DYLAN FRITTELLI | AUSTRALIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 | ROUND 1 3 DEC 2015
OLIVIA: Dylan, welcome to the media centre. That must have been some kind of round of golf out there in those conditions to shoot 2-under?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: Yeah, it was, I’m very proud of the way I played. Started the day warming up in wet weather gear, having some rain come in there, it wasn’t looking too optimistic for a good round but knuckled down and got a good one today.
OLIVIA: Would you say that normally you’re a good wind player?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: Certainly, I grew up in Johannesburg in South Africa and really learnt how to play golf at the coast from the age of about 16 onwards. The South African coastlines also have quite a bit of wind, so I guess I’m akin to playing in the wind, yeah.
Q. Dylan, are you here as part of the Sunshine Tour contingent or the European Tour contingent?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: I’m here through the Sunshine Tour. We were given 30 spots into this tournament and I held a challenge tour card for this year, so I won’t count for the Race to Dubai but main goal is to play on the Sunshine Tour this year.
Q. Is there a full complement of those 30 guys from the Sunshine Tour, do you know?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: Yeah, as far as I know, it went through the category list and a lot of the guys pulled out towards the end, as a couple of guys pulled out, the next guy on the list has to make a decision whether he was going to fly last minute, but I’m pretty sure it went down to all 30 spots.
Q. Dylan, just wondering whether it was a case of hanging on for grim death out there? Could you really attack the course at all? Were there any scoring opportunities apart from making par?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: There were, there certainly were. I played the back, or the front 9 holes, my back 9, pretty conservatively. I had a wedge in on 12, a wedge in on 13. I hit driver off 13. I only had 115 yards to go and then I also had another wedge on 15, 16, I’m saying 15, 16, 7 6 and number 9, so if you want to take some of those tee shots on, you can leave yourself with a wedge into the green. It’s just if you miss it in a bunker or you miss it somewhere in the rough, it’s going to be extremely penal,
If someone wants to take it on this afternoon, I’m sure they can get to three, four, five under, if they do that.
Q. Can you give us a bit of a summary of your back story, your background and so on? Do you do anything in your spare time, hobbies or anything?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: I grew up in South Africa, obviously from Johannesburg, born and raised there, played college golf in America at the University of Texas in Austin. I graduated there with a degree in geography and turned pro right after that.
I moved back to South Africa right after that, tried to play on the European Challenge Tour, Sunshine Tours.
Hobbies, off the golf course I like to surf actually, that’s one of the things I’m trying to get better at. I’m maybe a 15, 16 handicap surfer, which isn’t very good, but I’m learning fast.
Q. Have you surfed while you’re here?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: I have not. I’m staying with my uncle down in Burleigh Heads and I’ve heard it’s a pretty nice point break off there, so I’m not sure I have the guts to go off the point but I might just try and surf the beach a little bit.
Q. There’s not as many sharks here.
DYLAN FRITTELLI: Yeah.
Q. Are you Italian or South African?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: I’m a South African citizen, but I’m also dual nationality with Italy so I hold an Italian passport.
Q. What’s your connection with that, is it through family?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: It’s through my family, so my great grandfather was a first generation to stay in South Africa, his father was an engineer that came from Italy and built roads and bridges and stuff in South Africa and his son managed to stay in South Africa and the name’s obviously continued since then, four generations down.
Q. Dylan, I know the golf course is extremely tough today, the overhead conditions made it that way. But what were your feelings about the golf course at the start of the week?
JOHN SENDEN: It’s in tremendous shape. I heard from some of the Australian guys that they only opened the front 9 on Sunday or Monday. I thought it’s amazing for the course to be in such good shape, for it to be virtually open a day or two. The greens were true, they were very similar to the front 9. Often you find the greens would be firmer as soon as they’re built but the greens are pretty consistent 9 to 9 and speed-wise as well, they’re very good. Fairways are all wonderful. Obviously there’s no placing, no need for it, even with the rain we had last night.
Q. You have to forgive us, we really don’t know almost anything about you at all. Have you been in this position before, winning a tournament after one, two or three rounds and how are you finding that experience and how do you deal with that?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: I haven’t found myself in the lead on the European Tour in the past but last week I was up there at the Alpha Daniel, I ended up finishing 11th, I was in the pen ultimate group playing on Sunday, so I guess you can say I’m used to it now.
In recent times, I’ve won on the Challenge Tour, I’ve won in America, Canada as an amateur, also in South Africa, so I guess I am akin to playing under pressure, maybe not in the lead, but around the lead but obviously this week Australian PGA is a wonderful championship, some amazing players playing here this week, so that certainly may add a little bit more pressure per se but I honestly don’t really worry about that, I’m just focused on making as many pars and birdies as I can.
Q. Is it safe to assume this is your first trip to Australia?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: It’s my second actually. I played World Amateur Team Championships here in 2008, down at Royal Adelaide in the Grange so I guess it’s six, seven years later, but yeah, I’ve been here before.
Q. Can I just ask you, you said you’re staying with relatives at Burleigh Heads, what your uncle’s name might be and also the long time engineer to South Africa, what his name might have been?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: I may have to ask my uncle what his name is.
DYLAN FRITTELLI: It was Favio.
DYLAN FRITTELLI: Favio. I can tell you my grandfather. My uncle’s name’s Greg, Greg Frittelli. He lives in Auckland. When I got into this championship I rang him up and he’s been amazing, he’s flown over here, got into a time share down in Burleigh Heads, staying in a nice place and he’s really helped me out.
He was a good help on the golf course today as well, keeping me calm, reminding me that pars are pretty golden out there and I’ve got a lot of thanks to give to him.
Q. You’ve spoken about being South African, of all the nationalities that come to Australia that appears to have a lot of connections to Australia-like conditions, are somewhat similar off the course as well as on?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: Yes certainly. Obviously with our sporting background we have a lot of commonalities with rugby and cricket. I saw Ricky Ponting yesterday in the Pro-Am, that was pretty cool.
But yeah, condition-wise, it’s pretty similar to our east coast in South Africa I would say, pretty windy over there and this time of year not so windy, but I guess this is not common for east coast of Australia this time of year either, so I’m not sure what the weekend or tomorrow will bring, but hopefully we get some better scoring conditions so that the TV coverage gets a bit more exciting.
Q. More in the way of background, how did you get your start playing the game?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: I was always pretty good at most sports, I played four provincial sports growing up in South Africa – baseball, hockey, soccer and golf obviously. I played that for my State and when I was 16 I decided I wanted to give golf a full go. I really was playing once or twice a month and got to a handicap of two or three. I asked the headmaster at my high school in Pretoria if I could give it a go and he said no, sorry mate, we need you on the cricket field, we need you on the hockey field.
I couldn’t get away from that, so I took a decision to do a home schooling type of deal. So my third year of high school I actually sat the fifth year exams and managed to condense five years of high school into and then after that I had basically a year off. I still had to finish two subjects but it was quite simple to finish those two subjects before I headed over to America on my college scholarship.
That was really the turning point I guess, at the age of 16 to dedicate all my time.
Q. Can you tell us where you studied college?
DYLAN FRITTELLI: The University of Texas in Austin, yeah.
OLIVIA: Thank you very much for joining us, best of luck for the rest of the week.
DYLAN FRITTELLI: Thanks guys.