Birdie man Frost gets away to flying start at MCB

The MCB Tour Championship could be in danger of becoming a procession if South African David Frost produces another round of golf like his opener on the Belle Mare Plage Legend course today.

David Frost at MCB Tour Championship, Mauritius

David Frost

Frost, who was runner-up in the tournament to Tom Lehman 12 months ago and had won the MCB Senior Open over the same course in 2010, was on supreme form, making nine birdies on his way to a magnificent eight-under-par 64.

The 53-year-old who spends most of his time on the US Champions Tour, had only one blemish on his card as he built up a three-stroke lead to take into the second day. That was at the tricky par-four 12th, where he pulled his approach to the left of the green and failed to get up and down.

Otherwise, it was Frost at his most confident as he birdied four of the first six holes, added another at the eighth, picked up three more in a row from the 13th and rounded the performance off with birdie number nine at the 18th.

‘I am very happy with that,’ he said. ‘I made some nice putts and I got lucky with one from 35 feet at the third. Otherwise I hit the ball close and made the putts.

The Legend golf course

‘The greens are in fabulous condition and that made putting enjoyable. The course has improved a lot over the last two years and there is not so much grain on the greens as in the past. But ‘it’s never over until it’s over and I’ve played enough to know you can’t take anything for granted in this game.

Constance Legend golf course, Mauritius

Constance Legend golf course

‘Tom had a great start last year but I managed to catch him and had a chance to tie him on the last hole, and I came back against Roger Chapman and won in a play-off in 2010. I had been leading before that but then Roger put pressure on me.

‘That’s how the game can affect you. It’s a good start but I have to keep playing and stick to my game plan.”

Steve Van Vuuren in second spot

Another South African starts the second day tomorrow, Saturday 8 December, in second spot. Steve Van Vuuren signed for a five-under-par 67 that included six birdies and he said it was the change to a belly putter that had made the difference to his game. Van Vuuren followed the advice of Ian Woosnam and tried the putter out for the first time in the South African Senior Masters and promptly took the title.

‘I switched to a belly putter last week. It was the first time I had tried it and it worked nicely again today.’

Tim Thelen in 3rd

American Tim Thelen lies one stroke back in third place, despite being less than comfortable throughout most of his round of 68.
‘I’m pleased with my score. I putted well, otherwise I would not have had a 68,’ said the three-times 2012 winner who had a mixed card of seven birdies and three bogies.

‘I couldn’t find my swing for the first nine holes and it wasn’t until the 15th that it suddenly felt good and I finished much better with birdies at 17 and 18. If I can start that way in the morning I’ll be a lot happier.’

Popular American Jerry Bruner sent out a reminder that there is still life in the old dog yet with a creditable three-under-par 69 to share fourth place with Australian Peter Fowler and Englishmen George Ryall and John Gould.

Tough start for Lehman and Chapman

But there were disappointing starts for favourite Tom Lehman and double Major winner Roger Chapman. There were five birdies for Chapman but an ugly double-bogey at the 12th spoiled a promising card and he finished at two-under, level with Barry Lane who is aiming to consolidate his position in second place in the order-of-merit.

And defending champion Lehman had a difficult time on the greens, relying on a final-hole birdie to finish with a one-under-par 71.

‘I didn’t putt well. It was as simple as that. I was playing pretty well, except for hitting a bad three-iron at 16, but all the other
bogies were three-putts. I found the greens faster than last year and it was difficult for me. But I won with a 71 in the last round a year ago so there’s a glimmer of hope.’

Catch up with all the news from the championship on the MCB Tour Championship website.

Winner of our golf competition to win a Kindle Fire

Thanks to everyone who entered our Facebook golf competition to win a Kindle Fire.

This week we were at Hole 7 on the Constance Legend golf course. The ball is plugged in the bunker, with 10m to the flag and the wind is coming strongly from the right.

Watch the short video of our golf pro playing each of the 3 shots, and find out which one gets closest to the flag.

And the winner is…..

Congratulations to this week’s winner Joanne Wildhaber. We’ll be in contact with you very soon to arrange delivering your prize of a Kindle Fire.

Last week’s results

If you missed the results from the last 4 weeks, visit our Facebook page to watch the videos and find out which shots were correct.

MCB Tour Championship

The MCB Tour Championship is currently taking place at Constance Belle Mare Plage, from 7-9 December. Catch up with all the latest news, draws and results on the MCB Tour Championship website.

Winners of the Constance Pro-Am golf tournament

Two of the leading candidates for the MCB Tour Championship, Roger Chapman and Gary Wolstenholme, warmed up for the event by collecting prizes in the Constance Hotels Pro-Am.

Constance Pro-Am winners (Net) at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Pro-Am winners, Net category

Wolstenholme picked up where Chapman had left off at the Links on the opening day to guide the trio of Nigel Lewis, Kevin Woolhouse and Garry Brandt into first place in the Net category.

The team was two points off the overnight leaders after their 88 points with Chapman at the Links but an impressive 92 points on the Legend with Wolstenholme saw them home from the fast-finishing David Frost quartet.

The South African helped his team of Ali Schatz, Claudia Franzen and Philipp Franzen into second place , two points behind the leaders, after they posted 96 points on the Legend, the best score of the day.

Jean Pierre Sallat had led the team on the previous day at the Links where they scored 82 points.

