AFRASIA BANK MAURITIUS OPEN 2019
ABOUT THE AFRASIA BANK MAURITIUS OPEN
Heritage Resorts hosted the fifth edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the only tri-sanctioned golf tournament in the world endorsed by the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours.
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open was played at the #1 ranked Heritage Golf Club from 5th – 8th December, 2019 where 156 of the world’s top golf professionals of the 3 endorsing tours competed for the 1 million Euro prize fund.
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.
AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open 2020 - Day 1 tournament highlights
Day 2 Highlights Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open 2020
Day 3 Highlights of Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open 2020
Rasmus Hojgaard - Winner of The Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open 2020
Tournament Name: AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
The Venue: The Heritage Golf Club, Heritage Resorts on the Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius.
Tournament Dates: 5th - 8th December 2019
Sanctioned by: The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will be an official tri-sanctioned Order of Merit event on the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and the Asian Tour.
Pro-Am Date: 3rd December 2019 – Strictly by invitation only.
Pro-Am Teams: Each team comprises of 3 amateurs guests and 1 professional golfer.
Pro-Am Format: Professional golfers will tee off from the championship tees and the amateurs off the club markers.
Official Practice Round Dates: 4th December 2019 (Wednesday)
Competition Format: It will be a 72-hole (4 day) stroke play Championship with 18 holes played each day. The field will comprise 156 professionals. Play will be in three-balls on the first two days, and in two-balls on the last two days after the cut. Play will be in accordance with the Rules of Golf of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the PGA Sunshine Tour, European Tour, and Asian Tour Tournament Rules.
Participating Golfers: At least 40 players from each tour Order of Merit
Prize Money: € 1,000,000.
Broadcast Dates: 5th - 8th December 2019. Broadcast times will be announced closer to the tournament.
Public Access: The public will be able to purchase tickets at the door to attend the tournament.
More Info: View Tournament Guide
Open champion Lawrie joins AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open field
Open champion Paul Lawrie has added his name to the field for this year’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at the Heritage Golf Club from 5-8 December, joining a unique set of winners of the Claret Jug who have played in this tournament.
The winner of the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie is the fourth Major winner to play in this tournament following fellow Open champions Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Darren Clarke.
The Scottish professional is also part of a growing list of European Ryder Cup players, captains and vice-captains to have featured in this tournament, which is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour.
Lawrie represented Europe in the 1999 and 2012 Ryder Cups as a player, and then as a vice-captain in the 2016 Ryder Cup. This year Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Nicolas Colsaerts and Italian Edoardo Molinari join him at the Heritage Golf Club as fellow European Ryder Cup players, while in the past former Ryder Cup captains Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjørn have also played in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
The eight-time European Tour winner heads to Mauritius with his game in good form after winning the Scottish Senior Open this year.
But Lawrie is most remembered for his 1999 Open triumph at Carnoustie, where he staged a remarkable comeback in which he made up 10 shots in the final round to win the Claret Jug.
Lawrie adds significantly to a field that also includes Indian star Shubhankar Sharma and Benjamin Hebert, who is currently the leading player from France on the Race to Dubai in 17th position.
The field will also include two exciting amateur talents in European Amateur champion Matthias Schmid and Mauritian Pierre Pellegrin.
Schmid makes his debut in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open after becoming, at the age of 21, only the second German golfer to win the European Amateur Championship at the Diamond Country Club in Austria in June and with a course record nine-under-par 63 in the third round.
Pellegrin joins the field thanks to his victory in the Rogers Indian Ocean Amateur Golf Open in October, and which was played at Heritage Golf Club.
Belgian Ryder Cup stars headed for AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Pieters, two golfers who both made Ryder Cup history, are the latest to confirm their participation in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at the Heritage Golf Club from 5-8 December.
Colsaerts, an ambassador with the Anahita Golf and Spa Resort which shares the hosting of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open with Heritage Golf Club every alternate year, is the most recent European Tour winner to sign up for this €1 million tri-sanctioned tournament between the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour.
The big-hitting Belgian ended a seven-year title drought when he won the Amundi Open de France in October for his third European Tour title.
Colsaerts’ victory in France was a welcome return to the form he displayed when he became the first Belgian golfer in history to play in The Ryder Cup in 2012. He was instrumental in the European team’s 14½ - 13½ victory over the United States that year and in what has been dubbed “The Miracle at Medinah”.
Pieters made an equally historic Ryder Cup debut as a member of the European team for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine. Despite being beaten 17-11 by the United States, Pieters announced himself as a new star on one of the biggest stages in golf when he became the first European rookie to win four points on his Ryder Cup debut. He has also been in winning form this year, securing his fourth European Tour title at the D+D Real Czech Masters in August.
The Belgian duo join a field that already includes Indian star Shubhankar Sharma, Benjamin Hebert, who is currently the leading player from France on the Race to Dubai in 17th position, and European Amateur champion Matthias Schmid. Schmid will make his debut in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open as one of the most exciting young talents in world golf. The 21-year-old became only the second German golfer to win the European Amateur Championship at the Diamond Country Club in Austria in June. His three-stroke victory – including a course record nine-under-par 63 in the third round – saw him join a list of golf’s biggest names to have won this title, including Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open celebrates its fifth anniversary this year as a unique coalition between three of the largest professional tours in world golf, and with a global television broadcast that reaches 400 million homes worldwide.
