Frittelli drives to share of round 1 Masters lead

Nov 13, 2020 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Dylan Frittelli has found some extra distance off the tee, and he put it to good use in the first round of the Masters as he finished the weather-delayed first round on Friday, moving to seven-under-par and a share of the lead at Augusta National.

It is only his second Masters – he missed the cut in 2018 – but he looked completely comfortable with an eagle, six birdies and a bogey on his card, and, with confidence off the tee, he was able to match Paul Casey’s opening round from Thursday. World number one Dustin Johnson, playing with Frittelli, was bogey-free for his seven-under which added him to the three-way share of the lead.

He looked completely comfortable in the process, and will take momentum into the second round which he was due to begin just minutes after he completed the first.

Hi eagle came on the 13th, after he had begun his round on the 10th, and made bogey on the 12th. On 13, he used his distance off the tee to push the ball over the trees on the left and to the right of the fairway, giving himself a good angle to the green over the tributary to Rae’s Creek. He hit the approach 185 yards to 11 feet and made the putt to get himself to red figures.

He followed the eagle with three consecutive birdies, and then made two more on one and two after he turned in 32. He picked up his final stroke with birdie on six, and was unlucky to not be able to pick up more: On the par-five eighth, he was one of only seven players to reach the green in two, but he ran his 83-foot attempt at eagle 16 feet past and was unable to make the return for birdie. And on nine, he left a birdie putt of just over nine feet fractionally short.

Frittelli found himself one shot ahead of the highly-fancied Justin Thomas, who had his chances coming in to take the lead, or at least a share of it.

Louis Oosthuizen was one of eight players on four-under – together with, extraordinarily, the 63-year-olkd Bernhard Langer – and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, making his Masters debut, was on three-under. Charl Schwartzel, who won the green jacket in 2011, was on one-over and Justin Harding, who had such a good debut at Augusta last year, on three-over.

Erik van Rooyen was four-over in the first round, but was forced to withdraw from his debut in the Masters with an injury.

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