Domination of his competitors is nothing new for senior golfer Dylan Frittelli. Growing up in South Africa, he quickly climbed the rankings of the top individual golfers in the nation.
From age 16 to 18, Frittelli was the No. 1 junior golfer in South Africa, and he was the top amateur golfer in the country from age 17 to 18. In 2007, he won the Callaway Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines in San Diego, and the next year he won the 2008 South African Boys’ Championship.
This high level of success did not cease for Frittelli once he joined the Longhorns. As a freshman, he was able to record his first career collegiate victory in the Puerto Rico Classic, and he tallied the best score among Longhorns in the Big 12 Championships.
He improved as a sophomore in 2010, when he recorded eight top-10 finishes, led the team in stroke average and was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. In addition to conference accolades, Frittelli received PING All-American (third team) and Golfweek All-American (third team) honors in just his second season at Texas.
Last season, he once again led the team in stroke average and received All-Big 12 and PING All-American (third team) honors for a consecutive year.
However, Frittelli may be having his best season to date as a senior in 2011-12, as no golfer has played a bigger role in the Longhorns’ No. 1 NCAA ranking.
The recently named Ben Hogan Award semifinalist and No. 1 player in the nation has been the Longhorns’ most consistent player. He has finished among the top two individual golfers in five tournaments this season, including a first-place finish in the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in Austin.
While his strong scores have helped the Longhorns on the scorecard, Frittelli’s biggest contribution may be the calming presence he brings with his consistency.
“I think [my consistency] has just settled down the other players,” Frittelli said. “If they know I’ll finish in the top 10, they don’t have to worry as much about playing well and can focus [on themselves].”
Head coach John Fields has also been impressed with Frittelli’s leadership, and he believes the senior has been a strong example for his teammates this season.
“He’s a real stabilizing force because he’s mature, experienced and extremely competitive,” Fields said. “He takes care of business, works diligently in school and golf and stays away from distractions. He’s a fine leader.”
Likewise, the rest of the Texas golfers have nothing but respect for Frittelli. Junior Cody Gribble, who is Frittelli’s roommate on road trips, considers the senior as a role model on the team for his actions on and off the golf course.
“He’s been playing extremely well, and off the course everyone looks up to him,” Gribble said. “Over the last couple of years he’s come into his own, and all of us have a lot of respect.”
The Longhorns have maintained the top ranking in collegiate golf for much of the season, and that is due in large part to the contributions of Frittelli. Texas is in the best position to win the national championship this year as it has been in the senior’s tenure, and he has stepped up as a leader for the Longhorns.
Following this season, Frittelli will turn his attention to the PGA Tour, where he will look to start a career in golf and continue his success at the highest level.
“I’ll be turning pro sometime later this year, go to Tour school and by August I hope to be pro,” Frittelli said. “Traveling around playing golf is my dream job.”