The Heritage Golf Club was awarded the title of Indian Ocean’s Best Golf Course for the sixth year
Again this year again, the Heritage Golf Club was awarded the title of “Indian Ocean’s Best Golf Course” (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019) for the sixth consecutive year. Votes have been cast by the golf industry and the public in a range of categories during the year, and the winners have been unveiled this Tuesday 29th October in Abu Dhabi, at the prestigious World Golf Awards 2019 Ceremony.
Sharma joins field for AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
India’s Shubhankar Sharma has confirmed his participation in the upcoming AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at the Heritage Golf Club from 5-8 December 2019, and at a time when Indian golfers are moving closer to a maiden victory in this tri-sanctioned tournament between the European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour.
Sharma has led a resurgence in Indian golf over the past two years. He won two European Tour titles in the space of three months, including becoming at the age of 21 the youngest Indian to win on the European Tour with his Joburg Open triumph in December 2017.
In 2018 he became only the fourth Indian golfer to ever play in The Masters, and his rise on the world stage saw him also named the European Tour’s 2018 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year and crowned the 2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.
Sharma’s meteoric career path has been matched by strong performances from his countrymen in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in the last two years.
In the 2017 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Heritage Golf Club, the experienced Arjun Atwal lost in a playoff to Dylan Frittelli. A year later, Chikkarangappa S. finished second to American Kurt Kitayama, and said Sharma had definitely inspired this new generation of Indian golfers.
“Shubhankar has really shown the way for a lot of Indian youngsters. As Indian golfers we’re now out in the world and playing with the best. Jeev Milkha Singh told us there were only four or five Indian golfers on tour during his time. Now we have closer to 25, and about 15 of us holding a full card on the Asian Tour and a couple on the European Tour,” he said.
Strong French challenge set for AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
A strong contingent of French professionals have confirmed their presence in this year’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open as they edge closer to a first French champion in this tri-sanctioned tournament between the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour.
French golfers have finished third and second in the past two editions of this €1-million tournament, which this year will be played at the Heritage Golf Club at Heritage Resorts from 5-8 December. In 2018, France was second only to South Africa in the number of its golfers who finished within the top 20 in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
The French challenge will be led by Benjamin Hebert, currently the top French golfer on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai ranking in 15th place and within the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Heritage ambassador Romain Langasque, currently 21st on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings, will also be in the field.
In 2017, when the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open was last played at the Heritage Golf Club, Langasque finished third and only two shots out of the playoff between champion Dylan Frittelli and Arjun Atwal of India. Langasque again came close to securing a maiden European Tour title when he finished third in July’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, a tournament that is part of the European Tour’s prestigious Rolex Series.
Matthieu Pavon flew the French flag at Anahita in 2018 when he finished tied second and just two strokes behind eventual winner Kurt Kitayama. Pavon has also shown signs of becoming the next French champion on the European Tour with his finishes of tied 10th in both the BMW International Open and the Scandinavian Invitation this season.
They will be joined at Heritage Golf Club by Heritage ambassador Clément Sordet, who finished 11th in last year’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, and who this year had his best European Tour finish of second in the Oman Open in March.
Victor Perez, who finished 14th in the 2018 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, and Raphaël Jacquelin, who finished tied 17th last year, add to a very strong French line-up for the fifth edition of this tournament.
“We are extremely proud of our Heritage ambassadors and their performances in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, which is a flagship event for our award-winning resort. We look forward to welcoming them back to our magnificent Heritage Golf Club, which has been recognised as one of the top 10 golf courses in Africa and the ‘Best golf course in the Indian Ocean’ at the World Golf Awards for the past five years,” said Thierry Montocchio, CEO of Veranda Leisure and Hospitality (VLH).
Mauritius ready to host the most beautiful week in golf
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open celebrates its fifth anniversary as “golf’s most beautiful tournament” this year, and at the end of a jam-packed season of Majors some of the world’s leading professionals are now viewing Mauritius as the ideal destination for a mid-season break and some practice at the award-winning Heritage Golf Club.
German professional golfer Marcel Siem attended the official launch of the 2019 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on the 1st of August and another full field of professionals will gather at Heritage Golf Club from the 5th to the 8th of December for a tri-sanctioned tournament that is driving the growth of Mauritius as an increasingly popular destination for the world’s leading professionals.
Last year four-time Major winner Ernie Els made his debut in the tournament, joining 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2011 Open champion and 2016 European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke, 2018 European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn, and a host of former Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup players as well as multiple Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour winners.
And this September Heritage Golf Club will break ground on the construction of its second championship course, a design collaboration between Peter Matkovich and Louis Oosthuizen that will further enhance the island’s status as a growing powerhouse in world golf travel.
