For the second-time in his career, Dylan Frittelli was denied a maiden European Tour title by a play-off defeat.

A play-off defeat to Alexander Levy at the Volvo China Open is added to the 2015 loss at the Australian PGA Championship.

Embed from Getty Images

Frittelli started the day at 19-under-par, three shots ahead of Pablo Larrazábal in second and seven shots ahead of Levy in third.

Frittelli went out in a steady 36 – with a bogey at the 5th and birdie at the 7th – as Larrazábal lost ground, going out in 37. Meanwhile, Levy – who becomes the first man to win the Volvo China Open twice- closed in to two shots after getting to three-under for the round through 11 holes.

Embed from Getty Images

The grasp on the lead loosened significantly with a double-bogey on the par five 12th to knock Frittelli back to only two shots ahead.

A birdie on the 15th, after an eagle on the 12th, brought last week’s Shenzhen International winner Bernd Wiesberger joint second with Larrazábal and Levy from nine-shots back to within contention.

Frittelli found the front bunker on the 14th but managed a crucial up-and-down to hold off the trailing pack. However, a short pitch on the 327-yard par four 15th set up a birdie for Levy to move within one.

The same hole confronted Frittelli next who found the green in one, giving him three putts for par; the South African only needed two and extended his lead back to two shots.

Embed from Getty Images

A poorly synchronised swing from Frittelli on the par three 16th left him with an impossible chip from directly in-front of a boulder. With no way of getting near to the pin, he had to bail to over 50-feet away. His first putt came up 10-feet short, but his tricky downhill second attempt was sunk for a crucial bogey-save to hold onto his lead.

From the 9th to 17th Larrazábal only managed 9 consecutive pars and struggled to make a move towards Frittelli or Levy ahead of him.

A fourth consecutive 10-foot-or-so putt from Frittelli saved him another par on the 17th and, after a birdie from Levy, ensured he headed down the fairway of the 72nd hole of the event knowing a birdie on a par five would be enough for his first European Tour title.

Frittelli’s approach fell the wrong side of the grand stand, sandwiched between a tree trunk and a fire extinguisher. However, because of the positioning of safety equipment, he got a free drop back on the right side of the grand stand with an up-and-down to win.

His chip fell well short, as did his second putt meaning he would be taken to a play-off by Levy.

The first hole of the play-off saw Frittelli’s downfall as he found the bunker off the tee and, after three shots apiece, was 10-foot outside Levy. The Frenchman was able to sink his putt and steal the title from Frittelli.

Advertisements