Everything you need to know from the opening day at Heritage Golf Club.
There was a leading logjam, a rookie made a big splash, no clubs were no problem for Zander Lombard and one of our leaders showed they had definitely taken up the right sport on day one of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
Here is everything you need to know from the opening day at Heritage Golf Club.
Quality quintet make it a high five
Rookie Rasmus Højgaard was the story of the morning as the Eisenhower Trophy winning 18-year-old Dane carded a bogey free 66 to get to six under. He was soon joined by Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and the duo held the lead for a long while but in the afternoon they had company. Playing partners Romain Langasque and Brandon Stone joined the party before Scot Grant Forrest made it a five way tie, with 77 players under par. If it stays this tight, we could be in for a thrilling battle on the beach.
Allez Les Bleus!
Could this be the week for Hebert? After losing out in the final of the 2018 Belgian Knockout, he lost three play-offs last season as he looks for a first European Tour win. He knows how to get over the line with six European Challenge Tour victories on his CV, while countryman Langasque has a win on the Challenge Tour and an Amateur Championship victory to his name. Just a shot back Matthieu Pavon is also flying the French flag, and Antoine Rozner is embarking on his rookie campaign after winning back to back events on the Challenge Tour in May last year. "I'm counting on the other French guys who have been here for a while and hopefully they can help me a bit," said Rozner. He may be playing with some of them on the weekend.
No practice, no problem
Zander Lombard may have missed the cut in his previous appearance at Heritage Golf Club but those 36 holes clearly did him some good as he opened with a bogey free 67 on Thursday. The South African's clubs did not arrive in Mauritius until 5.00pm on Wednesday but he showed that practice is not always required for perfection, producing a stunning chip-in on his final hole. "My clubs didn’t arrive until five o’clock yesterday afternoon but luckily I played this event two years ago so I kind of knew what to expect," he said. "I was out here and walked a couple of holes so I got a decent preparation in. All in all, it’s down to tournament rounds and putting the ball in the hole. You can do as much prep as you want but playing in a tournament is what’s it’s about."
Amateurs don't get these
There are breaks and there are breaks. When your tee shot is heading right into the very long grass, you are hoping you can just find your ball, never mind play it. Incredibly Taehee Lee saw his ball bounce off the grass and back out into the rough. Lucky, lucky boy.
Stick to golf, Brandon
Brandon Stone is a wonderful golfer with three European Tour victories - including a Rolex Series triumph - under his belt. But on the evidence of this, as he points out, he wouldn't make much of a cricketer. Or juggler for that matter.
Won’t be making any cricket teams anytime soon 😂 https://t.co/mgJkIGvOqp— Brandon Stone (@BrandonMStone) December 5, 2019
Those of you who are keen followers of our twitter account will know we have been following the exploits of Nicolas and Rachel Colsaerts this week, with Mrs C making her caddying debut for her husband. Well at one point on Thursday she appeared to go missing in action, although she was doing an excellent job when she had the bag, helping Nicolas to a 69.