Fifth for Frittelli as Johnson breaks Masters records

Nov 15, 2020 | Featured, South Africans abroad

There was never going to be any catching Dustin Johnson at Augusta National on Sunday. When the world’s number one starts the day leading by four, and finishes five ahead, the best Dylan Frittelli could hope for was to make a valiant attempt at getting as close as he could.

In the end, Frittelli’s share of fifth on 11-under with Rory McIlroy at the Masters represented his best finish in a major since his share of 31st on the 2018 PGA Championship, and he will look back on a week during which he looked at all times as if he belonged and could be in contention in many more majors.

He carded a level-par 72 to finish nine strokes behind Johnson. Bear in mind that Johnson posted the lowest score ever at the Masters, surpassing the 18-under marks set by Tiger Woods and matched by Jordan Spieth, and his five-stroke margin was the biggest since Woods’ in 1997.

He started steady, making par for the first four holes, but he dropped on the fifth. He regained the shot with a birdie on seven. A bogey on eight and a birdie on nine saw him turn level. He picked up a shot on 14 to go to 12-under and line up a chance at a barnstorming finish. But his accuracy off the tee, something that was a bother all week, deserted him, and a bogey on the par-three 16th saw him back to level-par, where he was to stay.

Of his new-found distance off the tee, Frittelli had this to say: “I’ve picked up five or six miles per hour on the driver, so that’s in about two, three months now. So I made some changes, been working out really well, and actually hitting those tee shots with intention now.

“It’s kind of fun out there. It’s really made the game more enjoyable for me. Seeing Phil over the last year, two years, and saying, oh, I’m hitting bombs and stuff, and he’s having fun. It actually is really fun.”

Of course, the fun is multiplied when you come fifth in the Masters, and sew up your ticket for the 2021 edition if the event.

Behind him, Louis Oosthuizen closed with a two-under 70 to finish in a share of 23rd, while 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel came hone with a 71 to finish tied 25th. Debutant Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished with a one-under 71 to finish in a creditable share of 38th.

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