Golf: David Frost warms up with a win

South African David Frost warmed up for this year’s MCB Tour Championship at
Constance Belle Mare Plage in December with a victory on the USPGA Champions
Tour last weekend.

David Frost, golfer

David Frost

Frost came from 6 strokes off the pace on the final day of the AT&T Championship in San Antonio, Texas, to finish level with Bernhard Langer at the head of the
leaderboard.

He then outgunned the German at the second hole of the play-off to score a birdie that earned him the $277,000 first prize.

Frost, winner of the 2010 Mauritius Commercial Bank Open and runner-up in last year’s MCB Tour Championship, was not the only Mauritius-bound player on the
leaderboard.

Welshman Mark Mouland, twice a winner of the original Mauritius Open, stormed into the top 10 on the final day with a five-under-par 67 to share seventh place with
defending MCB Tour champion Tom Lehman.

Double Major winner Roger Chapman never got going and closed with a four-over-
par total of 220.

The action has moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, for the final tournament of the year,
the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, 1-4 November.

Golf: Tom Lehman wins MCB Tour Championship

 

Tom Lehman, winner of MCB Tour Championship 2011

Tom Lehman, winner of MCB Tour Championship 2011

American Tom Lehman made his first visit to Mauritius a memorable one by
fending off a late challenge from South African David Frost to win the
inaugural MCB Tour Championship on the Belle Mare Plage Legend course.

Read all about the day’s exciting climax to the MCB Tour Championship.

Golf: Final day at MCB Tour Championship – 11 December 2011

Legend golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legend golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage

As the MCB Tour Championship heads into its final day, golf journalist Neil Webber gives us the lowdown on the latest from Constance Belle Mare Plage.

On the eve of the final round of the inaugural MCB Tour Championship, South African David Frost sounded a warning to leader Tom Lehman not to expect to have things all his own way in the final round.

Find out more on the MCB Tour Championship website.

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Golf MCB Tour Championship: Frost confident ahead of Mauritius return

South African David Frost is relishing his return to Mauritius on the European Senior Tour for the 2011 season-ending MCB Tour Championship following a dramatic conclusion to his last visit to the sunshine island.

David Frost

David Frost

Frost began his 2011 campaign by defeating Englishman Roger Chapman on the second extra hole to win the Mauritius Commercial Bank Open last December, recovering from losing a four stroke lead to force a play-off with a spectacular eagle on the final hole.

Senior Tour season finale

The 52 year old returns to the magnificent Constance Belle Mare Plage from December 9-11, with the tournament taking on a new title as the Senior Tour season finale following a new four-year agreement with title sponsor Mauritius Commercial Bank.

Frost has an impressive record at Constance Belle Mare Plage, finishing tied fifth on his Senior Tour debut in 2010 before capturing his maiden Senior Tour title last year and he is eager to continue his fine run next month.

‘I feel confident returning to Belle Mare Plage,’ said Frost. ‘I have made quite a few friends amongst the Pro-Am participants over the past two years and I am looking forward to seeing them too.

Highlights of 2011

‘After not winning in Mauritius in 2010 I felt like I needed to win it in 2011, so the pressure was on me. Especially having a four shot lead over Roger entering the last round I should have won easily, but golf is funny game, a couple of shots swing can cause the leading player to go one way and the challenger can get close in a hole or two, and that is what happened . Winning the title in 2011 was sweet revenge for missing out in 2010.’

Legend golf course

Legend golf course

The two-time European Tour winner finished sixth in The Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath in July but his eagle on the 54th hole over Constance Belle Mare Plage’s Legends Course remains the highlight of his season. Having surrendered a four stroke lead to Chapman, Frost found himself two shots behind playing the last and knew he had to produce something special.

He did just that with a brilliant drive followed by a sublime three iron to 15 feet which he rolled in for an eagle three to match Chapman’s 13 under total. Frost then pounced on the second extra hole when Chapman, who had carded a stunning 65 in regulation play, made his only error of the final day, tugging his drive into the deep rough and failing to recover.

