Mauritius: The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will become the first tri-sanctioned golf tournament endorsed by the Sunshine, European and Asian Tours.
The tournament, which is expected to draw top performers from each of the three Tours, will be played at the Heritage Golf Club from May 7-10, 2015.
The golf club, recently ranked among the top-10 courses in Africa by CNN, was chosen as the venue for the three Tours to come together. The total prize fund of €1 million is the highest purse ever to be paid out for a tournament in Mauritius.
Selwyn Nathan, Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour, said: “We are delighted to be joining the Asian and European Tours in staging the first tri-sanctioned event in Mauritius. We enjoy excellent relationships with both Tours and are proud to already be a vital ‘swing’ on the European Tour, during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months.
“This ground-breaking tournament in Mauritius will bring the three Tours ever closer and, importantly for us, offer our members another opportunity to compete at the highest levels on the world stage.”
Heritage Golf Club is an enterprise of the Rogers Group, a listed company on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius with more than 4,000 employees and serving clients in various business domains. Rogers has been actively involved in the development of the tourism industry, and as such attractive travel packages will be available at Heritage Resorts for fans and golfers alike, to enjoy the splendour of Mauritius.
The 138-man field, made up of at least 40 professionals from each of the participating Tours plus qualifiers and local invitees, will compete in a 72-hole stroke play championship. The results count towards the individual Tours’ Orders of Merit and Official World Golf Ranking points, Race to Dubai and Chase to the Investec Cup.
Keith Waters, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy, said: “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 in Mauritius for this event.
“The players will enjoy playing the Heritage Golf Club course and visiting Mauritius, sampling the island’s renowned hospitality. Golf is a major part of Mauritius’ tourism strategy and through the support of the sponsors the tournament will showcase the island to a worldwide television audience as part of the 2015 Race to Dubai.”
Mike Kerr, CEO of the Asian Tour, added: “The Asian Tour is delighted to break new ground with the launch of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, which will be a milestone in the history of the Asian Tour as it will be the first time that the Asian Tour, European Tour and Sunshine Tour are joining forces to sanction what is poised to be a historic golf tournament.
“It will be tremendous for Mauritius to play host to the finest golf stars from the three continents and through the Asian Tour to further promote the island and all of the partners to golf fans in Asia.”
Christophe Cure, President of the Mauritius Golf Federation, said: “It is with great honour that the Mauritius Golf Federation is hosting the three Tours, and playing a key role in organising this one-of-a-kind tournament. Together with the sponsors, the Open will play a pivotal role in helping us to grow the game of golf on the island, and draw the world’s attention to our outstanding courses.”
James Benoit, CEO of AfrAsia Bank, said: “As a private and corporate bank, our aim is to be in line with supporting a sports partnership strategy that is aligned with business diversity and international presence. The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open provides us with the unique opportunity to build on our sporting heritage while providing priceless experiences to our clients, and at the same time mapping Mauritius as a lifestyle, financial and logistics hub.”
Ryan Dodds, the Heritage Golf Club Director, said: “We are grateful for the support we have received from our sponsors. We believe that these partnerships will only grow from here to deliver one of the best golfing events in the world.”
Karl Mootoosamy, Director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, said: “I believe I speak on behalf of all Mauritians when I say we are delighted to be the hosts of this tournament. It will not only contribute to the development of the sport in Mauritius, but it will also showcase the beauty of our country.”