There won’t be any holding back for Dylan Frittelli in Sunday’s final round of the Masters Tournament.
The 30-year-old Frittelli, who has never contended in a major championship before this week, is tied for fifth place after 54 holes. After opening with 7-under-par 65 that tied for the first-round lead and a second-round 73, he bounced back with 67 on Saturday and is 11 under for the tournament. He’s five shots behind leader Dustin Johnson and ready to put his game into overdrive.
“I’m going to have to go and get six or seven birdies out there if I want to compete,” he said. “It’s just a golf tournament, isn’t it? Luckily there are no fans out there. That plays into my side because DJ and all the guys that have been doing that for 15 years are more comfortable with that.”
This is the South African’s second Masters appearance; he missed the cut in 2018. Overall, he’s played in nine majors, with his best finish being a tie for 31st in the 2018 PGA Championship.
“Why not go for it?” Frittelli asked. “There’s going to be a few times in your career when you’re going to be in contention so it’s pointless laying up and trying for a top-five or something.”
After being tied for the first-round lead, his 73 dropped Frittelli three shots off the lead after 36 holes. He got his mind straight on Friday night and here he is.
“I just did a few mental drills at home yesterday evening and this morning,” he said. “And I saw a guy in the golf services building and he mentioned that no one has ever shot four rounds in the 60s so he kind of put it out there that, ‘Hey, you had one bad round, you can still get in it and do well.’ It was a nice little advice, I guess.”
He then went out and shot his first bogey-free round at Augusta National.
“I had clarity, I think my mind was pretty clear. I felt confident, felt calm. I didn’t feel any nerves,” he said. “If I can feel that way tomorrow on the tee and on the golf course, I like my chances.”
Frittelli has been making plenty of birdies this week (15, including five on Saturday). He’s also made six bogeys and an eagle.
“The bogeys are going to stay away,” he joked. “I’m going to keep them as far away from me as possible.”