Golf journalist Matt Cooper reports on the forthcoming MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius
It may not be branded quite as obviously as the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, but the conclusion of the Senior Tour has its own version of a yellow brick road and a destination every bit as thrilling at the main tour. The aim for the seniors is to make the season’s final hurrah in Mauritius – at Constance Belle Mare Plage for the MCB Tour Championship.
It’s an event which seals the deal for 2013. After three days of competition on the Legends course the elite field will have been separated and we will know not only the identity of the tournament champion, but the Order of Merit winner and Rookie of the Year will have been crowned too.
In the last three years the trophy has twice been lifted by South Africa’s David Frost, either side of a win by American Tom Lehman. Both men are major championship winners, proof that the cream rises to the top in this event and that’s good news for Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, who has been a new addition to the senior ranks in 2013.
Known to golf fans across the globe as Monty, he completed 31 victories on the European Tour (only three men have ever earned more) and he wasted little time adding a first senior win, claiming the Travis Perkins Masters at Woburn during the summer, only his third start on the Senior Tour.
The 50-year-old Scot has become a regular member of the Sky Sports commentary team in recent years, but he retains a fierce competitive spirit and has joined the senior ranks with specific aims. Unlike Frost and Lehman he famously never won a major title, but he intends to correct that in the senior versions of those events.
With that in mind he is keen to end the year with another win, as will his fellow Ryder Cup captains Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam who join him in the field alongside the reigning champion Frost.
In my time as a golf journalist I’ve been to many countries (from Finland to Turkey and Tenerife to Kazakhstan), but this will be my first visit to Mauritius and I’m buoyed by its reputation on tour as one of the best of the year. No-one seems quite sure what to rave about first – the golf course, the hotel, the location or the food.
They also look back to those past winners and remember one of golf’s oldest adages: quality venues reap quality winners. Follow #MCBGolf on social media to see if the trend continues.