Gary Player inspires De Jager to lead AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

HERITAGE RESORTS, Mauritius (2 December 2017) – The time Louis de Jager spent with Gary Player last week has certainly paid off as the young South African now has the opportunity to win his first co-sanctioned tournament in the €1 million AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

De Jager heads into Sunday’s final round of this Sunshine, European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event tied for the lead on 13 under with India’s Arjun Atwal.

He worked his way to the top of the leaderboard with a bogey-free 67 in windy conditions at the Heritage Golf Club on Saturday, while Atwal relinquished the sole lead when he missed a short par putt on the last for a 68. They are only one shot clear of South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli and Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines.

Last week, De Jager was invited to play in the pro-am of the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola at Sun City, and he took the opportunity to spend a bit of time with Grand Slam champion Player.

“Mr Player is very inspirational. The stories he tells you and the advice he gives you is because he’s been there. I enjoy listening to him and always take something out of the stories he tells. I always try and use the advice he gives,” he said.

De Jager now finds himself in new territory, playing in the final group of a co-sanctioned tournament for the first time on Sunday.

“Maybe I should try and give Mr Player a call tonight. It would be nice to talk to him,” he joked.

“I’m just going to cherish the moment. I’m looking forward to it and I’m going to go out there and give it my all.”

As much as this tournament is played in paradise and with the players admitting to feeling guilty about going straight from the golf course to the beach and not the range, the Heritage Golf Club course was a hard place to be on Saturday.

“It did play harder than the previous two days. It was definitely blowing harder. The driving was difficult because we had crosswinds on most holes,” said Atwal, who has been at the top of the leaderboard for three days now.

Frittelli also found the third round more challenging.

“I would have to check the stats but I would figure it was at least a shot-and-a-half harder than the first two days,” he said after his 68.

“It’s just tough when you’re on the green, 30 feet away with the wind blowing sideways. You’re just trying to lag it up there. You just have to roll it up and tap it in because you can’t really give it a go. You’re standing with an iron shot thinking, well, unless I hit it inside 30 feet I’m just lagging it, so there’s lot of pressure on those iron shots.”

Scores from the third round of the €1 million AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, played at the par-71 Heritage Golf Club on Saturday:

200 – Louis de Jager 66 67 67, Arjun Atwal 62 70 68

201 – Miguel Tabuena 66 68 67, Dylan Frittelli 67 66 68

203 – Romain Langasque 67 69 67, Justin Walters 68 66 69, Jose-Filipe Lima 68 66 69

204 – Ricardo Gouveia 68 68 68

205 – Joel Stalter 67 68 70, Oliver Bekker 67 67 71, Laurie Canter 67 66 72

206 – Doug McGuigan 69 71 66, Jean-Paul Strydom 71 69 66, Haydn Porteous 69 71 66, George Coetzee 67 71 68, Shiv Kapur 69 69 68, Matthieu Pavon 69 68 69, Darren Fichardt 70 66 70, Louis Oosthuizen 67 68 71, Mark Williams 69 66 71

207 – Masahiro Kawamura 68 70 69, Jinho Choi 71 66 70, Ockie Strydom 66 68 73

208 – Gaganjeet Bhullar 70 71 67, Casey O’Toole 68 72 68, Neil Schietekat 70 70 68, Scott Vincent 70 70 68

209 – Carlos Pigem 73 68 68, Dean Burmester 71 70 68, Sam Horsfield 68 72 69, Jbe’ Kruger 67 72 70, Phachara Khongwatmai 71 68 70, Paul Peterson 70 69 70, S S P Chawrasia 69 67 73

210 – Jacques Blaauw 71 70 69, Richard Mcevoy 68 73 69, Peter Karmis 73 67 70, Ashun Wu 72 68 70, Nico Geyger 71 69 70, Marcel Schneider 72 66 72, Pep Angles 68 69 73, Andrea Pavan 68 69 73

211 – Pontus Widegren 67 74 70, Suradit Yongcharoenchai 69 71 71, Shubankar Sharma 68 72 71, Sebastian Heisele 66 73 72, Jeff Winther 71 68 72, Marcus Kinhult 67 72 72, Sutijet Kooratanapisan 76 62 73, Adilson Da Silva 66 71 74, Anders Hansen 67 69 75

212 – Ashley Chesters 72 69 71, Scott Fernandez 73 68 71, Steven Brown 73 68 71, Jacques Kruyswijk 68 72 72, Jens Dantorp 70 70 72, Jason Knutzon 67 73 72

213 – Lyle Rowe 72 69 72, Christiaan Basson 72 69 72, Jack Harrison 71 69 73, Clement Sordet 70 69 74, Jarin Todd 68 69 76

214 – Pedro Oriol 71 70 73, Jaco Prinsloo 69 68 77

215 – Pavit Tangkamolprasert 72 69 74

216 – Johannes Veerman 69 72 75

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