The tougher the better for Dylan Frittelli, and he will be hoping that he is tested once more as he goes into the third round of the 149th Open Championship on Saturday at Royal St George’s at Sandwich in Kent.
Frittelli carded a second-round of three-under-par 67 to go with his four-under opening round as he eased in to a share of fourth on seven-under, four strokes behind Louis Oosthuizen in the lead. Americans Collin Morikawa and 2017 Open champion Jordan Spieth are on nine-under and eight-under respectively in second and third. Frittelli shares fourth with Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler of the United States.
“I think today I faced some adversity,” said Frittelli of his second round. “The first round was pretty plain sailing. I was a little bit nervy the first few holes yesterday and similarly today, but I thought today I had to battle a little bit more to come back. Definitely through the back nine making the late birdies helped.”
Compounding the difficulty level was the fact that the South African, who was a last-minute replacement for the unfortunate Louis de Jager, was under scrutiny for slow play during the second round, “I got on the clock there on the 10th,” said Frittelli. “That sped things up and really helped. Felt like it forced me to take less time. Usually when do I that I play better. That was helpful.”
After making a bogey on the first, perhaps that introduced the element of pressure he believes he needs. “The first hole bogey wasn’t great,” he said. “I got a massive flier and then knuckled down from there just to hold it together. Made some birdies on the back nine. Just felt really good coming in and managed to hole the putt on 17 and 18, which I was a little bit nervy about for sure, but I’m glad they both went in.”
He’s hoping things stay tough for him in the third round. “It’s going to be tricky tomorrow,” he said. “I’m sure the wind will be blowing, some tough pins. I am sure the R&A will come up with a few plans to bring the scoring down. They don’t like to see low scores like this. I’m expecting some really tough pins tomorrow, and if I can just keep hitting driver down in the fairway I think the wedges will come in handy trying to get to some of those pins.”
He is making his fourth appearance in the Open Championship, with his best result coming in 2019 when he finished in a share of 32nd. This is the second time he’s made the cut in his four starts.