Mauritius Open First Round Leader Tips: Count on Canizares

Spain's Alejandro Canizares
Spaniard Alejandro Canizares can start fast again

Dave Tindall picks out three players to get onside early at Heritage GC this week...

"He celebrated by coming out and shooting a 67 on day one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship to sit fifth after 18 holes while he also opened with a 67 (T12 after R1) in his previous start at the Portugal Masters. Also note that he opened Q School with a 66."

*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 7 Places

Weather forecast for Thursday: Temps are already 70 degrees for the very early starters (first group out at 6:20am local) while they peak around 83 degrees at 2pm. There could be some showers at 3pm. Wind speeds are slightly calmer in the morning although noting too strong is expected.

FRL history at the Mauritius Open

(Bold is when played at this week's venue, Heritage GC)

2018 - 66 S. Chikkarangappa, Victor Perez
2017 - 62 Arjun Atwal
2016 - 66 Andrew Dodt
2015 - 65 Thorbjorn Olesen, Carlos Pigem, Jeunghun Wang

Strategy: It should be pleasant golfing weather for most of the day so I'll have a free pick and won't get too bogged down in tee-times.

Choose Canizares

We had a Spaniard (Pablo Larrazabal) winning last week and a Spaniard (Carlos Pigem) sharing the lead after round one at this venue in 2015 so I'm going to go with Alejandro Canizares as my first pick at an industry-best 95/1.

The 36-year-old whizzed through Q School again last month, finishing third on home turf at Lumine having won it 12 months earlier.

He celebrated by coming out and shooting a 67 on day one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship to sit fifth after 18 holes while he also opened with a 67 (T12 after R1) in his previous start at the Portugal Masters. Also note that he opened Q School with a 66.

Add in T17 at the Open de Espana and he's been playing some decent golf over the last few months, especially

This is his first start in Mauritius but the hot weather will suit, as should the relatively short course as he hits it straight rather than long.

Canizares is in the first group of the second wave at 11:20am local.

Horne can sound early

Veteran South African Keith Horne has enjoyed this event, never finishing outside the top 25 in three attempts.

The best of those was T13 here at Heritage GC in 2015.

Last week we saw him start fast in his home Alfred Dunhill Championship, carding a 66 in round one although it threatened to be even lower.

That put him second after the opening lap and just four starts earlier Horne had a piece of the first-round lead in the Taiwan Masters where he finished ninth.

Also a R1 leader at the South African Open in 2017, Horne knows how to start fast and the 95/1 again looks big.

He tees off in the third group out from the first at at 06:40.

Pick Pavon

Something very good happens to Matthieu Pavon when he comes to Mauritius.

Whether it's the strong French connections with the island which make him feel at home is unclear but the cold facts are that Pavon has played this event twice and finished second and fifth.

Those performances, which saw him shoot seven of his eight rounds in the 60s, came at different venues (the fifth was here at Heritage) which somehow adds to his appeal.

There's not much recent evidence of fast starts but he did make some quick ones in the first half of the last campaign and Pavon is definitely coming back to form after a poor run.

Sixth after day one in this event last year, I'm hoping he can do something similar/better from his 08:00 tee-time.

Take the 66/1.

Dave's 2019 R1 leader P/L (based on £5 ew per selection)

Staked: £1380
Returned: £1120.59
P/L: -£257.41

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