Dylan Frittelli’s 2018 still has plenty to offer as he looks to regain his world ranking en route to making the PGA TOUR a part of his full-time schedule, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
One of the standout rookies in Europe last year – two wins and top fives in two of the Race to Dubai finals events would justify that claim – the former University of Texas golfer has grand plans for the rest of his season, starting in the US before moving to Europe with one eye on a place in the elite field at Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai before looking to match, if not better, his close to last year’s campaign in Africa and Dubai.
That sounds like a convoluted flight path but it’s a well thought-out plan constructed by the meticulous planner.
Despite this season proving to be less fruitful, Frittelli has done enough to enter the final stage at the secondary tour and will hope that the strong finish at last week’s PGA Championship in St Louis will kick-start a bumper ending to his season.
‘It was a really good week and a fun one, too. The greens were a little tricky but I really enjoyed the course. It was a good layout and I think the PGA got it spot-on with the course.
‘It was a good set-up for a Major championship and I’m sure they’ll be happy with how the golf played out. I think 16 under was a good winning total and yeah, it was really good to fare well.
‘I had a rough start but got through that and ended with a nice solid week looking back on it. From round two onwards, I played some good golf and kind of once again proved that I can compete out there with the best at the highest level. That’s always something that I’m looking to achieve and build on, you know, as I get more and more Majors under my belt.’
Bellerive was a turning point for the 28-year-old as he eked out just his second Major cut before going on to finish T31.
‘It was my best Major finish so far, so obviously I’m very proud of that. I’ll bank the experience and the memories for next year.
‘Hopefully, I can make more cuts in the big events next year – the Majors, the WGCs – and kind of translate these solid weeks into something bigger and play up at the top of the pile with the big boys.’
In his bid to play his way on to the PGA TOUR full time, he has accrued 10 starts across all qualifying events, which now takes him on to the secondary Web.com Tour as he looks to snatch one of the cards on offer during the finals series. But that’s just one phase of what he has in store over the next few months.
‘I’m headed for the Web.com finals so that will be a nice test. Kinda going all out to win one of those and if not, finish really high so that I can head back to Europe and cement a top 30 place in the Race to Dubai.
‘That’ll get me into the HSBC-China. So it’s a good finish for the Race to Dubai or reclaiming a place in the top 50 world [rankings] so that I make it to China for that event.’
It’s a whirlwind run downhill to the end of the year with a tough ask to follow his achievements in the same period last year.
After running into a red-hot Justin Rose at the Turkish Airlines Open – he finished second despite a clutch birdie – before contending deep at the DP World Tour Championship before finishing in the pack sharing fourth, this time alongside Rose and countryman Dean Burmester, with Jon Rahm coming out on top.
Frittelli’s attempt to improve on that starts in Ohio – a flight less than three hours from his home.
Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images