Thursday, 30 November 2017
Day One Highlights - AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

India's Arjun Atwal will take a commanding four-shot lead into the second round of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open after shattering the course record at Heritage Golf Club on day one.

Three-time European Tour winner Atwal fired a brilliant eagle and seven birdies on Thursday afternoon to sign for a flawless 62 - the lowest round of the new European Tour season so far.

Atwal bettered the previous course record by three shots despite not playing a practice round ahead of the tournament.

Early clubhouse leaders Sebastian Heisele and Louis de Jager were in a five-way tie for second on five under alongside afternoon starters Miguel Tabuena, Ockie Strydom and Adilson da Silva.

South African trio Louis Oosthuizen, Dylan Frittelli and George Coetzee were among the large group another shot back on four under.

Atwal started his first round brightly, notching back-to-back birdies at the first and second holes before repeating the trick at the sixth and seventh to get to four under.

I found it pretty tough out there but I didn't make any mistakes and I had a hot putter - Arjun Atwal 

And after picking up another shot at the tenth, the 44 year old holed his monster eagle putt from 35 feet at the long 14th to grab the outright lead.

Atwal, who will captain Team Asia in January's EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM, then knocked in his 18-foot birdie putt at the 16th before making another gain from close range at the last to move to nine under.

Speaking after his first round, Atwal said: "I was in Kuala Lumpur the last two days to announce the players in Team Asia for the EurAsia Cup and I had some media activities to do. I had no practice round and went straight on the first tee.

"I'm pleased and shocked. I took a very long route coming here. I came through Dubai and it took me 16 hours to get here. I was tired and I didn't really expect anything. Sometimes when you don't expect much, you get a lot out of it.

"I found it pretty tough out there but I didn't make any mistakes and I had a hot putter. The wind was on and off - it wasn't very gusty. 

"I'm looking forward to some rest and will see what happens tomorrow."

Heisele reached the turn in 35 strokes after mixing one birdie with a single bogey on the front nine but his round came to life after the turn as he made four gains in five holes from the 11th.

German Heisele then tapped in his birdie putt from close range at the last to get to five under and set the clubhouse target.

De Jager opened his round with a bogey but was soon in the red numbers courtesy of birdies at the second, fifth and sixth holes.

After picking up further shots at the tenth and 14th, De Jager went two shots clear of Heisele when he reeled off birdies at the 16th and 17th.

But his closing bogey, coupled with a birdie at the last from Heisele saw his advantage evaporate.

Tabuena reached the turn in 31 after carding an eagle and two birdies on his front nine. He then mixed three birdies with two bogeys on the back nine - including a gain at the last - to jump into a share of second place.

Da Silva recovered from an opening bogey with two birdies on the front nine before notching five birdies on his back nine, with his only other dropped shot coming at the short 13th, while Strydom made five birdies in his flawless 66.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FRITTELLI, DylanRSA18-16
2ATWAL, ArjunIND18-16
3LANGASQUE, RomainFRA18-14
4DE JAGER, LouisRSA18-13
T5PAVON, MatthieuFRA18-12
T5TABUENA, MiguelPHI18-12

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