, move up in the Race to Dubai and open up some more doors further down the road."