Els has designs on Mauritius success
November 28, 2018
It may be his debut appearance at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita but, as the course designer, Ernie Els is hoping that a bit of insider knowledge will come into play this week.
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“It's really exciting to be back, I haven't been back here since we opened the course. It's so nice to have a tournament of this stature to be played on our golf course."
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of his course and the four-time Major winner and former world number one is delighted to see the event - tri-sanctioned with the Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour - back at Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita for a second time.
With tight, undulating greens and winds coming in off the ocean, there are plenty of challenges ahead for the field this week, but The Big Easy is looking forward to taking advantage of relaxed island vibes once again, after recording his best European Tour result of the 2018 season with a tied third place finish at the Fiji International in August.
“We have wider fairways but most of the holes were built thinking about the winds off the ocean. The greens are pretty small and they are quite undulating so that is where your challenge will be this week. You are going to have ample room from the tee, and the course is in good shape, so I think the guys can score."
“When you design a course you know where to bale out. We did the course ten years ago. You go through phases in your mind and this was one of my phases where I liked smaller greens and run off areas and hopefully that doesn't bite me in the backside this week."
Jeunghun Wang is also enjoying his return to Mauritius, where he won the title the last time the event was hosted at this course in 2016.
“I won here two years ago so it feels a little different coming here compared to other tournaments. I'm just really enjoying being here right now. I don't feel any pressure. I hope just to enjoy this week and enjoy Mauritius."
“I like the wind actually, so I hope it is windy this week. I like the whole conditions here - the fairways, the greens, I love it all. There are really good views around the hotel, so it's really nice to stay there. I love this whole place."
The 23 year old Korean is effusive in his praise for the venue where, then aged 20 years and 251 days, he became the youngest player to win consecutive European Tour events. He beat the record set in 1978 by the late, great Seve Ballesteros when he triumphed in Mauritius the week after claiming the Trophee Hassan II title in Morocco.
“If I win this week that would meet my goal for this season. I want to win one time this season on the European Tour. That would be really good for me. My goal is always to win, so I hope to do that again in the 2019 season.”