Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open Preview

Frazzled takes a brief look a the Mauritius Open from the Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita as the main focus is on The Players Championship at Sawgrass. He likes Nicolas Colsaerts and Justin Walters.

 Event & Venue

This is the second edition of the Mauritius Open as the European Tour continues to stay away from the mainland until it arrives in Ireland for the Irish Open at the K Club next week. This is a low grade event and there is little course form to go on as last year's renewal was played at The Heritage Golf Club, while it is the Ernie Els designed Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita that is the host venue this year. This has been the host course for the low grade Mauritius Golf Masters for the past couple of years and has been won by Max Orrin in 2014 & 2015.

The course measures 7,401 yards for this event and plays to a Par 72. It consists of generous bermuda fairways and large undulating bermuda grass greens. The hole routings move in and out of the trees and many of the holes are played along the coast, with the course very much affected by a south easterly wind that is set to blow across the course for the duration of the event. This looks a venue that will very much suit the longer hitters with driving accuracy looking much less important than power. The description and photos that we have seen would suggest that solid links players should have an advantage, but a solid bank of links form is not easy to find in this field. Venues like Villamoura, which hosts the Portugal Masters might provide a guide to the event, but we are essentially in the dark about precisely what will be required this week. We will settle on power hitters that have some form on coastal layouts, while form at this venue, even in such a low grade, is worth examining.

Nicolas Colsaerts:

It is no surprise to see Colsaerts heavily tipped this week and despite the fact that he is a player that is deeply frustrating to back, he is a proven winner that is brilliant from tee to green and if he can have any sort of week with the putter, then he has to be in with a great chance in such a week field.

Colsaerts is now ranked a lowly 269 and his struggles on the green have contributed largely to this, but he loves coastal layouts and courses where there is a premium on power off the tee and this venue looks perfect for a player who has a second home in Mauritius, plays here regularly and has won the Mauritius Masters in 2010. He has been second in the China Open at the links style Binhai Lake venue, where like here. the course is affected by a breeze that blows across the venue and he has been 2nd in the Portugal Masters and 7th in the Open Championship. There is lots more form that can be highlighted that will illustrate how this venue should suit, but it simply comes down to the fact that he is very long off the tee (25th in Distance) and is brilliant with his irons (5th in GIR). He does not need to have a brilliant week on the greens, as he should set up more birdies opportunities than anyone, but if can have even a slightly above average week with the flat stick, then he should be very hard to beat in this company at this venue. This also looks a week to get on board him in the first round as if he is going to win, it is likely that he will start fast and kick on form there, so we invest in the first round leader and outright market.

Advised Bets:

2 points each way Nicolas Colsaerts at 28/1 with Betfred and Coral

1 point each way Nicolas Colsaerts - FRL at 33/1 with Betfred and Paddy Power

Justin Walters:

Justin Walters looks very much out of form based on his last few events, where he has missed the cut at the Trophee Hassan and the Open De Espana and also missed the cut in his last couple of Sunshine Tour events. However he is a player that has a history of missing cuts or playing poorly and then following this up with a very solid display. On the main European Tour this season, he has only made 4 of his 8 cuts, but they have produced finishes of 18th in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, 4th in the South Africa Open. 3rd in the Joburg Open and 4th in the Tshwane Open and it is clear from studying his game that venues such as Valderamma and the tight layout at the Trophee Hassan are never going to suit his game.

Walters has secured some excellent finishes on the main European Tour, even if they are rather isolated. However the fact that his 2nd in the 2013 Portugal Masters and 10th in the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open, were both achieved in much stronger fields than this and on courses that did not demand accuracy from the tee is encouraging, particularly the coastal layout of Villamoura for the Portugal Masters. He is a powerful driver that lacks accuracy off the tee and ranks 33rd in Driving Distance this season, while he also is solid around the greens and ranks 89th in Putts Per GIR and 72nd in Putts Per Round. He is generally inconsistent with his irons but did rank highly in GIR (Top 50) in 2015 and these large undulating greens should be very much in his favour. He carries plenty of risks but the 160/1 about him a field of this quality, looks worth taking a chance with.

Advised Bets:

1 points each way Justin Walters at 160/1 each way with Bet365

1.5 points win Justin Walters - Top 20 Finish at 6/1 with BetVictor