JOHANNESBURG – Louis Oosthuizen, the highest-ranked player in the €1 million Mauritius Open, has enjoyed a relaxed build-up to his debut in this tri-sanctioned tournament, which tees off at The Heritage Golf Club on Thursday.
Then again, it would be hard not to against the backdrop of a sparkling Indian Ocean, breakfast on the beach, and a game of FootGolf with some Liverpool Football Club legends.
On Monday the South African world number-22 teamed up with former Liverpool star Gary McAllister in a FootGolf competition.
They were knocked out after the first hole, but provided lively commentary for the rest of the competition. The FootGolf team of 2015 Mauritius Open champion George Coetzee and Liverpool great Ian Rush went on to win the tournament in a playoff over the team of French professional Romain Langasque and Patrik Berger.
“That was great fun. My only regret is that I let down the team a bit with my par on the first hole, and we were knocked out with a birdie,” said Oosthuizen.
“I’m in a very relaxed mode. This is my first Mauritius Open in my 18th season as a professional, and I’m looking forward to it. This is a great place. The course looks good, and the greens look good.”
Earlier in the week Oosthuizen also visited the site of the second championship golf course he is designing with Peter Matkovich on the Heritage Resorts complex in the south of the island.
“It’s up in the mountains and I think the views are going to be spectacular. I’m very excited to be working with Peter, and hopefully I can bring something special to the overall design.”
Oosthuizen is one of two Major winners in the field. The 2010 Open champion is joined by 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke.
Clarke arrived in Mauritius fresh off his victory in the Gary Player Invitational charity tournament at Sun City on Sunday, and in good form following a lesson from Player that saw him shoot 67 on the final day.
The tri-sanctioned field of European, Sunshine and Asian Tour players also includes three of the top four players on the current Asian Tour Order of Merit in leader Gavin Green, third-placed Scott Hend and fourth-placed SSP Chawrasia.
Chawrasia is in good form following his seventh-place finish in last week’s Hong Kong Open.
Swede Alexander Björk is in Mauritius on the back of finishing tied second in Hong Kong.
And Dylan Frittelli, Haydn Porteous and Dean Burmester add to a strong South African challenge as winners on the European Tour this year.
African News Agency (ANA)