Cape Town - Ernie Els is hoping the local knowledge he has of an Anahita golf course
that he designed gives him an edge over the rest of the field when he makes his
debut in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Thursday.
The four-time Major winner and former world number one said his decision
to play in the tournament was sparked by the 10th anniversary of the
opening of the course he designed at the Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at
exciting to be back, and I
absolutely hope knowing the golf course gives me an advantage,” Els said on the
eve of the first round of this tri-sanctioned tournament between the Sunshine
Tour, Asian Tour and European Tour.
“I haven’t been
back here since we opened the course. It’s so nice to have a tournament of this
stature played on our golf course. It’s amazing though, we designed the golf course 10 years ago and this
was during one of my phases where I liked small greens and run-off areas.
Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite me this week.”
Els played 18 holes in practice on Wednesday and said he liked what he
saw in terms of the golf course’s condition following a deluge of rain falling
“It’s in good shape and I think the guys can score. There’s room off
the tee here. We have
wider fairways but most of the holes were built thinking about the winds off
the ocean. The greens are pretty small and they are quite undulating so that is
where your challenge will be this week,” he said.
Els is also hoping the relaxed nature of this tournament counts in his
favour this week, especially after his finish of tied third in another island
event, the Fiji International, on the Asian Tour this year.
“When it comes to island courses it’s the relaxation I like. When I
played in Fiji I had my wife and my daughter with me, and my wife is here this
week. We’re also close to South Africa so I feel like I’m really heading home
from here.” The field this week
includes every champion since the tournament became tri-sanctioned, including
George Coetzee (2015), Jeunghun Wang (2016) and Dylan Frittelli (2017).