Detry adds his name to 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open field.

Belgium’s Thomas Detry, one of the most exciting new stars on the PGA Tour, has confirmed his place in a quality field for the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Mont Choisy Le Golf from 15-18 December.

 

The 29-year-old Detry will join fellow PGA Tour campaigner Dean Burmester, DP World Tour champions George Coetzee, Brandon Stone and Antoine Rozner, Matthieu Pavon who finished second in this event in 2018, the big-hitting Wilco Nienaber, and former European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn.

 

Detry heads to Mauritius at the end of a strong year for the young professional in which he finished in the top-12 in three of the five PGA Tour events he played in his rookie season there – including second place in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship – and also had six top-15 finishes on the DP World Tour. He challenged for the title in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City before finishing tied 13th.

 

This will be Detry’s second appearance in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open after he finished tied fourth in 2019, and he continues a tradition of young stars who had success in this tournament during their global rise in the game. The last two winners of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open – Rasmus Højgaard and Kurt Kitayama – have both been at the forefront of the new generation of professionals on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.

 

The 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open returns to the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour schedules for the first time since 2019 following the Covid-19 pandemic and has drawn a glittering array of blue-chip sponsors including Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels, Mont Choisy Group, Jaguar, Rogers, Heritage Resorts, IBL, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), 3G Mobile, Phoenix Beverages, Air Mauritius, Mautourco, Fenix XCell Apparel, Hertz, Jacobs, C-Care, Emtel and PRO CARTS.

Mont Choisy Le Golf set to impress as host of 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

The spectacular Mont Choisy Le Golf will make its international tournament debut on the DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour schedules when it hosts the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open for the first time during 15-18 December, and golf course designer Peter Matkovich is excited about a course he says will present a fair and exciting challenge for the world’s professionals.

 

“I think our team did an incredible job in creating a golf course that we love, and which the members and owners are also very happy with. It looks very natural and we’ve used the black volcanic rock that is a feature in the north of the island to create this beautiful contrast with the green grass,” Matkovich said of the only 18-hole championship course in the northern region of Mauritius.

 

Matkovich’s love for this golf course began almost 16 years ago when he first walked the magnificent Allée des Flamboyants walkway which leads to the Mont Choisy Golf and Beach Estate and envisioned a golf course there.

 

“It was a special place for me in Mauritius. It was a challenge designing and building the golf course to get the right balance with the volcanic rock, and to also conserve the topsoil and water of the area which is very scarce. The shaping team did an incredible job, and the landscaping team has also ensured that the golf course blends superbly with its environment. My philosophy is to bring golf back into golf course design and we achieved that here with a golf course that places as much emphasis on strategy as it does on the experience.”

 

Jyoti Jeetun, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Mont Choisy Group, believes Mont Choisy Le Golf will make a tremendous impact as the home of the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

 

“Peter and his team at Peter Matkovich Design have done a wonderful job in creating a course that is a visual splendour as well as a delight to play, for both our members and the professionals. Set between the iconic town of Grand Baie and Mon Choisy Beach, it is going to be a privilege for us to showcase this magnificent course to an international audience and the way it complements the ‘Once in a Lifestyle’ proposition the beautiful Mont Choisy Golf and Beach Estate has to offer.”

 

As a challenge for the professionals, Matkovich and his team have created a golf course that is not overly long at 6 447 metres and with a blend of tough holes offset by some exciting driveable par fours.

 

“I think in December at the time of the tournament the golf course should play hard and fast, which is what we’d like. I do believe we’ll see good scores from the professionals.”

 

The 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open returns to the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour schedules for the first time since 2019 following the Covid-19 pandemic and has drawn a glittering array of blue-chip sponsors including Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels, Mont Choisy Group, Jaguar, Rogers, Heritage Resorts, IBL, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), 3G Mobile, Phoenix Beverages, Air Mauritius, Mautourco, Fenix Apparel and Hertz.

Burmester confirmed for 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

Dean Burmester, South Africa’s latest PGA TOUR member, has confirmed his place in the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Mont Choisy Le Golf from 15-18 December which is co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour.

