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Frittelli pips Atwal in Mauritius play-off

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Dylan Frittelli of South Africa birdied the first play-off hole to defeat Arjun Atwal of India in a thrilling final day at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Frittelli closed with a four-under-par 67 to finish on 16-under-par 268 which was matched by a battling Atwal, whose 25-foot eagle putt on the last hole hit the side of the cup before spinning past the hole. 

Atwal birdied the hole to force extra time but was beaten by the South African’s birdie on 18 as Atwal made par to settle for second place at the €1million (approximately US$1.07 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and European Tour.

Frittelli shared, "It is good for me to finally win a play-off. It has been three on the European Tour and one on the Sunshine Tour which I’ve lost. I’m proud of the way I played the 18th hole. I hit a good drive there which pretty much sums up the week. Just great ball striking and putting pressure on the rest of the field. Putting held on at the end."

Atwal said, "I didn’t know read the line in my second shot (play-off), didn’t hit a good shot and didn’t hit a great putt. Dylan obviously did the right thing and deserves to win. I’m happy with the way played this week but right now I’m just disappointed to lose the tournament. You don’t get many chances especially at my age. I’ll take a lot of positives out of this week but right now I’m really mad.

To be honest, I haven’t been in that situation in a while. To be fair, I think I handled myself quite well. The tee shot (play-off) was okay. I still put myself in position to make birdie but I didn’t pull through. "

Popular Frenchman Romain Langasque posted a 67 to finish in third place on 270 while co-overnight leader Louis De Jager of South Africa ended his campaign in fourth place following a 71.

Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, a winner on the Asian Tour, posted a 71 to claim a share of fifth place after playing through a wrist injury at the Heritage Golf Club.

The dashing Frittelli continued his fine form in a highly a successful 2017 where he won his first European Tour title in Austria in June and finished runner-up thrice. His victory at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open was his second on the European Tour and first in the new 2018 season.

The 44-year-old Atwal, who will captain Team Asia in the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM next year, was disappointed to lose in the play-off after holding at least a share of the lead since the opening day where he set a course record 62.

Leading final round scores:

268 - Dylan FRITTELLI (RSA) 67 66 68 67, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 62 70 68 68

*Frittelli wins on first play-off hole with a birdie

270 - Romain LANGASQUE (FRA) 67 69 67 67

271 - Louis DE JAGER (RSA) 66 67 67 71

272 - Matthieu PAVON (FRA) 69 68 69 66, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 66 68 67 71

273 - Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 67 68 71 67, Jose-Filipe LIMA (POR) 68 66 69 70

274 - Ockie STRYDOM (RSA) 66 68 73 67, George COETZEE (RSA) 67 71 68 68, Jean-Paul STRYDOM (RSA) 71 69 66 68, Oliver BEKKER (RSA) 67 67 71 69, Joel STALTER (FRA) 67 68 70 69

275 - Jeff WINTHER (DEN) 71 68 72 64, Justin WALTERS (RSA) 68 66 69 72

276 - Darren FICHARDT (RSA) 70 66 70 70, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 69 69 68 70, Laurie CANTER (ENG) 67 66 72 71, Ricardo GOUVEIA (POR) 68 68 68 72

277 - WU Ashun (CHN) 72 68 70 67, Jinho CHOI (KOR) 71 66 70 70

278 - Paul PETERSON (USA) 70 69 70 69, Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) 68 72 69 69, Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 70 70 68 70, Neil SCHIETEKAT (RSA) 70 70 68 70, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 68 70 69 71

279 - Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 68 72 71 68, Andrea PAVAN (ITA) 68 69 73 69, Nico GEYGER (CHI) 71 69 70 69, S.S.P CHAWRASIA (IND) 69 67 73 70, Dean BURMESTER (RSA) 71 70 68 70