The DP World Tour finishes up its ‘Opening Swing’ with this week’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
This event was first played in 2015 and this year will mark its seventh playing.
It has been staged at various courses throughout its short history. It was held last year at the Mont Choisy Le Golf in Mauritius.
This year the event will be played at a brand new course at the La Reserve Golf Links which is part of the Heritage Golf Club in Mauritius. Although this week’s venue is new, the event was played at the Le Château Golf Course between 2015 and 2017, which is the other championship course at the Heritage Golf Club.
This will be the final event played for the DP World Tour on the calendar year and will be the last played until the Dubai Invitational beginning on January 11th.
This week’s field will be the weakest we’ve seen thus far during this ‘Opening Swing’ of the DP World Tour.
The field is headlined by Louis Oosthuizen who is actually the designer of Heritage Golf Club.
Joining him is a duo of frenchmen, Matthieu Pavon and Antoine Rozner. Pavon has been one of the hottest golfers on the DP World Tour dating back to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October.
Rozner is the defending champion of this event, winning a year ago at Mont Choisy.
Due to its proximity to South Africa and the event following a three-week-long South African swing, there will be a contingent of South Africans looking to make it four straight in the win column.
On that list is Jayden Schaper who, much like Pavon, is one of the hottest golfers on the DP World Tour. Another notable South African in this week’s field is Louis De Jager.
Other notable names in this week’s field include Marcel Siem, Laurie Canter, Sebastian Soderberg, Renato Paratore and Paul Waring.
As previously mentioned, the Oosthuizen designed La Reserve Links is making its professional debut this week in the same year it was opened.
It has been described as one of the finest new courses in the world. It is also one-of-its-kind within the Indian Ocean with Oosthuizen’s extensive links expertise put on display.
It sits along the shores of Mauritius and is carved into hills that sit close to the south of the coastline and will receive a much deserved spotlight this week.
It was co-designed by Peter Matkovich, along with Oosthuizen and will become the fourth different course to stage the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
The course was 'inspired by the wonderful old links of Ireland and Scotland.’
La Reserve Links plays as a Par 72 at 7,111 yards.
It features undulating fairways, pot bunkers and rolling pristine greens.
Through all of this, the course offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the neighboring Indian Ocean.
We can expect some wet conditions this week as of the time of writing this, Thursday calls for a 45-chance of precipitation, Friday a 35-percent chance, Saturday a 40-percent chance and Sunday a 50-percent chance. On top of the rain, forecasts are calling for ‘light’ thunderstorms as well. Temperatures will remain between 86-to-87 degrees across all four days. Winds are expected to stay in the high-single digits in terms of miles-per-hour as well. The course does sit along the coast so coastal winds could be a factor but it also sits within the hillside, which should help dilute those coastal winds. If the rain holds off, we could see some ideal playing conditions this week.
Matthieu Pavon (+1400)
With this week’s venue being brand new to not only the DP World Tour and professional golf, but to the entire world, I’ve opted to steer away from my traditional stats-based approach and instead, opted for golfers in good recent form. No one in this field fits that bill better than Pavon. Now, we haven’t seen Pavon since the DP World Tour Championship, but he did place T5th there, tying him with the likes of Jon Rahm. Prior to that he placed T15th at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, T47th at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, T9th at the Andalucia Masters and T6th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He also won the Open de Espana back in mid-October. He finished last season 14th in stroke average, 30th in average putts per round, 32nd in putts per greens in regulation percentage, 40th in greens in regulation percentage and 48th in driving accuracy. I’m playing two units on him this week.
Jayden Schaper (+2500)
Coming in right behind Pavon in terms of golfers in great recent form in Schaper. Schaper has been on a tear during this Opening Swing. In the three tournaments in his homeland of South Africa, he went T9th at the Joburg Open, T5th at the South African Open and T7th at least week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship. He’s yet to claim his maiden DP World Tour victory but with the way his form is projecting, he’s not far off. On the season he is 11th in stroke average, 32nd in average putts per round, 37th in greens in regulation percentage, 38th in putts per greens in regulation and 51st in average driving distance. I’m playing two units on him as well.
Louis de Jader (+3000)
De Jager did withdraw from last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship but placed T5th a week prior at the South African Open and prior to that, placed T17th at the Joburg Open. Dating back to October he also placed T4th at the Andalucia Masters. On the season he is currently seventh in average driving distance, 17th in greens in regulation percentage, 24th in stroke average and 45th in driving accuracy. I’m playing a unit on him this week.
Andrea Pavan (+5500)
Although the Italian opened this ‘Opening Swing’ with a missed cut at the Joburg Open, he bounced back with a T17th at the South African Open and then a 14th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He spent last season as part of the Challenge Tour, where he finished the season with a worst finish of T18th in his final eight events. That run of form was highlighted by a T2nd at the Challenge de Espana, T4th at the Swiss Challenge and T5th at the British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management. Through the start of this season on the DP World Tour he is seventh in greens in regulation percentage, 46th in stroke average, 55th in driving accuracy and 58th in average driving distance. I’m playing a unit on him this week.
Darren Frichardt (+7500)
Keeping with the South African theme, I’m rounding my card out with Frichardt. The veteran withdrew from last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship but placed T45th at the South African Open and placed solo second at the Joburg Open three weeks ago. On the season he is currently 21st in greens in regulation percentage, 30th in stroke average and 45th in driving accuracy. I’m playing a unit on him this week.