South African star Dylan Frittelli is preparing to attack Royal Portrush as he bids to close the gap on the Open Championship leaders.
Dylan Frittelli (50/1 Outright Betting) hopes to stay in contention before making a run for Open Championship glory on Sunday.
The 29-year-old came into the year’s final major having just won his first PGA Tour event, holding off Russell Henley to win the John Deere Classic by two shots last Sunday.
The South African franked that form with rounds of 68 and 69 on Thursday and Friday respectively at Royal Portrush to sit on -5 and in a share of eighth place after 36 holes.
He is only three shots off the lead held jointly by Ireland’s Shane Lowry and JB Holmes of the USA, with English duo Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood tied for third on seven-under.
There are several big-name players between himself and the top of the leaderboard, with Justin Rose on -6 while Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth – with seven majors between them – joined Frittelli on -5.
It looks set to be a thrilling weekend in Northern Ireland and Frittelli is hoping to be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m going to give tomorrow a go,” he said after Friday’s round. “If I can hang around the lead tomorrow, I’ll put my head down and do the same on Sunday, and look up at the leaderboard with a few holes to go on Sunday and if I’m in contention, you know I’m going to be gunning for it.”
South African players have fared well at the tournament to date as Justin Harding sits on -6, while compatriot Erik van Rooyen reached -4 at the halfway stage (Frittelli 2/1 Top S African).
Veteran Ernie Els made the cut on two-under, with Branden Grace (-1) and Louis Oosthuizen (even par) also qualifying for the weekend.