Tour stars excited to be part of #AfrAsiaOpen

Mon 04 May 2015

Tour stars excited to be part of #AfrAsiaOpen

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Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius, May 4: India’s Arjun Atwal believes this week’s inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the first tri-sanctioned event by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours, will provide another opportunity for Asia’s top stars to showcase their growing stature in world golf.
The €1 million (approximately US$1.1 million) showpiece begins at the spectacular Heritage Golf Club on Thursday with the 132-man field split equally amongst the three major Tours and sprinkled with invited players.
Jason Knutzon of Canada Jason Knutzon of Canada
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open is one of five new tournaments on the Asian Tour this season and Atwal, a former number one and eight-time winner, is ready to put his money on an Asian Tour member lifting the title on Sunday.
“It’s so exciting. It’s the first time having the three Tours tri-sanction a tournament and this is such a beautiful place,” enthused Atwal, who is the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour.
“It’s good to have all three Tours coming together. You get to see how the other players are doing and it just creates opportunities for our players. If one of us wins, it gives us a European Tour card … it’s a great opportunity.
“Obviously, it’s been getting better on the Asian Tour every year. Back in the day, it was rare to see Asian Tour players winning European Tour events. It happened once in a while. Now if an Asian Tour member doesn’t win, it will be surprising. You know that one of our players can win anytime.”
After spending over a decade plying his trade in the Far East, American Jason Knutzon is thrilled to make a maiden trip to Mauritius, which is a world renowned holiday isle.
“I’ve been playing in Asia for a long time and it’s always neat to see somewhere new,” said the double Asian Tour winner. “I didn’t really know about Mauritius, so it’s pretty cool to show up and see what it is all about.
Gaganjeet Bhullar of India Gaganjeet Bhullar of India
“I think this tri-sanctioned tournament is something that is new for the Tours. The Sunshine Tour is a very good Tour and it’s nice we can get together in a cool spot like Mauritius. It’s going to be a good week.”
With the Asian Tour joining forces with the Sunshine Tour (Southern African Tour) for the first time, another American, Berry Henson, believes the close cooperation by the major international Tours bode well for the future of the game.
“It’s great to come to a new and an exotic place,” said Henson, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour. “Everyone is excited to be here. The staff at Heritage Resorts has been world class and the course kind of reminds me of Hawaii.
“It’s the first ever tri-sanctioned tournament and I think it’s great for golf. It’s going to show that there is talent all over the world. To put the three Tours together for an event, I think we’ll see more of these events in the future.”
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar added: “It’s a great week. I came out here to the course yesterday and played a few holes and it’s a beautiful layout. The course is very picturesque , lots of beautiful holes.
“Being tri-sanctioned, it’s going to open the door to international players. I think it will be great if we can come here more often.”
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:
http://afrasiabankmauritiusopen.com/
 
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.