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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open 2015

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - Heritage Golf Resorts Presents the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open from 7 till 10 May 2015, bringing three professional golf tours together

In 2014, Heritage Resorts (part of VLH Ltd. Management, a Rogers Group company) MTPA together with the MGTA managed to create a professional golf tournament that the region has not been able to get so far, the first tri-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Domain de Bel Ombre
This area covers two thousand five hundred hectares and was used till 1999 for sugar cane cultivation and production. The property is owned by Rogers Group, one of the largest groups in Mauritius and a pioneer where it comes to development of the tourist industry in Mauritius.
In 2004 two resorts were inaugurated including a championship golf course. The location of the property is South-South West of Mauritius and as mentioned before, only 50 minutes drive from the airport, at the same time as there are not a many hotel resorts next to each other like on the east coast of the island,its an oasis of peace and quite, in other words a perfect place for those travelers who on one side want to have it all and on the other side appreciate their privacy.

The tournament is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Sunshine Tour. Some would say, so what. Others understand the impact, a serious boost for all three groups of Tour players, another tournament with serious prize money on the calendar and a fantastic opportunity to show the world what Mauritius has to offer on golf courses, resorts, beaches, flora & fauna and a perfect climate.

Indian professional golf picks up in a fast paste, this is translated in an interesting playing field of Indian golfers playing both the Asian Tour and European Tour. I had the opportunity to meet a few of them and the players who survived the cut after the second day of the tournament, Gagangjeet Bhullar, Gangjee and the well-known and always friendly golfer who also plays the PGTI from Sri Lanka Mithun Perera, were the lucky ones, unfortunately our other Indian favorite, Rashid Khan just missed the cut with one shot. They all assured me they will be back next year, this confirms their confidence in a better game next time. Competing against players from a different tour only confirms the level the Indian players deliver nowadays, this shows a bright future for golf in India.

The course
The Heritage Golf Course is part of Heritage Resorts and is an 18- holes championship golf course designed by Peter Matkovitch with wide fairways and still a lot of surprising elements.
Heritage Golf Course is considered one of the best championship golf courses in Mauritius, located in the south tip of the island and voted one of the Top 10 golf courses in Africa, according to global news broadcaster CNN. The course has a very open character, yet every hole is completely different and due to the diversity, challenging to play. As this course is at walking distance from the coast, the weather is quite unpredictable and can be pretty windy at times, combine these elements and you have a perfect place for an international professional golf tournament where the forces of nature can flip the leaderboard upside down in a days time. Some par-4 holes are more towards par-5, like hole no. 17.

The Tournament Facilities
Heritage Golf Club as a tournament location is absolutely ideal, it is only 50 minutes drive from the airport, as part of the property there are two Heritage Resort hotels, a Beach Club, almost not needed to mentioned a beautiful beach with a lot of water activities on offer. Heritage Golf Club is a 27-hole facility,an 18-holes par-72 championship course and a 9-hole short course. There is lots of space available for a tournament village and multiple VIP hospitality lounges. The crowd that turned up during the four days of tournament exceeded any expectation of the organisers, they had high expectations to begin with.

The results
The final day was weather-like not much different from the previous three days, sometimes sunny, cloudy, windy and a bit of rain. The tournament itself went into the next gear with three contestants going for gold. After 2 play-offs it was George Coetzee from South Africa who showed to be the strongest by winning from Thorbjorn Olesen from Denmark. Mardan Mamat from Singapore ended third, this made a nice share of spots for all three Tours in the first three. Rahil Gangjee, the best Indian player ended 11th by playing on the fourth day a great game with a score of 66, It is interesting to know that for Rahil Gangjee this tournament is extra special, he has close ties with Mauritius being half-Mauritian.

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