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Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Dylan Frittelli  (Getty Images)
Dylan Frittelli (Getty Images)

Dylan Frittelli is hoping a good defence of his AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita title can prove to be the springboard for another successful season when he tees it up this week at Four Seasons Golf Club.

The South African won his second European Tour title on the island paradise last season before a top ten at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic moved him into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Appearances at all four Major Championships would follow and he finished the 2018 campaign with a flourish when he secured a top ten at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

Frittelli now enters his first event of the 2019 European Tour season as World Number 76 and is hoping for a big week as he eyes a place back in that all-important top 50.

"I look back on last year with fond memories both here in Mauritius and in general on the European Tour but I've got bigger sights this year," he said.

"Hopefully I can win a few times or win some even bigger tournaments. But first of all I just want to play well here.

"The experiences in the Majors were awesome. I've played in the last six Majors now so I'm trying to keep that streak alive going into 2019. It’s just fun to play in those kind of big tournaments. There were tons of cool experiences throughout.

"I'm trying to win every tournament I play in, it's just a matter of getting better and learning different conditions and trying to play better in bigger tournaments which are tougher to win. With better players in the field it's always going to be tough but I'm not putting too much pressure on myself."

Frittelli missed the cut the last time this event was played at Four Seasons in 2016 but he is feeling relaxed and optimistic about his defence.

"Coming in here as defending champion relaxes me if anything because the pressure is off me," he said.

"People may say, 'oh you're used to the golf course', well, no I'm not - I played here two years ago and missed the cut.

"Hopefully this year will go a lot better. Hopefully I'll feel more relaxed having seen the course before but I'm just excited to get going. Hopefully the week starts off well for me."

Fellow South African George Coetzee won the inaugural staging of this event in 2015 and while he is looking for a successful week on the course, the four-time European Tour winner will also be soaking up all Mauritius has to offer.

"I love the island vibe, it's such a special place to come and play," he said.

"Obviously winning the first one makes it extra special for me to come back. It's good fun. The weather comes and goes - every day you'll have some time on the beach and some time that you can chill in your room but it's just a fun place to come to.

"I did bring the small golf bag with me so that I could fit in a couple of fly rods, so we'll see how that goes. I'm just excited to be here and hopefully I'll get some time on the water as well.

"You can't control the uncontrollables, you just try to take every day as it comes. I'll just be trying to play some decent golf as the season progresses."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KITAYAMA, KurtUSA18-20
T2CHIKKARANGAPPA, SIND18-18
T2PAVON, MatthieuFRA18-18
4HARDING, JustinRSA18-17
T5FRITTELLI, DylanRSA18-16
T5KAWAMURA, MasahiroJPN18-16

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