- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
It’s an interesting week for Dylan Frittelli, the former University of Texas star who is still the reigning John Deere Classic champion, even though he won the title — his only PGA Tour victory — two full years ago.
The event in Silvis, Illinois, was one of those canceled during the pandemic, so his defense was pushed back, but the South African said he did have a few emotions resurface on the back nine while playing a practice round this week.
“It’s quite a long time ago. I played the back nine today and had some good memories coming through there, but yeah, two years is quite a long time in a young person’s life,” he said. “If I’m only 31 years old it’s almost — what is that, 5 percent of my life, 10 percent of my life?”
Of course, Frittelli, who bought a home in Austin back in 2018, is 31 in calendar years but has always acted beyond his years. In fact, Texas men’s golf coach John Fields told the Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls a few years back that “all our guys thought he was a 40-year-old guy playing college golf here. He had a real maturity when he came to Austin.”
So the level-headed Frittelli certainly sees that while he’s maintained his high world ranking through some big showings on major stages, his week-to-week performances have been lackluster. He currently sits at No. 91 on the Official World Golf Ranking, but has dropped to 191 in our Golfweek/Sagarin ranking.
One of the issues? The flatstick. Frittelli’s putting has dropped considerably. For the current PGA Tour season, he’s fallen to 186th in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Dylan Frittelli reacts on the 18th green after winning the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. (Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
He’s tackling the issue head-on.
“I’ve worked with my coach obviously intensely to try and figure it out. We’ve outlined short irons and putting. Putting is a major one. My putting stats have been terrible this year, to be blunt,” he said.
“But I know my technique and everything related to it is pretty sound. It’s more so trying to make putts and be more creative and stop trying to be so analytical and worry about that technique. Trying to be more creative, more productive on making putts and doing drills that challenge me to make putts.”
As for the rest of his game, Frittelli is tweaking, but he thinks a few minor adjustments will put him back on top soon enough. Oh, and then there’s his personal life, where he’s found some additional free time.
“I guess I’m driving it a little bit more in the rough with the gained distance and I’m hitting driver more often, so I find myself in that 160- or 150-and-in yardage a lot more often. I’ve also focused on that, trying to get that better,” he said. “In general I’m playing pretty well. I don’t think, as a lot of guys say, my results don’t reflect how I’m playing. I think mental side I’ve been a little bit distracted the last few months. I haven’t really been too focused. Came out of a relationship recently, so hopefully that’s going to get me on a nice straight trajectory to playing the good golf again.
“Once that kind of clears up and I’ve worked on those two things, I think I’ll be back to top-70, top-60 player that I know I can be.”