He’s had a tough time of it on the European Challenge Tour this year, but it all started to fall into place on the Sunshine Tour on Thursday for Dylan Frittelli as he carded a five-under-par 67 to move into contention in the weather-hit Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung tournament at Pezula Estate and Spa.
The 2013 Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year found himself one off the nine-under-par 36-hole pace set by Erik van Rooyen, confirming a return to the 2013 form which saw him finish second in the Telkom PGA Championship.
“Today’s score was good when you look at it afterwards,” he said, “but through the middle of the round I wasn’t feeling so confident.”
He’d started with a birdie and closed his front nine with another, but three birdies in between saw him turn in one-over-par 37. “I was two-over at one stage,” he said, “but I managed to pull it together on the back nine holes. I almost made seven birdies in a row. When I left the last putt an inch short, my playing partner mentioned to me that it was for 29.”
Coincidentally, the last time he made 29 was during the 2013 Telkom PGA Championship. In the end, pars on 11 and 12 were the firebreak on a really hot streak that had birdies on nine and 10, and then five in a row from 13 to 17.
The year in Europe has seen him make just three cuts on the Challenge Tour, but things are starting to feel as if they are where he wants them to be. “I hit all the fairways today,” he said. “I haven’t done that in a very long time, so that definitely says something about my swing and my long game which has been the focus of my struggle over the last year.
“So hopefully things have turned around now, and I can turn it on tomorrow again. You’ve got to go and make birdies out there. The course is set up pretty easy so it will take 13 or 14-under to win this tournament. You’ve got to make birdies so that’s what I’m going to try and do tomorrow,” he added.