 

Burmester, an ambassador for Mont Choisy Le Golf as well as tournament sponsor Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels, returns to Mauritius as a newly minted PGA TOUR member after securing his status for next season through the Korn Ferry Tour. He also achieved another notable first of his best finish in a Major when he ended tied 11th in the 150th Open Championship in St Andrews this July.

 

The two-time DP World Tour champion and eight-time Sunshine Tour winner is looking forward to improving on his top finish of tied 20th in the 2015 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open as he plays a tournament that is close to his heart.

 

“I have a proud association with Mauritius through Mont Choisy Le Golf and Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels. Mauritius, and the Trou aux Biches Beachcomber, has always been a destination that I love going to, especially with my family. The fact that this year’s tournament will be played at Mont Choisy Le Golf for the first time made it an even easier decision for me to end what has been a memorable year on the beautiful island of Mauritius,” said Burmester.

 

“I love what Peter Matkovich has done with his design of Mont Choisy Le Golf and I can’t wait to see how the course plays under championship conditions.”

 

From his first Sunshine Tour victory in the 2013 Polokwane Classic, Burmester has been a consistent winner on his home Tour. He was able to translate this into his breakthrough on the DP World Tour when he won the 2017 Tshwane Open. The 33-year-old South African added a second DP World Tour title in the 2021 Tenerife Open and has climbed as high as 64th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

 

The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open returns to the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour schedules for the first time since 2019 following the Covid-19 pandemic and has drawn a glittering array of blue-chip sponsors including Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels, Mont Choisy Le Golf, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), Jaguar, Rogers, Heritage Resorts, IBL, 3G Mobile, Phoenix Beverages, Air Mauritius, Emtel, Mautourco and Hertz.

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open moves flag to 2022

Dear Sponsors, Partners, Volunteers and Golf Enthusiasts,

The current development of the COVID-19 situation worldwide, with new emerging variants, together with the logistical challenges that come with the pandemic restrictions, has forced another postponement of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. The decision to reschedule this major sporting event to December 2022 has been made in partnership with the Tournament committee, the title sponsor, the Tours and other key stakeholders. Above all else, our priority is to protect the health and safety of our players, officials, staff, media, visitors and supporters, as well as the broader community.

Staging a sporting event like the Mauritius Open, with 156 professional golfers, their support teams and families, 5000 golf fans and important delegations from international media and broadcasters from around the world requires intensive planning and preparation. At this point in time and with the reality of the pandemic, it seems extremely unlikely that the international players, who hail from more than 30 different countries, would be able to travel safely and without concern.

With the hope that the pandemic will be under control by next year, we believe that Mauritius’ largest sporting event will soon return with some of the best golfers in the world again gracing our shores. Our thanks go to the title sponsor AfrAsia Bank and to our other valued sponsors and partners for their ongoing support, patience and trust.

I would like to reassure our motivated and professional staff, supporters and partners, as well as the golf fans from all over the world that we will work tirelessly to deliver this iconic event in 2022.

Image Credit: Grant Leversha

World tours welcome back AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

 

The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will return to the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour schedules for the first time since 2019 at a celebrated new world-class host venue this December.

 

The sixth edition of this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournament will break new ground when it travels to the northern region of the island for the first time and to the championship golf course of Mont Choisy Le Golf from 15-18 December 2022.

 

Mauritius will also be the grand finale of a strong conclusion to 2022 for the Sunshine Tour. The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will be played at the end of a four-week run of premier Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned events that begins in Johannesburg and ends on the island, featuring a selection of the finest professionals from both tours.

 

“We are delighted to make our return to the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour, and more importantly to be the catalyst for bringing the largest sporting event of the region to Mauritius for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open is an important contributor to the Mauritian economy with a spillover effect to key sectors such as the tourism and financial services to name a few. This tournament, broadcast worldwide, always draws a strong field and plenty of international interest and remains a source of great national pride,” said Thierry Vallet, Founder Executive and Interim CEO of AfrAsia Bank.

 

The 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open has once again drawn a glittering array of blue-chip sponsors, including Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels which is a premier accommodation partner to the tournament through its eight resorts in Mauritius.

