Dane’s Hopes Bjorn Again At Mauritius Open
The final event before the European Tour returns to Europe is the inaugural Mauritius Open, the first ever event to be tri-sanctioned by the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours.
It takes place at the same time as the Players Championship and with a prize fund of just one million Euros, it’s the least lucrative event on Tour, although the field does feature five Asian Tour Order of Merit winners.
This is the first significant tournament staged at the Heritage Golf Club, recognised last year as the best course in the Indian Ocean. At a touch over 7000 yards, it’s a reasonable test of distance from the tee, and although there are few trees, the rough looks particularly severe. There are also plenty of water hazards to negotiate and if the wind gets up, the exposed nature of the course could cause problems.
In The Bunker
Australian Scott Hend is one of a number of Asian Tour regulars in the field for this event. He won his first ever European Tour event at the Hong Kong Open last autumn and came close to picking up his second at the Thailand Classic a few weeks ago.
But he has struggled for form since then and was last seen finishing way down the field at the China Open. He isn’t one to rely on and even at 30/1 doesn’t make much appeal.
George Coetzee had a slow start to the year, but he hit form in March, winning the Tshwane Open and finishing third at the Trophee Hassan II.
He didn’t make it out of his group in the WGC World Matchplay last week but he won two of his three matches and played well against eventual fourth-placed finisher Jim Furyk in the third. He’s the antepost favourite, but this is a weak field and he can be backed at 9/1
After a difficult 2014, Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s promising career has returned to an upward trajectory in 2015. His fourth at the Thailand Classic showed promise and he followed up with victory at the Shenzen International, his second European Tour title. He was let down by a poor third round at the China Open in his last outing, but he has bags of potential and now that he’s back to his best looks a solid bet at 14/1.
Thomas Bjorn hasn’t won a tournament for over a year and has looked out of sorts for most of the season so far, but the European Tour veteran shouldn’t be written off.
He managed four top tens last year and after a dismal run of results in 2015, finished fourth at the Indonesian Masters last week. That suggests he could be finding his form again and he’s worth a look this week at odds of 16/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication.