Throwing off the fear of winning

Oscar Wilde wrote, “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.”

The stage is set for the MCB Tour Championship 2013

The stage is set for the MCB Tour Championship 2013

It’s an adage the finest players on the European Senior Tour may not be aware of, but might ponder because they are all aware that late in their career they are being rewarded on the course for the many years of hard work that has gone before.

When I asked Colin Montgomerie to determine the difference between his prime and today he was open and forthright, although initially he joked: “Hang on, I’ve forgotten the question … that’s not a good sign, is it?”

More seriously he added, “I think we all relax more. I’m definitely more relaxed now than I’ve ever been. We’ve all been successful and have nothing to prove, so we relax and enjoy it. And you know what? You tend to do something better if you enjoy it.”

Of course Montgomerie had a stunning career which needs little polishing on the senior tours. He won 31 times on the European Tour (only three men have won more), represented Europe eight times in the Ryder Cup and won it as captain in 2010.

He nods when I ask him to discuss about the narrow margin between victory and close defeat.

“It’s a good question and one I have recent experience of at the AT&T Championship in San Antonio.

“What we, as golfers, all have to accept is that you lose a lot more than you win. If you win three times in a year that’s a great year, but you might have played 30 times so you lose quite a bit.

“At senior level I’ve seen a lot less fear of winning and yet there was a fear of winning on the main tour. No-one throws it away out here – we think: ‘We might as well just go and do it.’

“So the standard of play is very high because of that mentality. You can’t rely on others to make bogies, you’ve got to keep making birdies.”

The Legend, Constance Belle Mare Plage

The Legend, Constance Belle Mare Plage

“That’s what happened in San Antonio – I was two ahead with nine to play, played the back nine in level par and was overtaken by two men. Level par on these events is not good enough and it usually was on the main tour.”

David Frost understood Montgomerie’s point: “Definitely the players have lost that fear. I lost out to Russ Cochran recently – I had a lead with four holes to play, he birdied the last four holes and beat me by one shot!

“I also think that we don’t try so many things. When you’re young you try everything and it’s probably too much. When you get here, you use what got you here.”

Denmark’s Steen Tinning agrees: “You stop trying to be a world champion and you understand your limits.

“And once you are in the zone you keep going on the back nine. But it’s a long process which some of us just had to go through that. It takes a lot of years to gain that experience and I needed that time. Now I have it and I felt comfortable in contention this year.”

The stats back the Dane’s claims up – twice this year he held the lead with 18 holes to play and twice he converted the win.

Like the Montgomerie family, the Tinnings are enjoying the beach and all the facilities at Constance Belle Mare Plage this week. Both are hoping to put their lack of fear into practice if they are in contention come the final round on Sunday.

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Who are the top contenders at MCB Tour Championship 2013?

Golf journalist Matt Cooper reports on the forthcoming MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius

The MCB Tour Championship, held at The Legend, Constance Belle Mare Plage

The MCB Tour Championship, held at The Legend, Constance Belle Mare Plage

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.

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Read more from Matt on Twitter @MattCooperGolf or visit the blog Curious About Golf

 

Rookie Simon Brown wins Russian Open

Englishman Simon Brown celebrated his eighth senior tour appearance with a win at the Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior) at the Moscow Country Club.

Simon Brown wins the Russian Open

Simon Brown wins the Russian Open

In constant driving rain Brown held off runners-up Mike Harwood and Carl Mason with a 12 under par 204 total.

Having spent most of his golfing career as a professional at Rhein-Sieg Golf Club in Germany, the 55-year-old Brown described his win in Moscow as ‘life changing’.

Thanks to the €97,305 winner’s prize at Moscow, Brown moves from 51st to fifth in the European Senior Tour Order of Merit.

Scotsman Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Martin and Steen Tinning made up a three-way tie for third place.

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For all the latest news from the European Senior Tour
Follow the countdown to this year’s MCB Tournament

Improve your golf in the Seychelles

Golf at Constance Lémuria is a combination of luxury, 5* service and an 18-hole golf course, often described as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Luxury golf holidays at Constance Lémuria

Luxury golf holidays at Constance Lémuria

Golf in the Seychelles

Lémuria is proud to offer the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles with greens that stretch across terraced mountainsides with breathtaking views over three stunning beaches and across the Indian Ocean.

Golf manager and pro at Lémuria, Gary Pouponneau, describes, ‘Although this is considered a difficult golf course guests love to play it because of its beautiful landscape. Whether you are a golfer or not you will definitely love the last six holes for their breathtaking view over neighbouring islands and the ocean.’

World Travel Awards Leading Golf Resort in Indian Ocean

Winner of the World Travel Awards Leading Golf Resort in the Indian Ocean five years running, Lémuria has extended the 5* standard and luxury of its hotel to its golf course.

You can even book your tee-off time before you arrive with our online concierge, and enjoy coaching sessions with golf pros and top class golf equipment to rent.

Lémuria's stunning 18 hole golf course

Lémuria’s stunning 18 hole golf course

Gary says, ‘The great advantage that golfers at Lémuria have is that they can play our course alone, that is something you never see on other golf courses around the world.’

Golf pros at Lémuria

Gary Pouponneau is an example of one of the golf pros on hand to help guests improve their game or learn the ways of the challenging course.

Gary has played professional golf around the world representing the Seychelles at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Scotland in 1997 and winning the Mauritius Open in 2003 and 2005. In 2008 he won the Basin Blue Open and in 2009 the Vanuatu Open.

He explains his ambition to become a golf pro and golf manager at Lémuria, ‘I decided I wanted to be the first Seychellois to be a qualified golf professional on the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles.

‘I was lucky that I was able to turn my hobby into a job. I love to be on the golf course everyday, whether I get to play or not at least I am not sitting behind a desk the whole day. I enjoy meeting some really great people and helping golfers improve their game.’

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Fit and well: how to improve your fitness

As the season begins to change this month it’s the perfect time to make a fresh start and take a new approach to your health and wellbeing.

Yoga & meditation on the beach

Yoga & meditation on the beach

Follow the current trend away from the doctrine of thinness to a more holistic approach to fitness, which suggests that keeping fit and eating healthily will make you feel stronger, healthier and calmer of mind.

What’s on offer at Constance Hotels & Resorts

September is the perfect month to seize the opportunity to readjust your regime and embrace this new approach.

Take a holiday at one of our 7 hotels and resorts in the Indian Ocean where you can combine the feel-good factors of bright sunshine, fresh air and idyllic locations with fresh, healthy food, a raft of outdoor activities, fitness suites and personal trainers.

Healthy fresh food

At Constance we believe that great cuisine begins with the freshest ingredients, locally sourced and organic where possible, carefully prepared in the healthiest ways.

With our island locations fresh seafood is at the heart of our menu, as are the very freshest fruits and vegetables which make any resolution to eat healthily not only easy to follow but deliciously satisfying.

At Constance Tsarabanjina you can watch the local fishermen bringing in the daily catch from the beach to be served at your table and at Constance Le Prince Maurice our chefs take trips daily to the local market to buy fruit and vegetables picked that morning along with the freshest herbs and spices.

Spa de Constance

Spa de Constance

Get in shape

Our personal trainers can develop a fitness program just for you built around your needs and the time you want to dedicate to it.

Trainers are on hand throughout your stay to check your progress and give advice. They will then design a program of diet and exercise for when you leave so you can continue your good work when you get home.

At Constance Lémuria you can improve your fitness in the stunning surroundings of Praslin with health walks around the island, sunset walks to the beautiful Anse Georgette or a sunset beach work out.

Or reconnect with your inner spirit with sunrise yoga sessions on the beach at Le Prince Maurice and Constance Ephélia.

Get active

At our hotels and resorts you can try waterskiing, windsurfing, kite surfing, wakeboarding, big game fishing or catamaran sailing.

At Constance Ephélia you can push yourself to the limit with rock climbing, or improve your golf game on the championship courses at Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage or the stunning 18-hole golf course at Lémuria.

Spa pool at Constance Lémuria

Spa pool at Constance Lémuria

Take time to detox

Let go of your old habits and cleanse your system with a full detox in one of our Spa de Constances.

Indulge in a Purity Throughout treatment at Spa de Constance, Halaveli, including an ocean purity body massage, revitalize salt glow and a rejuvenating spice wrap.

Feel the benefits of a lymphatic body drainage treatment at Spa de Constance, Le Prince Maurice, to detox and encourage fluid circulation and cell regeneration.

Relax with a tropical stone detox at Ephélia, a two hour treatment including a green clay wrap, mini face detox and scalp and deep stone massage.

Put wellbeing at the centre of your life and you’ll feel the benefits ripple through everything you do.

Find out more

Santiago Luna relives past glories with a win at St Andrews

Spanish golfer Santiago Luna won the SSE Scottish Senior Open at the Fairmont Resort, St Andrews, last weekend, one point ahead of Sam Torrance.

Santiago Luna victorious at St Andrews

Santiago Luna victorious at St Andrews

Despite a determined battle from former Ryder Cup Captain and designer of the Fairmont course, Torrance, Luna finished on five under par taking the victory by only one stroke.

The win marks a dramatic return to St Andrews for Luna who famously beat Tiger Woods on the same course in the Alfred Dunhill Cup back in 1998 to put Spain through to the final.

For Torrance the SSE Scottish Senior Open marks his first top five finish since the MCB Tour Championship, held at Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius, in 2011.

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