The Race to Dubai visits the African continent for the first time in the 2019 season. We take a look at what you need to know ahead of the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.
Frittelli’s winning form
Dylan Frittelli clinched his second European Tour title at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open almost 12 months ago, having carried his terrific form from 2017 into the following season.
In 2017, the South African took a share of second at the Turkish Airlines Open, ahead of a tied 42nd place result at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player. In the season-ending event in Dubai, Frittelli impressed amongst some of the best in the world to claim a share of fourth position and carried his form into the 2018 campaign with a tied 16th finish in Hong Kong and victory to follow in Mauritius.
Stepping onto the world stage
The European Challenge Tour Class of 2018 continue their steps on Europe’s elite stage after claiming their European Tour cards at the beginning of the month.
Last week the HONMA Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi saw 12 fresh faces make their first appearance of the season, with nine Challenge Tour graduates set to tee it up in Mauritius, including Pedro Figueiredo, who will make his debut appearance on the 2019 Race to Dubai.
The Big Easy in town
Four-time Major Championship winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els will make his debut at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open, which is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour.
The former World Number One will grace the Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita, a course that he designed, when he takes to the tee this week.
“Hopefully a little ‘insider’ knowledge will work in my favour at Anahita,” he said.
South African’s flying the flag
The European Tour’s first trip to the African continent in 2019 will see 50 South African players tee it up in Mauritius.
The Race to Dubai will make five visits to the African continent this season, including the Kenya Open, which was promoted from the European Challenge Tour and will make its debut on the European Tour in March.
Joining Els in the field are fellow South African’s Dylan Frittelli, the defending champion, 2015’s winner George Coetzee, and Zander Lombard, who won the Final Stage of the European Tour’s Qualifying School to clinch his 2019 European Tour card.
The Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open made European Tour history in 2015 when it became the first event to be tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour. Since then, the event has gone from strength to strength, featuring some of the biggest names in golf.
The victorious 2018 European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn teed it up alongside fellow Dane and Rolex Series winner Thorbjørn Olesen in 2015, while the 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and 2011 Open Champion and former Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke both played in last season’s event.