 

“The Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels Group is firmly entrenched in the history of Mauritius, and we are proud to partner with the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and help to stimulate the Mauritius tourism industry as we have done since 1962. As the leading hotel group in Mauritius, we are ready to open the doors of our award-winning resorts to the field of international golfers as well as the spectators traveling from abroad to spend this memorable week with us,” said Gilbert Espitalier-Noel, CEO of Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels Group.

 

Mont Choisy Le Golf will make its debut as the host of this year’s tournament, which travels to the magnificent Grand Baie region for the first time.

 

“It is a privilege for Mont Choisy Le Golf to host the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and make our own bit of history in this event. As the only 18-hole championship golf course in the North, we look forward to welcoming the international field to our Peter Matkovich-designed golf course and trust they will enjoy the golf course as well as their week spent in the most prestigious address in Grand Baie at the Mont Choisy Golf and Beach Estate,” said Jyoti Jeetun, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Mont Choisy Group.

 

With a global television broadcast to almost 400 million homes, the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will play a key role in reigniting the local tourism industry following the disruption caused by the global pandemic.

 

“I am delighted to see the return of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Mauritius has a strong golf tradition stretching back over 150 years, and the nation is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. We will once more welcome some of the best players in the game to compete at this prestigious event, as well as golf fans who will be there to cheer them on,” said Arvind Bundhun, Director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).

 

Both the DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour welcomed the return of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to their schedules as part of the Strategic Alliance between the two Tours announced last year which builds on a relationship which dates more than quarter of a century. The return of the two Tours to Mauritius is the continuation of a history of professional golf excellence that has seen four-time Major winner Ernie Els, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2011 Open Champion and 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke, 2018 European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Björn, and a host of former Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup players compete in this event in the past.

 

Ben Cowen, Chief Tournament Business Officer of the DP World Tour, said: “We are extremely pleased for the beautiful island of Mauritius and for our partners at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to be able to announce the return of this unique event to our DP World Tour international schedule as part of our Strategic Alliance with the Sunshine Tour. It has been a popular event with our members ever since the tournament launched in 2015, and following the challenges of Covid-19, we are looking forward to celebrating its resumption at a new venue in Mont Choisy as part of our 2023 schedule.”

 

Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “It’s been a challenging time for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, as it has for all of us in world golf. The return of this magical tournament is a true sign that we are back to normal in the world of professional golf and we cannot wait to celebrate this with all of our partners in this event.”

 

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open Targeting 2021

After careful consideration and a deliberation process following the development of the COVID-19 situation worldwide, the organising committee, has made the decision to postpone the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to December 2021. This decision joins an important list of major tournaments that have been postponed this year, including the iconic Ryder Cup.
 
Staging this sporting event responsibly, amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, is a major concern for all the players, the visitors, media representatives, partners and all the other important stakeholders involved. The resurgence of reported coronavirus cases, principally in Europe, Asia and South Africa, remains an utmost health priority and has been a key determinant which led to this decision.
 
Ryan Dodds, Director of the tournament, said, “it is paramount that the event is held in an environment that is safe, prioritizing the well-being of our players, spectators and working staff. In such challenging times, with uncertainty around borders re-opening and surge of positive cases in our key golfing markets, we want to ensure that any risk of possible exposure to Covid-19 is mitigated. Our thanks go to the title sponsor AfrAsia Bank and this year’s host Anahita Mauritius for their constructive and conscientious collaboration in supporting this decision.”
 
In a statement, Sunshine Tour Commissioner Selwyn Nathan from Sunshine Tour said, “The decision to postpone the tournament is justifiably the right one given the pandemic concerns. With the majorworldwide tournaments being postponed at this moment, it is a logical outcome to act sensibly and embrace the principle of responsible conduct. The tournament is a highlight on our schedule as not only a uniquely tri-sanctioned tournament between the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour, but also for the fact that Mauritius is such a spectacular golf destination that our members always look forward to going back to. We look forward to working with AfrAsia Bank and all of our tournament partners and sponsors on the 2021 tournament, and our return to paradise.”
 
