Oosthuizen has designs on Mauritius
Mauritius, November 29: Major champion Louis Oosthuizen will make his debut appearance at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open this week, and he is ready to make his mark at Heritage Resorts in more ways than one.
The 2010 Open Championship winner is feeling relaxed as he aims to follow countryman and 2015 winner George Coetzee by lifting the trophy on the island paradise, in the tournament which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour.
However the South African also has one eye on the future, as he works on the design of a second 18-hole golf course at the venue alongside Peter Matkovich at Matkovich Group, which is behind more than 50 designs throughout Africa.
The world number 22 is aiming to seal his ninth European Tour title and his first since the 2016 ISPS Handa Perth International, but he’ll face a strong challenge from a host his countrymen, including Dean Burmester, Darren Fichardt, Dylan Frittelli and Haydn Porteous, who are all aiming to start the 2018 season in style by adding to their 2017 victories.
“It’s a different vibe this week. The resort is in such a nice spot, a lot of people have their family here. It’s just a very relaxed week. By Thursday it’s all about the golf. But it’s nice after the round to spend a bit of time with the kids by the pool and enjoying the views,” said Oosthuizen.
“So far it’s been really windy so you need to work out your ball trajectory. It’ a good golf course. You’ve got to drive it straight and around the greens you can get a bit of an iffy lie with your chipping so hitting greens is going to be key.
“The new course will be next door, a little bit up unto the mountains. Also with Peter Matkovich designing. Hopefully we can start soon and have it ready by 2019. It’s the second one I’m doing, I’m busy with my first one in Swaziland. I always had a lot to say to anyone designing a golf course, but now I see all the work that goes into it so I’m never going to criticise anyone again!”
Also teeing it up in an exciting field this week are 2011 Open Champion and 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke, Ryder Cup players Nicolas Colsaerts and Jamie Donaldson and multiple European Tour winners Australia’s Scott Hend and SSP Chawrasia of India – who came agonisingly close to a first victory in the UBS Hong Kong Open last week after leading for three rounds.
India’s SSP Chawrasia, who is sponsored by Take Solutions, said,“This is my first year here. It’s a really beautiful golf course with some nice beaches that I saw so I’m enjoying the week to be honest.
“It’s a little bit different because you’re in the middle of the ocean, it’s a beautiful place but it’s different because it’s very windy and will play very tough this week I’m sure.
“I’m playing very good just now. Last week I played very good except for the last round.”