Reigning Indian Open champion, four-time European Tour winner and six-time Asian Tour champion Shiv Sankar Prasad Chawrasia has added his name to the 2017 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at The Heritage Golf Club at Heritage Resorts in November.
‘SSP’, as he is known, joins Asian Tour star Scott Hend of Australia, currently ranked third on the Order of Merit in a field that also includes 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, multiple European Tour winners Brandon Stone and George Coetzee, and rising French professional Romain Langasque.
Chawrasia hopes to make a push for the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown with a solid performance at the €1-million AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. He is currently ranked fourth on the Order of Merit ranking, and has a fighting chance to win the accolade for the first time in his career.
‘This is the first time I’m playing at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and I’m very excited because I heard it is such a beautiful island. I know it will be very windy, but I’m used to playing in the wind from my experience of playing in Europe.
‘My focus now is to become the Asian Tour No 1. Earlier in the year, I wasn’t too far back because I was playing so well. Now I’m trailing by about US$200 000, so I need to do well or win a big event like the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. It is definitely my goal to win the Order of Merit,’ said Chawrasia.
The 2016 and 2017 seasons have been memorable for Chawrasia, who represented his country in the Olympic Men’s Golf Competition. He also won his National Open and successfully defended the title in March. He is only the third golfer in history to successfully defend the Indian Open.
This year, Chawrasia was also a recipient of India’s prestigious Arjuna Award in recognition of his performances on the international stage over the past decade.
As the son of the greenkeeper at Calcutta Golf Club, Chawrasia started out as a caddie before becoming a fulltime professional, who now plays on both the Asian Tour and European Tour.
He made European Tour history in 2008 when he became the first player to win on debut in the Indian Masters, and was the third Indian golfer to win on the European Tour.
His presence in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open again highlights the diversity of the field for a tournament tri-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour.
This year the tournament field has been expanded to include 156 professionals competing for the €1-million in prize money.
Photo: Ross Kinnaird, Getty Images