Commenting on the rescheduling, Mauritius Golfers Federation Christophe Curé, said: “As the governing body of Golf in Mauritius, we remain very mindful of the challenges ahead. Safety and responsible conduct of gaming is of paramount significance and our future plans are incumbent upon positive guidance and direction from health officials and relevant authorities. At the time of writing, we still have no indication as to the opening of the borders of the destination due to the sanitary crisis. we are proud of this tri-sanctioned international event; we look forward to launch the 2021 edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and to host the Sunshine Tours, European Tours and Asian Tours again as well as all the partners and stakeholders in the best sanitary and golfing conditions.”  
 
Since its inception in 2015, the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open has featured prominently in the European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour calendars. The tournament is beamed worldwide and reaches more than 350 million viewers every year.  Some of the world’s best have competed in the tournament, including amongst others, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, World Golf Hall of Fame member, 4-time Major Champion and former world number one, Ernie Els, the 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn and Nicolas Colsaerts, the Belgian bomber and ambassador of Anahita Golf Club. No less than 156 international golfers, from around the globe, competed last year at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to win the prestigious prize of EUR 1 million. The last Open, held at the Heritage Resorts on Domaine De Bel Ombre in December 2019, was won by Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard. He was the first player born in the 2000’s to win on the European Tour. Højgaard won in only his fifth European Tour start and became the third-youngest winner in Tour history, which are optimistic signs for the future. Last week, Højgaard also clinched the UK Swing Order of Merit title after winning the ISPS Handa UK Championship.

Danish teenager wins AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in playoff

BEL OMBRE, Mauritius (8 December 2019) – Danish teenager Rasmus Højgaard drew a finger across the face of his putter like it was indeed a blade, and then holed a 10-foot eagle putt on the third playoff hole to win his maiden professional title in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at the Heritage Golf Club on Sunday.

At the age of 18, Højgaard became the third youngest winner in European Tour history after Matteo Manassero and Danny Lee, and even eclipsed the Great Dane, Thomas Bjørn, in claiming his first victory in only his fifth European Tour appearance. With his victory he also received Lifetime Diamond Membership of Heritage Golf Club.

“I’m at a loss for words. It’s amazing and I’m over the moon. This is a dream come true for me,” Højgaard said after the third playoff in the tournament’s five-year history and all of which have come at the Heritage Golf Club.

At the closing stages of a frantic final round in which six players were tied for the lead at one point, Højgaard birdied the last for a 68 and a place in a three-man playoff with Frenchman Antoine Rozner and Italian Renato Paratore on 19 under par.

Playing the par-five 18th again, Paratore fell out at the first playoff hole, and on the third the young Dane made the eagle that secured him the title.

“I just kept telling myself to believe in yourself. I was obviously nervous, playing in my first playoff, but I was in a situation where I had nothing to lose. So I was confident especially with my shots coming in.”

It’s a dream start to a professional career many are expecting to deliver big things. After turning 18 in March, Højgaard finished tied second in his first Challenge Tour event and had seven top-10s on the Challenge Tour before earning his main European Tour card.

“It’s cool to win so early in my career and it’s something just amazing. I’m going to celebrate this victory when I get home to my family and friends.” And that will include his identical twin brother Nicolai with whom he won the 2018 Eisenhower Trophy for Denmark and also played in the Junior Ryder Cup together.

“I’m looking forward to the next challenge,” he said.

English pro Slattery impressed with golf interest in Mauritius

BEL OMBRE, Mauritius (7 December 2019) – Englishman Lee Slattery has been a professional for over 20 years and said even he was astounded at the large turnout of children from the Mauritius Golf Federation (MGF) who arrived for a golf clinic at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Heritage Golf Club on Saturday.

Over 40 children turned up for the golf clinic with Slattery and other professionals from the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour during the third round of this tri-sanctioned tournament, and in partnership with the MGF, AfrAsia Bank and Heritage Golf Club.

The turnout certainly reflected the impact this tournament has made in only five years in terms of growing the awareness of golf on the island of Mauritius.

“I was very surprised at the turnout. I’ve done clinics all over the world and I’ve never seen as many kids turn up for a clinic. For a small island such as Mauritius to have such a golf interest is incredible,” said Slattery.

The two-time European Tour champion said he is impressed with how much more the game has started including young children into clinics such as these at tournaments.

“It’s just a great start for these kids, you know. For them to watch a tour professional hit shots and get advice, it can really be the start of something special.”

