Dylan Frittelli closed out the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda to secure a maiden Challenge Tour victory and open the door to a new chapter in his young career.
The 23 year old South African cruised to a three stroke victory at the Jacques Lemans Golf Club, resisting any attempt to catch him by the chasing pack with a mature and consistent final round performance, carding a level par 71 to finish the week victorious.
Italy’s Filippo Bergamaschi and Dutchman Daan Huizing, who started his day with a hole in one on the first hole, shared second place on 14 under, with Scotland’s Andrew McArthur a further shot back in fourth place.
Frittelli’s final round playing partner, Billy Hemstock, was actually the closest challenger for most of the day, but the Englishman saw his bid to overhaul Frittelli come unstuck with a triple bogey seven on the 17th.
“It wasn’t exactly what I planned today but the conditions were the toughest we had all week so it was more a case of grinding and getting the job done which I thankfully managed to do,” said Frattelli.
“I made some crucial putts coming down the stretch which really saved the day for me.
“The biggest moments were probably on 13 when I made a great par save from ten feet and then on the 16th I made a great par putt and Billy missed his birdie chance to close the gap to one stroke.
“I was sure he was going to make that putt but when he missed I knew I had some breathing space with two holes to play and then he obviously had a really unfortunate finish.
“But I am delighted to get the win. This changes a lot for me and really opens doors for me and my career. I can hopefully push on now and try and get my European Tour card through the Challenge Tour and really keep pushing it forward.”
While Frittelli lifted the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda trophy, and the first place cheque for €25,600 that propelled him to 12th place in the Challenge Tour Rankings, Manuel Trappel celebrated the week as the leading Austrian, having finished in a tie for 11th on 11 under par.
But it was Frittell’s week and upon receiving the trophy he dedicated his victory in Austria to former South African President Nelson Mandela.
“I want to dedicate this victory to Mr Mandela. What he did for our country is indescribable and I would like to ask everyone to keep him in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”