‘Starting with a four stroke advantage in the final round was a nice position to be in but Roger played really great and should have won,’ Frost admitted. ‘My aggressive play on the last hole paid off when I tried to eagle the hole to tie him. I think I would have done the same as what Roger did.

‘Had I been leading the event with one hole to play I would have played it as a par five and laid up short on the tee shot. Unfortunately for him I made the eagle to send us both into a play-off.

Legends golf course at Belle Mare Plage

‘The Legends course has some great, challenging tee shots and under the pressure you need to hit the fairways. From there it is target golf to the pins as well. The greens are a little tricky with the Bermuda grass, so you need to read the grain well.

‘I’m really looking forward to returning to Belle Mare Plage and I have decided to stay on another 4 days after the tournament to relax and enjoy some days without waking up and worrying what time I am on the tee.’

Competition for the title

One of Frost’s rivals for the MCB Tour Championship title is expected to be American Tom Lehman, who defeated him in a play-off to win the 2010 US Senior PGA Championship. Former Open Champion and Ryder Cup Captain Lehman won the Money List on the US Champions Tour this year and will be looking to round off a fine 2011 season in style in Mauritius.

In addition to the battle for the title itself, the focus will also be on the contest between the leading two players on the Senior Tour Order of Merit, Peter Fowler and Barry Lane, who are bidding to win the John Jacobs Trophy.

Fowler will take a €25,569 advantage into the final event of the season but with a prize fund of €400,000 and winner’s cheque of €60,000 on offer, Lane has every chance of overturning that lead and succeeding Boonchu Ruangkit as Senior Tour Number One.

Golf: MCB Senior Tour Championship 2011

The countdown to this year’s season-ending European Senior Tour Championship in Mauritius is well under way. Constance Belle Mare Plage is preparing to add another chapter to its distinguished history.

Legend at Belle Mare Plage

Legend at Belle Mare Plage

The 54-hole MCB Senior Tour Championship takes place from 9-11 December 2011. It provides the climax to a week-long programme of golf competition that includes a pro-am and a number of amateur tournaments.

Who’ll be playing this year?

The closing date for entry to the tournament is late November. Among those who have already confirmed their attendance are:

  • David Frost – last year’s MCB Open champion
  • Roger Chapman – runner-up
  • Peter Fowler – current European Senior Tour order-of-merit leader
  • Mike Cunning – the winner of the 2010 Tour Championship
  • Sam Torrance – successful Ryder Cup player and captain
  • Carl Mason – the Senior Tour’s leading career earner
  • Boonchu Ruangkit – last season’s order-of-merit winner
  • Kevin Sturgeon – 2009 MCB Open champion.

In addition, Welshman Mark Mouland, a recent winner in Portugal in his first year on the Senior Tour, will be relishing a return to the Legend course where, in 2002 and 2003, he won the Mauritius Open in its original format as an end-of-year invitation event.

History of the event

Legend golf course

Legend golf course

It’s just 2 years since Constance Hotels Experience and the Mauritius Commercial Bank joined forces to stage the first of 2 hugely successful Senior Tour events on the Belle Mare Plage Legend golf course.

This year, the partnership is hosting the lucrative MCB Senior Tour Championship - the season’s finale. Entry is restricted to the leading earners on this year’s European Senior Tour and past winners of a major or seniors’ major.

Adding extra interest this year will be the presentation of the prestigious John Jacobs Trophy to the player who finishes top of the Senior Tour order-of-merit.

Twelve months ago that honour went to Boonchu Ruangkit from Thailand, but this year’s recipient may not be decided until the final putt has been sunk in the Tour Championship.

The Legend

The Legend

Not that the Legend course is any stranger to final round drama. It has a long history of producing the unexpected, as Roger Chapman, Welshman Phillip Price and a number of other players will testify.

Results and news from the tournament

During the event, we’ll be posting up-to-the-minute news on this blog and the Constance Facebook page.

Results, reports and features will also appear each day on the official MCB Tour Championship website.

Article written by Neil Webber, golf journalist.