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Golf: Kiradech aiming to make history at first Mauritius Open

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is among the favourites at the tri-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Photo: Asian Tour.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is among the favourites at the tri-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Photo: Asian Tour.

April 29, 2015: Kiradech Aphibarnrat will be among the tournament favourites at the tri-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open from May 7-10 as he seeks his second European Tour title in two months and the third of his career.

 

Kiradech, 25, won the inaugural Shenzhen International in mid-April to collect his first European Tour title since winning the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2013, the year the big-hitting Thai won the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

 

In Mauritius, he will seek to be victorious in another of the year’s new tournaments, with the Heritage Golf Club hosting the US$1.1 million event, the first to be tri-sanctioned by the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours.

 

Thomas Bjorn and Thomas Levet, who have won 15 and 6 European Tour titles respectively, and South African George Coetzee, who won his second European Tour title at March’s Tshwane Open, are also among the pre-tournament favourites.

 

Other contenders include Australian Scott Hend, one of the most successful international players on the Asian Tour, and Hennie Otto, the AfrAsia Bank global ambassador who has won 12 times on the Sunshine Tour.

 

Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy, said: “It is always exciting to break new ground and the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at The Heritage Golf Club promises to be a superb tournament, with the three Tours coming together for the first time.

 

“We enjoy a strong relationship with both the Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour, and we are delighted to bring these two partnerships together for the first time for this historic tri-sanctioned event.

 

“This relationship is embodied in two of the players in the field, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and George Coetzee, both of whom have won on The European Tour in recent weeks. They will be joined at The Heritage Golf Club by a number of other European Tour champions.

 

“Mauritius is a magnificent destination and I’m certain the players from all three Tours will enjoy their trip, while the tournament will help showcase the beautiful island to a global television audience.”

 

Mike Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Tour, said: “The Asian Tour will be represented by a truly eclectic mix of champions from over 15 different nationalities and we look forward to our members performing at the very highest level at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

 

“Our talented players have been very successful in recent co-sanctioned tournaments with The European Tour, winning the previous five events and we are hopeful they can challenge for the title at the Heritage Golf Resort.

 

“With a great field assembling in Mauritius, this first tri-sanctioned tournament by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours is poised to be a memorable one indeed for the sponsors, players, golf fans and television viewers from around the world.”

 

Chinese teen Guan Tianlang is among the invites, having made global headlines at the 2013 Masters Tournament when he became the youngest golfer to make the halfway cut in a Major, at the age of 14 years and five months.

 

Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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