Dylan dominates Roodepoort’s quick greens
Dylan Frittelli faced “the quickest greens he’s seen in a long time” at Roodepoort Country Club on Tuesday, but putted superbly and carded 65 to lead round one of the Sunshine Big Easy Tour tournament presented by Stonehage.
“I played here about six years ago, and I knew that the greens were going to be extremely fast. I can compare this to a course we played in Las Vegas and those were the fastest I’ve encountered,” he said.
Frittelli’s 65 was a bogey-free display of talent, and the 22-year-old has picked up right where he left off, which was with a sole-second finish at the Telkom PGA Championship in March.
“I took a break after the Telkom PGA Championship and didn’t touch a club for two weeks. This helps to stay sharp and the tour is certainly growing from strength to strength. There are some good players in this field and I’m sure they’ll push me tomorrow,” he said.
The Johannesburg local tore around the 6866-metre Gary Player layout without a bogey on the card. He focused on making the greens in regulation, and that paid off in the form of seven birdies.
“I’m extremely happy and a bogey-free round is always fun. It was solid golf everywhere - I hit a lot of greens and gave myself plenty of chances, and I managed to sink some of those birdie putts,” he said.
The University of Texas graduate was the top-ranked amateur in America before he turned professional, and has chosen to hone his game on the Big Easy Tour in preparation for the big stage. He’s got plenty of competition in the field this week, especially from European Tour champion Anton Haig, who shot 67 at Roodepoort to hold second place.
“The Sunshine Tour is growing all the time,” said Haig. “And on the Big Easy Tour you really have to shoot good scores to do well. It’s great to be competing again and these tournaments help you to ride the wave of confidence that’s necessary for success in golf.”
The first round on Tuesday signalled the start of 11 tournaments on the 2013 Big Easy schedule, with each tournament carrying a R100 000 prize fund. Haig was inspired to compete, looking to keep his competitive edge over the winter months.
His time at Roodepoort brought back fond memories and, after finishing tied 20th at the Asian Tour’s Chiangmai Golf Classic a fortnight ago, he’s back on home soil and ready for the challenge.
“This course brings back good memories and 10 years ago I won the SA Amateur here. Today my game was hot on the back nine, so hopefully I can keep that going tomorrow.”
Francois Coetzee shot a respectable 68, eagling the last to reach the clubhouse in sole third. Sharing fourth on three-under were Jaco Prinsloo, Ryan Tipping, Beyers Smith, Brett Liddle, Morne Buys and Martin du Toit.
The participation of Haig and Frittelli this week indicates the strength of the Big Easy Tour, and with 112 players in the field there is plenty of competition to keep them on their toes.
SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):
65 - Dylan Frittelli
67 - Anton Haig
68 - Francois Coetzee
69 - Jaco Prinsloo, Ryan Tipping, Beyers Smith, Morne Buys, Brett Liddle, Martin du Toit
70 - Johan Bekker, Jacques van Tonder, Jared Harvey, Jeff Inglis (ENG), Michael Loppnow, Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN)
71 - Juan Langeveld, Irvin Mazibuko, Aubrey Barnard, Roberto Lupini, Callie Swart, JP van der Walt, Willie van der Merwe
72 - Sipho Bujela, Otto van Greunen, Haydn Porteous (AMA), Steven van Heerden, Tsietsi Mofokeng (LES), Derik Ferreira,Daniel Hammond, Alpheus Kelapile, Mark Murless, Duane Keun, Drikus Bruyns, Thomas Lovett
73 - Bradley Sinnett, Mark Mahoney, Ryan Thompson, Heinrich Bruiners, Attie Schwartzel, Neil Cheetham (ENG), Louis Calitz,Rocky Tlhabanyane, James Searson, Makgetha Mazibuko, Patrick Spindler, Johann Mostert, Steven Ferreira, Scott Ferguson (ZIM),Derick Petersen, Kevin Stone, Albert Tsai
74 - Gert Myburgh, Maritz Wessels, Johan de Beer, Michael Scholz, Lindani Ndwandwe, Thriston Lawrence (AMA), Shaun Ellis,Micky Hough (ZIM), Clifford Howes, Riekus Nortje, Desne van den Bergh, Pieter Moolman, Jacquin Hess, Coenie Stoop,Drikus van der Walt, Jacques Kruyswijk, Gerhard Trytsman
75 - Kenneth Dube, Kyle Stevens, Yubin Jung, Terence Boardman, Zuko Sangqu, Paul Bradshaw, John McClean,Paul Elton, Mpho Mafishe (AMA), John Bele, Shaun Smith
76 - Hennie Rootman, Raymond Mathonsi (SWZ), Jaco Olver, Coenie Bester, James du Plessis, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (AMA),Omar Sandys, Bryan Martin (USA)
77 - Nathan Waghorn, Divan Gerber, PG van Zyl, Thabang Simon, Khaya Jika, Greg Bentley (ZIM)
78 - Cameron Esau, Dayne Moore (ZAM), Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Stuart Smith (BOT)
79 - Mark Fensham, Laurison Mahlangu, Warren Holland, Lebo Ramukosi, Jacques de Villiers, Justin Levy (NED), Dean O'Riley
80 - Langley Perrins, Bongani Mtsweni
81 - Allister de Kock, Arthur Horne (SWZ)
84 - Riaan Matthee
85 - Mokgeteng J. Mashego