Michael Hoey closing in on leader Dylan Frittelli at NI Open

Dylan Frittelli has a narrow one shot lead going into the final round of the NI Open. Picture by Golffile  
Paul Kelly

DYLAN Frittelli will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Tayto Northern Ireland Open in partnership with Ulster Bank after shooting a bogey-free 65 at Galgorm Castle GC.

The South African leads Dutchman Wil Besseling by one, with defending champion Clement Sordet a shot further back. Tournament ambassador Michael Hoey is tied for fourth alongside Englishman Sam Hutsby and New Zealander Ryan Fox on 10 under par.

Frittelli, a former European Challenge Tour winner, had to complete his second round in the morning as a six-hour rain delay from Thursday’s first round carried through to Saturday.

The 26 year old carded a one under par 70 for his second round, but came out firing, grabbing an eagle and four further birdies.

“It was tough out there but I knuckled down well, kept the bogeys off the card and threw in some birdies," said Frittelli.

“It was a good tee shot on the second, I was 12 feet from the hole on the fringe and made a good putt.

“This morning I was focused on making the cut and playing the weekend. I didn’t finish my round that well, so I did some work on the range and felt a whole lot better. It was a good day, and I had good mental focus.

“When I come back [for the final round], I’m going to try and play the way I played today. If I shoot another round of six under par, I can’t see anyone else coming back and knocking a total of 19 under par.”

Hoey also had to come back to finish off his second round, eventually signing for a four under 67 before adding a third round 68.

"I felt like four shots back might have been too much because Dylan was playing well, it’s not far away but five or six under will be needed," said Hoey.

"I got great support out there. I haven’t had that for a while and not had a noise like that, so that was good. I’m playing steady and driving it pretty good. The greens are so good that I think I'm going to need to hole two or three more putts."

The final three-ball will begin their quest for the title at 11.40am. Michael Hoey is in the second last group at 11.30am




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