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Frittelli, Svensson and Girrbach share lead at Bahrain Championship

Dylan Frittelli Dylan Frittelli - The Canadian Press

RIFFA, Bahrain (AP) — Dylan Frittelli birdied his last hole for a 4-under 68 to take a share of the lead with Jesper Svensson and Joel Girrbach at the halfway point of the Bahrain Championship on Friday.

The trio was 9-under 135 after two rounds at the Royal Golf Club. They share a one-shot lead over Alejandro del Rey (70), while five players are a further stroke behind.

Frittelli, the South African who holed the winning putt for Texas when it won the NCAA title in 2012, sank a 4-footer for birdie on No. 9 to complete a round that included four other birdies and a bogey.

Svensson shot a 65 — the lowest round of the day — in windy conditions as the 27-year-old Swede eyes his first European tour title.

Frittelli had a rough 2023 on the PGA tour, missing the cut or withdrawing from 23 of his 27 starts.

“I'm super excited to be in contention again,” the 33-year-old Frittelli said. ”I'm really proud of the way I played, I kept it in the fairway, kept it on the greens."

Play was suspended for fading light with three players lower on the leaderboard still to complete their final hole.

Overnight leader Tom Vaillant's 73 left him in a five-way tie for fifth with Julien Guerrier, Jamie Donaldson, Harrison Endycott and Ockie Strydom.

Rasmus Hojgaard, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 70, shot 73 and was five strokes off the lead. He was runner-up last week in Ras Al Khaimah.

The Bahrain Championship is a new tournament on the European tour schedule and the fourth of five straight weeks to start 2024 in the Middle East. The tour was last in Bahrain for the debut of the now-defunct Volvo Tournament of Champions in 2011.


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