The fifth edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will welcome back some of the best players from the Asian Tour as they return to action after a week’s break.
Set to tee off at the Heritage Golf Club on Thursday, the field at the €1 million event will include multiple Asian Tour champions in South Africa’s Justin Harding, American John Catlin and India’s Shubhankar Sharma, who won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2018.
Buoyed by his latest success where he lifted his fourth Asian Tour title in Thailand last month, Catlin believes his global experience, where he has played in Europe for most of this season, will provide him with that added edge as he seeks to establish himself as another genuine contender this week.
“Playing against some of the best players in the world gave me the confidence I needed to. I think I have learnt to play smarter over the last one year or so. I know when I can take a shot on and when not. I think that just comes from experience,” said Catlin.
Harding, a two-time Asian Tour winner, is also seeking to end his year on a high note having started the year promisingly with a win in Qatar followed by a creditable tied-12 finish at The Masters Tournament before enduring an erratic show of form.
“I’m looking forward to having another good week and try to finish the year with a bang. It has been a strange year to be honest. I had a good run of form and then it kind of took a slight dip in the middle. I felt like I was always playing my way into the next week and there was no real opportunity to take a break.
“It has been a learning curve. I didn’t really think I was going to continue that kind of form and posting those kind of results on a consistent basis. But I’m hoping I’m now out of my little rut and see if I can have some good finishes to round off the year,” said Harding.
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open was inaugurated in 2015 and was the first tournament to be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and European Tour. Two of the past champions were from the Asian Tour with Korea’s Jeunghun Wang winning the 2016 edition while defending champion Kurt Kitayama of the United States underlined his growing credentials by winning the event in his rookie season last year.