• Mauritius Open appeal keeps growing

    Louis Oosthuizen
    Louis threatened in 2017

    In its three short years as a tri-sanctioned tournament, the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open has done what many more established tournaments would dream of doing by attracting not only some of golf’s current stars, but those of the future as well.

    The fourth edition of a tournament sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour will be played at the Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita from 29 November to 2 December.

    Its phenomenal growth in appeal among the world’s leading professionals is reflected by the fact that in its three years to date as a tri-sanctioned event, the Mauritius Open can already boast two European Ryder Cup captains in the form of 2016 captain Darren Clarke and his 2018 counterpart Thomas Bjørn.

    It has also had eight European Ryder Cup players tee it up in this tournament, including of course Bjørn and Clarke as well as Nicolas Colsaerts, Jamie Donaldson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Edoardo Molinari, Barry Lane and most recently Thorbjørn Olesen. Olesen lost in a playoff to George Coetzee in the 2015 Mauritius Open, and three years later found himself on golf’s biggest stage as a member of Bjørn’s victorious team in the Ryder Cup.

    It was a similar story for Fitzpatrick, with the young Englishman making his debut in the 2015 Mauritius Open and a year later earning European selection to his first Ryder Cup.

    The tournament has also had two Major winners in its field, with Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Championship) and Clarke (2011 Open Championship) both playing last year. And with Oosthuizen’s presence, the Mauritius Open’s ‘Hall of Fame’ also includes Presidents Cup representation.

    In terms of future potential, Dylan Frittelli won last year’s Mauritius Open and went on to break into the top 50 on the official world golf rankings for the first time in his career early in 2018. He has since gone on to secure a PGA Tour card for the 2019 season.

    And India’s Shubhankar Sharma went from his finish of 27th in last year’s tournament to winning the Joburg Open a week later for his first European Tour title, and then a few months later becoming only the fourth Indian golfer in history to play in The Masters.

    The Mauritius Open field has also included the top-ranked player on the Asian Tour playing in the 2016 and 2017 tournaments, namely Scott Hend and Gavin Green.

    Photo: Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images

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