The Punter

Mauritius Open: Defending champ the one to beat

Golfer Antoine Rozner
Last year's winner, Antoine Rozner

The DP World Tour signs off 2023 with the Mauritius Open so read our man's preview ahead of Thursday's start here...

  • Stunning new links venue awaits

  • Frenchman fancied to defend

  • Course designer in the line up


Tournament History

This is the only the seventh edition of the Mauritius Open - an event co-sanctioned between the DP World Tour and the Sunshine Tour.

The tournament used to alternate between two venues - the Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita and it's original venue, La Réserve Golf Course at Heritage Resorts, Domaine de Bel Ombre, but after a break of three years the tournament returned last year at a brand new venue, Mont Choisy Le Golf in Grand-Baie in the north of the island, and we take in a new course again this time around.

The tournament returns to the Heritage Resorts, Domaine de Bel Ombre, but to a brand new course - the La Réserve Golf Links.

Venue

La Réserve Golf Links, Heritage Resorts, Domaine de Bel Ombre

Course Details

Par 72, 7111 yards

La Réserve Golf Links has only just opened, and it looks like we're in for a bit of a treat.

Co-designed by former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, alongside acclaimed course architect Peter Matkovich, La Réserve Golf Links is described as the first and only contemporary links course in the Indian Ocean.

There are views of the Indian Ocean on every hole and it really does look spectacular.

This is what co-designer, Oosthuizen, had to say about the course.

"We've worked with the land to create a strategic, undulating course that plays in the traditional links style, with running fairways, pot bunkers and long grasses. The location is breathtakingly beautiful with incredible views of the Indian Ocean."


Weather Forecast


TV Coverage

Live on Sky Sports all four days, starting at 8:30 on Thursday


First Six Tournament Winners

  • 2015 - George Coetzee -13 (playoff)
  • 2016 - Jeunghun Wang -6
  • 2017 - Dylan Frittelli -16
  • 2018 - Kurt Kitayama -20
  • 2019 - Rasmus Hojgaard -19 (playoff)
  • 2020-21 - No Tournament
  • 2022 - Antoine Rozner -19

Is There an Angle In?

Links form is going to be a big plus so look closely at the results of the Irish Open whenever that's been staged at a links venue, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the last 13 editions of the Scottish Open, and, of course, the Open Championship, for clues.

South Africans and French Worth Following

South Africans tend to fare well in Mauritius as it's a popular tourist destination for them. George Coetzee won the inaugural edition in 2015 and Dylan Frittelli was victorious two years later.

After three consecutive tournaments in their homeland, a trip to Mauritius is the perfect way to wrap up the year for the South Africans and we may be due another winner from there.

As demonstrated perfectly last year by Antoine Rozner, the French also enjoy it here.

In addition to winning 12 months ago, Rozner was also beaten in a playoff in 2019 and the recent Open de España winner, Matthieu Pavon, finished second at Anahita in 2018.

Marcel Siem.jpg

Pavon didn't win but the fact that he's attached to Anahita is interesting and that could point us in the direction of German's Marcel Siem and another Frenchman, Clement Sordet, given both are attached to the Heritage Resort.


Previous Renewals Worth Checking Out

Although it's a new course this time around, last year's venue, Mont Choisy Le Golf, as well as the other Heritage Resort course, used for the event in 2015, 2017 and 2019, were also designed by Peter Matkovich.

Rozner won at Mont Choisy after finishing second at the other Heritage Resort course and I suspect form from those two Matkovich tracks may well crossover to here too.


In-Play Tactics

It would have been nice to see some wind in the forecast to try and find an edge with regards to the draw but at this very early stage we look set for a fairly benign week and that may suit the early pacesetters.

Looking back at the six previous renewals, all the winners have been inside the top-six at halfway and they've all been within four of the lead.

If this really is a true links, then that's another reason to concentrate on the frontrunners.

Making up ground on links layouts is never easy as the greens speed up throughout the week and when Brian Harman kicked on to win the Open from the front in July, he was the sixth Open champ to be sitting first or second at halfway in seven years.

I'll be back later today or tomorrow with a look at the market leaders and a summary of any pre-event selections.


Market Leaders

It was a case of 13th time lucky for Louis Oosthuizen on Monday when he finally won a tournament he'd always dreamed of winning - the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

Flushed with success and around a course he co-designed, that should suit his game perfectly, he's the understandable favourite in a fairly weak renewal, but both those factors may turn out to be bigger negatives than positives.

I suspect he will have celebrated Monday's victory and it may not be that easy to lift himself to go again so soon.

oosthuizen wins at Leopard Creek.jpg

He's never won back-to-back events and last week's win was his first in five years. Another victory so soon is perhaps unlikely and he's also got to deal with all the obvious attention he'll receive surrounding the venue.

Matt Cooper makes a strong case for the Frenchman, Matthieu Pavon, who's played well here before but I prefer the chances of the defending champion, Antoine Rozner, who's in fair form himself.

He plugged on admirably last week to finish 15th in the Alfred Dunhill in his first start in almost a month, having finished 11th in the DP World Tour Championship in his penultimate start, where he'd led after round one.

Having sat second at halfway, the 30-year-old Parisian will be slightly disappointed by his weekend performance in Dubai but he's clearly in good heart and I can see why he's shortened up since the market first opened.


Selection

A couple of firms went as big as 20/121.00 about the defending champ on Monday and I was more than happy to take the 18/119.00 originally offered up by the Betfair Sportsbook.

He's been backed into 12/113.00 there but the 17.016/1 available on the Exchange is still more than acceptable. Having finished seventh, second and first at three different venues in this event previously, it's extremely difficult to see him not contending again.

He clearly loves Mauritius, the new course should suit him, and he arrives in decent form so he's the man to beat for me.

Back Antoine Rozner @ 17.016/1

Bet now

Read Matt Cooper's each-way column here


*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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