AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open a masterstroke for “Brand Mauritius”
The third edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will feature the biggest field in its history as a Major winner and some of the most exciting young stars in the global game headline this €1 million tournament at The Heritage Golf Club from 30 November to 3 December.
Former Open champion and current world number 20 Louis Oosthuizen will make his debut in this tri-sanctioned tournament between the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour.
Oosthuizen is also co-designing the second golf course at Heritage Resorts in partnership with renowned golf course architect Peter Matkovich, who designed the award-winning Heritage Golf Club and which was voted the Best Golf Course in the Indian Ocean at the World Golf Awards of 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“I am thrilled to be co-designing this incredible second golf course at Heritage Resorts with Peter Matkovich. I am really looking forward to working on the luxurious land of Bel Ombre and creating a golf course which perfectly balances the challenge of a championship layout with the element of fun that needs to be incorporated into any golf course,” Oosthuizen said.
Oosthuizen will be joined in the 156-man field by young stars such as French professional Romain Langasque and the South African duo of Brandon Stone and Dylan Frittelli.
Langasque, who was only 20 when he tied the record for the lowest back nine (31) in Masters history by an amateur and who is playing in his rookie season on the European Tour, will make his debut in the tournament.
“I am really looking forward to playing in my first AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at The Heritage Golf Club. By reputation, I know that the golf course is fantastic and I love visiting the beautiful island of Mauritius,” he said.
Stone is a multiple European Tour winner who this year played in his first US Open and finished tied 35th.
“I really enjoy the traveling and just seeing places I’ve never been to before. I’m trying to get the full value of playing on the European Tour, which is a world tour. I’m hoping to experience a lot more than I did last season, and try and make a few more memories and hopefully play some good golf,” said Stone.
And Frittelli heads to Mauritius having broken through with his maiden victory on the European Tour this year in the Lyoness Open.
“For me this year has been about believing I’m good enough to be one of the best in the world. I’ve always been patient about moving from one phase to the next in my career. The European Tour victory was recognition of keeping the faith, sticking to my process and trusting myself. That builds confidence because you know you can play and be competitive at every level in this game,” he said.
Other top South Africans in the field include the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open champion George Coetzee and multiple Sunshine Tour winner Jaco van Zyl.
This year’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open has taken a significant step forward in terms of positioning itself as Mauritius’s premier golf tournament and enhancing the golf tourism industry on the island.
The tournament also has a new date on the European Tour calendar, making it the second counting event on The 2018 Race to Dubai.
“This is a milestone year for arguably the most significant tournament in the growing partnership between the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour to strengthen golf in the southern hemisphere. The strength of our partnerships is reflected in how quickly this tournament has grown to become the biggest sporting event in the Indian Ocean,” said Selwyn Nathan, the Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour.
With a wealth of golf courses designed by luminaries such as Ernie Els, Bernhard Langer and Peter Matkovich, the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open plays a key role in the ongoing development of golf on the island by the Mauritius Golf Federation.
“The Mauritius Golf Federation is once again honoured to host the professionals from the three Tours. Their presence in the biggest golf tournament in Mauritius plays a key role in our own efforts to keep developing golf here and give our own young stars something to aspire to,” said Christophe Curé, President of the Mauritius Golf Federation.
“We are extremely proud of the world-class golf courses we have on offer in Mauritius, and this tournament is a wonderful representation of Mauritius as an important roleplayer in the golf industry.”
The Heritage Golf Club will host the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open for the second time in three years, entrenching its status as the premier golf destination in the Indian Ocean.
“This tournament is definitely a unique opportunity to highlight to the world what Mauritius has to offer in terms of business and sport whilst reminding them of the beauty and hospitality that Mauritius has to offer,” said Philippe Espitalier-Noël, Chief Executive Officer of the Rogers Group.
“Our diversified range of world-class golf courses in Mauritius have the playing quality that modern golf demands and with all the services that are required for a memorable golf experience. The country currently boasts nine 18-hole courses and another two are due for completion at the end of 2017 and 2018, including a second one here on the Domaine de Bel Ombre.
“Our island is recognised as the best golf destination for the Africa, Gulf States and Indian Ocean region by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO). According to IAGTO, ‘Mauritius is the stellar performer in this part of the world, creating and developing a sustainable appeal as a golf destination for the past decade’.”
As a major regional sponsor of golf, AfrAsia Bank’s global reach and diversity reflects the opportunities created by the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to provide sponsorship value for companies seeking added exposure in the markets of Africa, Asia and Europe.
The tournament has a strong portfolio of main sponsors including AfrAsia Bank, Air Mauritius (Official Airline), Heritage Resorts, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), Anahita Mauritius, Villas Valriche, Jaguar (Official Vehicle), Coca-Cola and Rogers.
“At the outset, the tournament’s objective is to place Mauritius at the forefront and since its launch in 2015 we have witnessed an excellent collaboration between the Government, Private and Public sectors, making this tournament truly unique with all working together towards one common vision,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer of AfrAsia Bank.
“We believe the event has established and will continue to establish the ‘Mauritius Brand’ on a global platform, and the two key businesses which will benefit more than others are the Tourism and Financial Services industries.
“At AfrAsia we have embarked on a journey to position the bank as an institution which promises to be committed to service excellence and to become an employer of choice. With these strategic goals, having the brand established and recognised is a significant necessity. The tournament has been a catalyst when deploying our brand globally and remains a perfect fit for us.”