Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Dylan Frittelli  (Getty Images)
Dylan Frittelli (Getty Images)

Dylan Frittelli is hoping home comforts can help him to a second consecutive European Tour victory when he tees it up at this week's Joburg Open.

The Johannesburg native arrives on home soil fresh off the back of a play-off victory over Arjun Atwal at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and some stunning form at the end of the calendar year.

Top five finishes at the Rolex Series Turkish Airlines Open and DP World Tour Championship, Dubai saw him finish 19th on the Race to Dubai and be crowned Graduate of the Year after finishing eighth on the Challenge Tour the previous season.

The 2017 season also saw him claim his first European Tour win at the LYONESS OPEN powered by ORGANIC+ and after making an excellent start to the new campaign, he is eager to maintain momentum in his homeland.

"It’s always good to play a tournament in your home town," he said. "Get to sleep in your own bed.

"Obviously, I have had a few good weeks the last month or so. Definitely have some good form coming into this week.

"I’ve done some good prep in the weeks prior, a month, some six weeks ago, probably and I’m excited to get going."

The Joburg Open has a new home this week with the Bushwillow and Firethorn courses both being played here at Randpark Golf Club.

Frittelli has played the Firethorn Course recently but has yet to see Bushwillow, although he does not think course knowledge is necessarily the secret to success.

"This is a course I know and I have played before. I know the lines off the tee, so there’s no real need to play," he said. "I just need to get my body in shape and hit some balls and know that I’m striking it well, that’s my theory at least.

"I think some guys maybe lean too much on being familiar with the golf course but, for me, if I walk on to that first tee and I’m feeling fresh, ready to go, and I can hit a drive straight down the middle, that’s really all you need.

"I’ve got faith in my caddie, I’ve got faith in the yardage book and everything is in front of me, I can do it."

Another man leading the home charge is defending champion Darren Fichardt, who claimed his fifth European Tour win at this tournament last season.

He also had a strong finish to a 2017 season that saw some personal issues off the course affect his scheduling.

Ties for sixth at the Omega European Masters and Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player represented a good return to form and he is hoping to be fully firing in 2018.

"I didn’t play as many tournaments as I usually do last year with family issues," he said. "My mother-in-law was battling cancer - she’s healthy again, so I’m looking forward to playing a lot more than I did last year.

"In fact, I didn’t have a bad season last year. I didn’t have a really bad tournament after Switzerland."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SHARMA, ShubhankarIND18-23
2VAN ROOYEN, ErikRSA18-20
T3NORRIS, ShaunRSA18-17
T3PULKKANEN, TapioFIN18-17
5ARMITAGE, MarcusENG18-15
T6HANSEN, Joachim B.DEN18-13

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