Frittelli wins the Freddie Tait Cup

Frittelli receiving the Freddie Tait Cup from SAGA President Enver HassenDylan Frittelli played controlled golf for his one over par final round of 73, giving him a 72 hole total of 288, level par, and in so doing win the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the South African Open Championship.

“It is a huge effort to win this,” said the ecstatic nineteen year old, who plays his golf at Irene Country Club in Gauteng North, in reference to the prestigious trophy he had just been presented. “This, the SA Amateur and Stroke Play trophies are the main trophies we amateurs play for. Having not won any before, winning the Freddie Tait Cup today means a lot to me.”

Frittelli went out in regulation, recording two bogeys and birdies, and came back with another two bogeys and a solitary birdie. “I hit my seven iron close on the penultimate hole and sank the putt,” said the University of Texas freshman of his birdie on that hole.

A strong south westerly wind greeted the early starters this morning, amongst them were the two other amateurs in the field, Glacier SA Amateur Champion Ryan Dreyer and SA Amateur Stroke Play Champion JG Claassen.

Ryan Dreyer eyes out his putt on the last holeThird group out, at 06h28, included Dreyer, the thirty seven year old Killarney Golf Club amateur from Central Gauteng. With his game out of sorts, by his own admission, and low in confidence, the four club wind only added to his woes.

He went out in eleven over par, made up of four double drops and a triple bogey, for a 47. The wind died down as the morning progressed, so too did his play improve, just a bit. He came home recording a double bogey and two bogeys. He finished with an 87 and a 72 hole total of 308, twenty over par.

JG Claassen was two groups behind the struggling SA Amateur Champion, he too battled his way around the prestine Jack Nicklaus designed Pearl Valley Golf Estates layout, situated just outside Paarl in the Western Cape.

“Being three shots behind Dylan at the start of the round, I knew I had to go for everything,” explained the exciting eighteen year old amateur from Orkney Golf Club in the North West Province, after his final round. And this he certainly did. On each front nine hole he had he had a birdie or a bogey and on the ninth a double bogey, turning in 38.

JG Claassen shakes the hand of his caddie JP Lombard on conclusion of his final roundThe Zimbabwe Amateur Stroke Play Champion came home in 38, two over par, as he had done on the front nine, which included two birdies and two double bogeys. He finished with a final round of 76, four over par, and a 72 hole total of 294, six over par.

“This is the first professional golf tournament I have played,” confessed Claassen after his round. “It was tough adapting to the pressure, but it has been a great experience for me. The way the course was setup today was also an experience,” he laughed, “It was really tough.”

Looking back on the year Claassen said he it has been fantastic for him on the golf course, achieving more than he ever expected. “Next year I hope to play a bit in Europe and make the Eisenhower Trophy Team,” he said with a glint in his eye. With the bucket loads of talent that this young player seems to possess, nothing barring injury appears to be in the way of him and his goals for next year.

South African Open Championship

Venue: Pearl Valley Golf Estates, Paarl (par 72; 72 hole par 288)

Final Results: Amateurs (overall position in the field in brackets):

288 – Dylan Frittelli (69,74,72,73) (47th tie)

294 – JG Claassen (74,69,75,76) (68th tie)

308 – Ryan Dreyer (73,72,76,87) (80th)

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