We’re counting down the 25 best former Texas athletes still competing in their sport. Each day we’ll reveal a new athlete.
No. 15 Dylan Frittelli, Golf
Dylan Frittelli arrived at Texas from Johannesburg, South Africa having already won the 2007 Callaway Junior World Golf Championship. Once he got to Texas he helped the Longhorns win the 2012 NCAA Championship, earned All-American honors and was named the 2010 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. Statesman scribe Kevin Robbins detailed the championship moment in 2012:
The last hole at Riviera sweeps up a steep bank and tilts blindly right, covering 475 yards of commitment.
Some find it stunning but harsh. Yet it gave Dylan Frittelli a mysterious measure of comfort throughout the NCAA championship, like a familiar road in South Africa close to his home.
On Sunday, it gave him the best memory of his life in the game.
The only senior on the University of Texas golf team at Riviera gunned a 30-foot putt to win the national championship, the Longhorns’ first since 1972 and third in history. Frittelli won his match 1-up and provided the third and clinching point to a Texas team that failed in the first two matches with Alabama.
Frittelli had lost the par-5 17th hole to Alabama sophomore Cory Whitsett to even the match with a hole to play.
Adrenaline poured through Frittelli on the tee. But he pounded a piercing fade to the middle of the fairway. He had made an eagle from there Wednesday with an 8-iron from 182 yards. He faced 184 yards Sunday. He hit an 8-iron again.
“Except I couldn’t hit it at the pin,” Frittelli said.
Instead, he dropped his ball in the middle of the green and watched Whitsett nearly miss his third shot from the high kakuyu grass rough.
Frittelli and assistant coach Ryan Murphy discussed the 3-inch right-to-left slope of the putt.
“I’ve got this,” Frittelli told him.
When the ball fell, a season’s worth of hope and expectation ignited in the five players who came to California to play and the four who arrived Saturday to watch. The championship concluded a seven-win season for Texas, the No. 1-ranked team in men’s golf since November.
Pro career: Following that moment, Frittelli turned pro and joined the European Tour. While Frittelli has no PGA Tour wins, he does have four tournament wins on the Challenge Tour and European Tour, including two wins in 2017 and total of eight top-10 finishes in 2017. In 2016, he had one win and 13 top-10 finishes. He is currently the No. 53-ranked golfer in the world.
Why he’s here: At just 27, Frittelli is starting the prime of his career and that is evident by his last two years — his first playing PGA Tour events — where he’s starting find success. He finished 11th at the Honda Classic and reached No. 44 in the World Golf Rankings. The one blind spot is his struggles in the majors, the only events that are truly going to gain the attention of the casual fan. He’s made just one cut in the in the three majors he’s played in as a pro, finishing tied for No. 63 at the 2017 PGA Championship. However, that has come in a small sample size, and with ranking hovering in the low 50s, he certainly is a golfer to watch moving forward.
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