“We are extremely proud of the phenomenal growth of this tournament in five years and how it has captured the attention of some of the leading players in world golf. The vision for our sponsorship of this event was always around driving the growth of Brand Mauritius, and as a bank firmly committed to the success of Mauritius. The development around the tournament mirrors our own status as a bank with a truly global reach,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer of AfrAsia Bank.
Being the last event of the year on the Sunshine Tour held directly after the Nedbank Golf Challenge and the Alfred Dunhill Championship as well as the second tournament on the European Tour's Race to Dubai for the 2020 season also make it a very attractive way for professionals to finish their year with a golf in paradise.
“It has been remarkable to witness the growth of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, which has provided the perfect platform to showcase Mauritius and our award-winning resorts in Heritage Bel Ombre to the rest of the world. The positive feedback from the players is that this is indeed golf in paradise,” said Francois Eynaud, CEO of Veranda Leisure and Hospitality (VLH).
“We are excited to be starting with the construction of our second championship golf course at the Heritage Golf Club this September and it will add significantly to a hospitality and golf offering which we believe rivals the best in the world.”
The 2018 edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open back at Four Season Golf Club in Anahita
After a successful edition at Heritage Golf Club, this year the 4th edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open was held once again at the Four Seasons Golf Club in Anahita from 29 November to 2 December.
This major tournament on the international golf calendar is the first to be sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, the European Tour and the Asian Tour, and has become the largest sporting event in the Indian Ocean. Last year, this tournament hosted the largest field of players in its history, with 156 professionals of more than 30 nationalities, including some of the biggest names in the sport.
This year it was the American Kurt Kitayama who won his first title on the European circuit in his third participation, after a tough game. This talented 25 years-old golfer scored an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys to finish at 68 (-4) for a total of 268 shots, against Kitayama who finished the tournament at 20 under par.
The Indian S. Chikkarangappa and French Matthieu Pavon both finishing at 67 (-18) for a total of 270 strokes. South African Justin Harding finished fourth at 71 ( -17), a total of 271 strokes ahead of previous year's winner Dylan Frittelli, 65 (-16) for a total of 272 and Japan's Masahiro Kawamura, 69 (-16) and 272 strokes.
The 2017 edition of the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open was held at Heritage Resorts
Heritage Golf Club hosted from November 30 to December 3 of 2017 an expanded field of 156 professional golfers at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
This year, the field was composed of 48 professionals from the three circuits and 12 guests who competed in a 72-hole stroke play championship. With more than 30 nationalities, one of the most international squads of the European Tour competed for the prize money of 1,000,000 EUR.
After the successful second edition at Anahita in 2016 which saw the victory of Jeunghun Wang, the tournament was back at Heritage Resorts where George Coetzee once again defended his title on the best golf course in the Indian Ocean (World Golf Awards 2014,2015, 2016 & 2017). Heritage Golf Club is part of Heritage Resorts and offers the finest golfing experience in the Indian Ocean. Located between land and sea, this magnificent 18-hole championship golf course designed by Peter Matkovich combines panoramic views with a vast fairway that can accommodate golfers of all levels.
Finally, it was Dylan Frittelli who won his second victory by defeating the Indian Arjun Atwal in a play-off for a most thrilling final.
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open edition 2016 was held at the Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita.
The most important golf event on the island and only tri-sanctioned tournament endorsed by the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours.
With a field of 126 international players facing each other to win a prize fund of € 1 000 000, the 2016 edition attracted some of the greatest international players such as Li Haotong, the 20 year old Chinese prodigy and winner of the Volvo China Open in April in 2016; Thomas Levet one of the greatest French players; Australian Scott Hend, recent winner of the True Thailand Classic in March 2016, and George Coetzee, South African player and defending champion of the inaugural edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open held at the Heritage Resorts in 2015. Jeunghun Wang claimed the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open title after an intense battle with Siddikur Rahman on the 15th of May 2016 at the Four Seasons Golf Club, Anahita.
This win made Wang the first player to win in consecutive weeks since Rory McIIroy claimed the WGC Bridgestone Invitational followed by the US PGA championship in 2014.
The 2015 edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open held in May 2015 was the first ever tri-sanctioned golf tournament endorsed by the Sunshine, European and Asian Tours.
The 2015 edition drew top performing golfers from each of the three participating Tours and showcased the world class facilities of the best golf course in the Indian Ocean, Heritage Golf Club (World Golf Awards 2014,2015 &2016).
The exceptional golf event came with big names: the winner of the BMW PGA Championship / DP World Tour Championship, Simon Khan (England) and winners of Race to Dubai tournaments, Andrew Dodt (Australia), Thomas BJØRN (Denmark), Thorbjørn OLESEN (Denmark), Scott HEND (Australia) as well as Mikael Lundberg (Sweden), George Coetzee (South Africa) and Jaco Van Zyl (South Africa). In the second round of the inaugural tournament in 2015, Spain's Javier Colomo made a hole-in-one the par-4 on the 9th hole, the first par four ace in the history of all three co-sanctioning tours. George Coetzee was crowned the champion of the 2015 edition after playing the 18th hole three times and will be back to defend his title in 2017.