Coetzee wins, Hend 5th at inaugural Mauritius Open
South African George Coetzee won the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open after defeating Dane Thorbjorn Olesen with a birdie on the second play-off hole on Sunday.
Overnight leader Coetzee and Olesen ended regulation play tied on 13-under-par 271 at the Heritage Golf Club following final rounds of two-under-par 69 and 68 respectively before the South African rising star produced a four on the par five 18th hole to seal his seventh title on the Sunshine Tour and second of the 2015 season.
The historic €1 million (approximately US$1.1 million) tournament tri-sanctioned by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours enjoyed a fitting conclusion with Singapore’s veteran Mardan Mamat taking third place, one back of the play-off duo, after he closed with a 67 as all three tours were represented in the top-three.
Power-packed Coetzee seemed in control early in the final round with three birdies in his opening five holes earning him a four-shot cushion. However Olesen, playing in his first event in three months following hand surgery, fought superbly and Coetzee eventually needed to birdie 18 in regulation play to force extra-time.
Both players birdied the first extra hole but after Olesen found the fairway trap with his drive on the second play-off hole, Coetzee took full advantage to claim the champion’s cheque of US$186,545.
Mardan closed with a fine 67, which included birdies on 16 and 18 but fell one shot shy of the play-off. He bogeyed his fourth hole but brilliantly fought back with three straight birdies to stay in contention.
He lamented a misfortunate on the par three 15th hole when what looked like a perfect tee shot hit the pin flag and nearly rolled into the watery grave. He made par there before finishing with a flourish with birdies on 16 and 18.
Thomas Aiken of South African finished fourth on 273 following a 70 while Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura, England’s John Parry and Australian Scott Hend shared fifth place on 274, with the trio shooting matching 66s.
Sam Brazel, Nathan Holman and Andrew Dodt were the next best of the Aussies behind Hend in equal 20th at 5-under 279.
Source – Asian Tour