After an 18-month absence, the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open returns to the European Tour schedule for the second week of the new season, Phil Casey writes.
George Coetzee won the inaugural event at Heritage GC in 2015 and South Korea’s Wang Jeunghun became the youngest player in European Tour history to win consecutive events in 2016.
Wang, who had won in Morocco the previous week, capitalised on a late collapse by Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman to claim a one-shot victory at Four Seasons Golf Club, where the top two were the only players to finish under par after strong winds made scoring difficult.
Whether similar conditions prevail this week remains to be seen, but they will hold few fears for tournament favourite Louis Oosthuizen, who is a 7/1 chance to claim his first title since the Perth International in February 2016.
Oosthuizen romped to victory in the 2010 Open Championship and his second place in the US PGA Championship in August completed an unwanted “runners-up grand slam” in the majors.
In short, the sweet-singing South Africa is a class apart in a field containing just two members of the world’s top 100 and was eighth on his last start, but whether 7/1 represents value in a 156-man event is a different story.
Therefore the preference for our Mauritius Open betting predictions is to side with compatriots Dean Burmester and Darren Fichardt at more appealing odds of 25/1 and 40/1 respectively.
Burmester comes into the event on the back of a tie for fourth in the DP World Tour Championship, while Fichardt’s last start saw him finish sixth in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
The pair won on home soil in consecutive weeks at the start of the season and our final selection is another South African who came close to making the breakthrough in Sicily in May.
Zander Lombard lost out to Alvaro Quiros in a play-off in the Rocco Forte Open at the coastal Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, a venue with enough similarities to this week’s to make Lombard – fourth on the Sunshine Tour last time out – worth chancing at 66/1 in our Mauritius Open betting tips.
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Best bets for AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open