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Frittelli has high hopes in Mauritius

November 27, 2018

Defending champion Dylan Frittelli has arrived at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita with fond memories, but with his focus on achieving even more in 2019.

Frittelli has high hopes in Mauritius, © Getty Images

- Getty Images

“I look back on last year with fond memories both here in Mauritius and in general on the European Tour, but I've got bigger sights this year - hopefully I can win a few times or win some even bigger tournaments. But first of all, I just want to play well here."

The former Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year has had a dream start to his European Tour career, winning the LYONESS OPEN powered by ORGANIC+ in Austria in his debut year and following that up with title number two in Mauritius last season.

Since then the 28 year old South African has broken into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time and appeared in all four Major Championships - a trend that he is keen to continue as he sets his sights on gathering more titles.

Frittelli's victory last year came at Heritage Resorts while his only previous appearance at the Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita resulted in a missed cut, but he insists he is not feeling any pressure - partly due to the relaxed atmosphere on the picturesque island.

“Coming in here as defending champion relaxes me if anything because the pressure is off me. People may say "oh you're used to the golf course", well, no I'm not. I played here two years ago and missed the cut. Hopefully this year will go a lot better. Hopefully I'll feel more relaxed having seen the course before, but I'm just excited to get going."

“The experiences in the Majors were awesome. I've played in the last six Majors now so I'm trying to keep that streak alive going into 2019. It's just fun to play in those kind of big tournaments. I got to The Masters for the first time, played The Open for a second time. There were tons of cool experiences throughout.”

Meanwhile Bernd Wiesberger is enjoying every moment of his maiden appearance at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

The four-time European Tour winner from Austria is teeing it up for the first time since April following his recovery from a wrist injury and is keen to get back to competitive action at the Ernie Els-designed Anahita course.

“It's been a while, I've had a wrist injury since just after the Volvo China Open, around the beginning of May. It's good to be out here again seeing the guys and good to be playing again. It's a lovely week to finally start off again."

“I'm lacking a lot of tournament experience over the last months but me and my team have worked hard to get me to positions to feel the flow of a competitive round. I'm sure I'll be able to handle it come Thursday, but obviously it's going to be fun to tee off again with a score card in hand."

Four-time Major winner Els will also make his debut in the event, albeit with some insider knowledge, alongside fellow South African George Coetzee, who triumphed in the first edition four years ago, and 2016 winner Jeunghun Wang of Korea.

“I love the island vibe," said Coetzee, "it's such a special place to come and play. Obviously winning the first one makes it extra special for me to come back. It's good fun. The weather comes and goes - every day you'll have some time on the beach and some time that you can chill in your room, but it's just a fun place to come to.”