Mighty Thor hammers new course mark #AfrAsiaOpen

Thu 07 May 2015

Mighty Thor hammers new course mark #AfrAsiaOpen

Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius, May 7: Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark established a new course record of six-under-par 65 on his return from injury to grab the early first round lead at the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Thursday.
The talented Dane, who has been out for three months following a hand surgery, mixed eight birdies with two bogeys at the magnificent Heritage Golf Club to lead South Africa’s Oliver Bekker and Australian Terry Pilkadaris by a shot.
Thai duo Jazz Janewattananond and Thanyakon Khrongpha and Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat carried Asia’s hopes with 69s in the first ever tri-sanctioned tournament by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours
The first round is still in progress with the afternoon session in play.
Starting on the back nine, Olesen got out of the blocks quickly with four birdies in his first five holes – the first from 40 feet – and picked up further gains at the 16th and 18th holes – either side of a dropped shot on the 17th hole – for an outward 31. Another bogey followed on the first, but Olesen birdied the fifth and completed his scoring with a 10-footer on the seventh hole.
“We had perfect conditions on the front nine and I played well on the front nine, then it started getting tricky on the back nine,” said the 25-year-old, who holds two European Tour victories.
“All in all my short game was very good and that’s why I’m six under. It’s a good golf course, you can see almost everything from the tee out there and it’s in perfect condition.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this – three months to play a competition round, so I was excited to get out there this morning. We had great conditions and I hit a lot of great putts, so it was fun.”
All three Tours were represented on the early leaderboard with Sunshine Tour regular Bekker and the Asian Tour's Pilkadaris lying in second place, one back.
The 47-year-old Mardan, who secured his fourth Asian Tour title last November, made three birdies against a lone dropped shot at the demanding 17th hole for his best opening round of the season.
"I made a long birdie on two from about 30 feet which is a tough hole and another good birdie on five and birdied 18 as well. You just need to try to take your chances which I managed to do today,” said Mardan.
“We got lucky with the morning draw, as there was not too much wind on my first nine holes but it picked up a bit on the back nine. It’s a good place to be here. It’s so relaxing and my wife (Naz) is here and she’s also relaxing a bit as she’s been stressing back home! It’s really fortunate that we can come to Mauritius, enjoy the resort and play golf for a living. You can’t complain.”
Slightly-built Jazz, 19, chipped in for eagle on the seventh holes as he extended his good form after finishing tied 15th in Indonesia two weeks ago. The young Thai said a new mental approach is starting to yield the rewards.
“Last year, I thought too much about the golf swing but not this year. I’m just going to let it happen and swing freely, like what I did on my first year on Tour,” he said.
“Conditions were tough. It’s very easy to make mistakes and I had to stay focused all the time. You can’t be too aggressive in the wind, just stay patient and wait for the opportunities to come.”
“I love it here in Mauritius. I’m from Hua Hin where we have good beaches there but you can’t compare the water to here. It’s so clear here.”
Sponsors for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open include the AfrAsia Bank, Rogers, Heritage Resorts, Heritage Golf Club, Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Air Mauritius, Anahita, Villas Valriche, and Jaguar.
Note to Editors

  • The tournament will be played at the Heritage Golf Cub on Domaine de Bel Ombre, voted one of the Top 10 golf courses in Africa, according to global news broadcaster CNN. The course was designed by Peter Matkovich, who has also presided over the construction of 20 top-ranked golf courses on the continent, such as Arabella Golf Club in South Africa, and Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club in Zimbabwe.

  • This 27-hole facility which includes an 18-hole par-72 championship layout and a nine hole short course, is not only set in the middle of stunning natural scenery and dotted with small lakes and streams, but also possesses exceptional infrastructure and services.

For more information on the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open:
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.