Slattery says he’s also seen a definite shift in the natural talent amongst the junior golfers of today compared with his era.

“The one thing I do see now is the kids turn up and they’re stronger and swing the club faster. I think that’s just the modern way of coaching. When I was younger it was all about rhythm and timing and short game, but the kids now smash it and they have these great clubs that are lighter. They have a better chance of progressing and starting the game better.”

French golfers poised for historic win in AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

BEL OMBRE, Mauritius (6 December 2019) – French golfers have moved closer to an historic first victory in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, and led by Matthieu Pavon as he goes into the weekend only one shot off the lead at the Heritage Golf Club.

Pavon signed for a 66 on Friday to climb to 11 under par alongside South Africa’s Brandon Stone and Belgium’s Thomas Detry. They are chasing the 12-under-par lead of Scotland’s Calum Hill who posted a second round of 64.

In the five years of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the best finish by a Frenchman has been Pavon who finished runner-up last year. In 2017, Heritage ambassador Romain Langasque finished third while Pavon was fifth that year.

But this weekend, Pavon will lead a strong French challenge for the title. Behind him on 10 under par are fellow Frenchmen Benjamin Hebert and Challenge Tour graduate Antoine Rozner.

“It’s great. There are a few of us in the top 10 going into the weekend,” said Pavon. “This island is lovely and it’s always a pleasure coming here to play golf. This is definitely a place where I am comfortable. I feel great this week so I’m going to do my best and try to win this tournament.”

Should he go on and make history as the first French champion on the fifth anniversary of this tri-sanctioned tournament, then a South African will have played a part in his triumph.

South African coach Jamie Gough has been working with Pavon for about a year now, but the two have been working together fulltime for the past few weeks.

“I started working with Jamie and he is the right coach for me. We put together a plan and I’m really pleased with the result over the last few weeks,” said Pavon, who is also pleased with the growth he sees in French golf at the moment.

“We have some young golfers coming from the Challenge Tour. Then we had Victor Perez moving into the top 50 in the world, Benjamin Hebert is a great player and Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Romain Langasque are all good players. I think we have a group of strong players now. It’s a good time for French golf.”

Rozner is doing his best not to let the expectation of a French victory hamper his focus over the next two rounds.

“I’m very happy with my performance. I’m playing well and I’m looking forward to the weekend. This is a popular destination for French golfers. But I don’t want to put all of the pressure of the French population on me. There are a few of us playing well. But it would be quite cool if I can close it out here. I’ve been here before on holiday and the people in Mauritius are very friendly and nice,” he said.

Hebert is also doing his best not to get ahead of himself with two rounds left to play.

“Two shots off the lead is a good position to be in. I think it’s better to chase than be chased. But I have my friend on the bag so we’re just going to go out there and enjoy the golf course over the next two days, and the last two rounds of the year,” he said.

Sharma wins Three Tour Challenge at AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

BEL OMBRE, Mauritius (6 December 2019) – The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open celebrated its fifth anniversary as a uniquely tri-sanctioned tournament with a Three Tour Challenge between golfers from the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour at the Heritage Golf Club before the start of this year’s tournament.

Germany’s Marcel Siem represented the European Tour against South Africa’s Toto Thimba from the Sunshine Tour and India’s Shubhankar Sharma from the Asian Tour. The three golfers were tasked with the challenge of nominating a club and then attempting to chip from about 30 yards away and to a target area around the hole. Appropriately for a tournament played in an island paradise, the chipping area was identified by two coconuts as “tee markers”.

But the challenge was that once a club had been nominated, they were not allowed to use that club again. “You use it, you lose it,” was how Siem summed up the rules of play for his opponents. A ball that stopped in the target areas was worth one point, and a holed-out shot worth 10.

Round One ended without a single point scored by any of the players, with the sloping green and tricky pin placement proving quite a challenge in terms of stopping the ball in the target area around the hole.

But in Round Two, Sharma made the breakthrough when he scored a point using a pitching wedge. It proved decisive as no player was able to match that through the remaining two rounds, although Siem came inches close to an equaliser with a five iron in the fourth and final round.

“It was a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate having the three tours here,” said Siem.