Madagascar will host its first European Tour-sanctioned tournament this week when the Staysure Tour’s MCB Tour Championship – Madagascar takes place from November 29 to December 1.
It will be the first Staysure Tour event to take place on the world’s fourth largest island and the 46th country the over-50s circuit will have visited since its inception in 1992.
Phillip Price currently leads the Order of Merit and is hoping to claim his first John Jacobs Trophy at the conclusion of the year. The MCB Tour Championship – Madagascar marks the first event of the MCB Tour Championship final series, which will see the Staysure Tour return to Seychelles for a second successive season from December 5-7, before the season-finale takes place in Mauritius from December 13-15.
The Welshman, who won the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship in August, will make his Madagascan debut at International Golf Club Du Rova, hoping to continue his good form which sees him top the season-long rankings.
With ten top tens to his name and a 366 point lead over David Shacklady, who is Price’s closet Order of Merit challenger in the field this week, The 2002 Ryder Cup hero knows he needs to play well in the lucrative final three events of the Staysure Tour campaign.
“Everybody wants to finish first and I’ve played pretty well all season,” Price said. “There are a lot of challengers close behind me and there are a lot of points to play for over the next three weeks. If one of the top six win a couple of events, then I’m going to have to deliver something very good.
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“I have a good feeling from last year’s MCB Tour Championship, where I had a second and fourth place finish. Madagascar is a new location for me, but I like this part of the world. I’m very familiar with Seychelles and Mauritius and hopefully this week is going to be equally as good for me.”
There is only one man knows who knows the layout at International Golf Club Du Rova, local professional Jean Baptiste Ramarozatovo, who will be making his debut on the over-50s circuit, while the remaining 47 players in the field will hope their pre-tournament practice pays off when the action starts.
“Marc Farry and his organisation have done a great job to get us here, making everything work properly from the hotel to transportation and we’re lucky to be having a tournament here,” said Price.
“The course is in good condition, but it is very challenging off the tee, especially around the greens. There are many banks off the greens and a lot of them lead to deep bunkers.”
The first round of the MCB Tour Championship – Madagascar will begin at 08:00am local time, with Price teeing off at 09:17am.