Third place, two points further in arrears went to Nicolas Neyraud, Pascal Delgrange and Valerie Challier, who were partnered by Sebastien Delagrange at the Legend in the first round for 90 points and by Jean Damien Yvet, with 86 points in round two at the Links.

The Gross category saw the team led by former Ryder Cup man Peter Baker come from behind to take the main prize.

Constance Pro-Am winners (Gross) at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Pro-Am winners, Gross category

Lying second after playing with Gary Emerson and accumulating 77 points on the Legend course, Jean Francois Vallet, Sylvia Valli and Ian Espitalier Noel teamed up with ex-Ryder Cup man Peter Baker to make 81 points at the Links.

That was enough to secure first place, two points ahead of the Chapman-Wolstenholme combination that had taken the Net title.

Overnight leaders Valerie Raffray, Razia Moollan and Natalie Serret, who were partnered at the Legend by Emerson, were joined on the second day by Steve Cipa and he helped to ensure they claimed third place, albeit six points behind the eventual winners.

Take a look at the full results of the Pro-Am 2012 Final Team results in Gross (without handicap)

Daily catch up from the MCB Tour Championship

As the clock ticks to tee off on Friday 7 December, when the MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage gets underway, we’re bringing you daily updates from the Legend golf course.

Roger Chapman at MCB Tour Championship, Mauritius

Roger Chapman

Get the inside track on who’s who at the championship with our daily golf gazette

Take a look at the full draw for round 1 at the MCB Tour Championship, where Roger Chapman and defending champion Tom Lehman have been paired together.

And for more news and daily articles, visit the MCB Tour Championship website.

 

Chapman and Lehman paired together

Roger Chapman’s coronation as European Senior Tour Number One at the MCB Tour Championship will start alongside defending champion Tom Lehman and former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane.

John Jacobs Trophy

Tom Lehman at MCB Tour Championship

Tom Lehman

Double Senior Major Champion Chapman will receive the John Jacobs Trophy at Constance Belle Mare Plage after sealing the Senior Tour Order of Merit title, starting the event with an unassailable €100,382 lead over Lane, who is trying to finish runner up for the second consecutive year.

Lehman won the MCB Tour Championship title last year by one stroke from South African David Frost, and the American will be looking for a similarly fast start to 12 months ago when he opened with a seven under par 65 to establish a first round lead of three shots.

Tee off on Friday 7 December

The trio will tee off at 10.50am on Friday and will be followed at 11.00am by the group of Frost, 2011 Order of Merit winner Peter Fowler and Tim Thelen, the American who is third in this year’s money list.

Englishman Paul Wesselingh, the winner of the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship, is trying to overtake Fowler and break into the top four on the Order of Merit, and he will begin the final event of the 2012 season alongside SSE Scottish Senior Open winner Anders Forsbrand and Gary Wolstenholme, a two-time winner this year. Read more about Paul Wesselingh being named rookie of the year.

Denmark’s Steen Tinning kicks-off his Senior Tour career alongside Australian Mike Harwood and  Welshman Mark Mouland.

Read more on the European Senior Tour and MCB Tour Championship websites.

 

Giant golf simulator arrives at Constance Belle Mare Plage

It has raised a few eyebrows among golfers on the Constance Legend course and diners at the Deerhunter Restaurant. But what is it – that massive golf ball that has appeared on the lake alongside the 18th green?

World class golf simulator

Golf simulator at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Golf simulator at Constance Legend course

For those who have yet to find out, we are happy to reveal all. The golf ball is a massive air-conditioned dome that houses one of the largest and most sophisticated golf simulators to have been created. And it is the first time such an advanced piece of equipment has been seen on Mauritius.

How it works

Throughout this week, guests of the Mauritius Commercial Bank and Constance Hotels & Resorts will be able to play on one of over 100 golf courses in a comfortable environment and without getting wet, losing a ball or burning excess energy negotiating steep climbs and sharp descents.

They can simply stand on the tee, select the club of their choice and hit the ball down a fairway that is displayed on a huge screen in front of them. Without taking so much as a step forward, the player is transported to the ball and the procedure is repeated until the ball finally drops into the cup. It could hardly be easier and an 18-hole game can be over in barely an hour.

The simulator can cater for all formats of play and can also be used for swing analysis, allowing professionals to coach amateur players and to hopefully improve their game.

Off-Course Golf

Off-Course Golf (OCG) has been in existence for six months and was the brainchild of partners Julien Montlahuc and Benoit Revol, from Paris. Julien discovered the simulator on a trip to Vienna and returned home full of enthusiasm. He convinced his friend, Benoit, of its potential and the two men invested all their capital to develop and build the system. When that was done, they needed an outlet to display and promote it.

Where better than in the heart of Paris – at Fouquet’s Hotel, part of the Lucien Barriere chain – near the Champs Elysees. Yes, the young entrepreneurs persuaded the manager to sign an agreement allowing them to set up the simulator on the roof of his hotel for six months. It proved a massive hit and the unit remained in place for two years.

The Mauritius Commercial Bank eventually got to hear about OCG through a contact who had seen the simulator in Paris and the bank agreed to commission its appearance at the golf week.

The MCB will be using the Dome to host clients but there will also be plenty of opportunities for hotel guests and golfers to try it out.

Find out more

Visit the MCB Tour Championship website to find out more or discover the delights in store at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

In the mood for winning?

Enter our fun golf game on Facebook and you could win a Kindle Fire. Closing date Friday 7 December.

Article by Neil Webber