Free betting tips: Ben Coley's AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open preview

Louis Oosthuizen rates a confident selection
Louis Oosthuizen rates a confident selection

After a 100/1 winner and 100/1 runner-up last week, don't miss Ben Coley's take on the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Heritage GC returns as host of the tri-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, where there are all sorts of storylines even in the absence of world-class talent as the golfing year creeps towards its conclusion.

For the Asian Tour regulars, there is the small matter of the Order of Merit and the same goes for members of the Sunshine Tour, for whom the Chase to the Investec Cup - yes, its real title - begins to hot up with €1million up for grabs here. There are European Tour players bidding to sneak a win while the stars aren't looking, including recent graduates from the Challenge Tour and Qualifying School, and there are invites who will feel the need to gobble up such an opportunity.

And then there's Louis Oosthuizen, by some distance the best player in this field and a knockout bet at the price.

Now 35, Oosthuizen might be halfway through one of the more peculiar modern careers. He won his major when not yet a world-class player, producing an outrageous front-running display at St Andrews seven years ago, but despite being a fixture of the world's top 25 hasn't added anything close to an elite title since.

The man from Mossel Bay has a couple of Africa Opens in the locker, he's won the Volvo Golf Champions twice, too, and he's covered most corners of the globe with victories in Perth and Malaysia, to go with Scotland and Spain. But in the years that have passed since St Andrews 2010, he has made headlines not by winning but by coming close, losing a play-off for the Masters and another for what would've been a second Claret Jug.

How do you assess that? Given the way he swings the club, it's easy to label Oosthuizen one of the sport's great underachievers, until you remember that the list of players who never did win a major includes the likes of Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood, and that with a better break here or there, Oosthuizen might have more of them than Rory McIlroy.

All of which is to say that Oosthuizen is difficult to get a handle on, but there are two circumstances under which he always has to be considered. The first is majors: he has a win and four seconds in 37 starts, and anyone who dared to follow him from the first to the last is already guaranteed a profit. The second is when he's by far and away the class act in a field, and we don't even have dwell on how much he really wants to win.

Here in Mauritius, he's one of just two players from the top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings set to tee off and need only produce something close to his best golf, as he did when eighth in much stronger company last time, to take all the beating.

While Dylan Frittelli and Dean Burmester both hold obvious claims, they will have to dust themselves down having spurned opportunities for top-level breakthrough in Dubai two weeks ago and the former has been to Hong Kong since, where he seemed to empty after working his way into contention in the second round. This will be his fifth start in succession, whereas Oosthuizen has been resting up since the Nedbank, which was his first start in eight weeks anyway.

George Coetzee is of course a threat having won the title here two years ago, but he had very little to beat that week and has gone off the boil slightly since an impressive return to action. In fact, the way Coetzee managed to win this without being at his best, as the highest-ranked player in the field, only serves to strengthen the case for Oosthuizen. Runner-up was Thorbjorn Olesen, who was returning from a three-month absence and had been in awful form when last seen, yet finished second despite golf he described as "not pretty". There was no depth and the best players took advantage.

While held at a different course last May, Jeunghun Wang entered the week as a proven winner who was fourth-highest in world ranking and second in Race To Dubai points and whether it's Oosthuizen, Coetzee, Burmester or someone close behind, I'll be somewhat surprised if the winner of this low-grade event isn't one of the best players in the field, in contrast to Fanling last week.

On a course which will hold no fears, where his power and comfort levels in the wind are both relevant, after being among the first to spray the champagne when Branden Grace won at Sun City, Oosthuizen will have no excuses. The last time he played a stroke play event as weak as this he won having been in command throughout the weekend, and at 8/1 there's no hesitation in backing a repeat. I'm surprised he's not at least a couple of points shorter. He wins events like this much more often than the price implies.

PRICE BOOST - Oosthuizen, Green or Vincent to win now 13/2 from 11/2!

There's an obvious French connection here in Mauritius which points to Clement Sordet, who is affiliated with Heritage GC and arrives in top form. This promising youngster first showed what he might be capable of when second among a clutch of world-class players in Thailand two years ago and has since taken his Challenge Tour haul to four, despite having played little more than 50 events as a professional.

He's respected after cutting through the pack on the back-nine for a top-10 finish in Hong Kong, while compatriot Matthieu Pavon bagged three top-20 finishes at the end of a fabulous rookie campaign on the European Tour and also comes into consideration at the same sort of price.

However, I'd rather take a chance on Gavin Green bouncing back after an unsurprisingly low-key effort last time.

Prior to finishing near last of those who made the cut at the unsuitable Fanling after a bright enough start, Green had cemented his place atop the Asian Tour's Order of Merit with seventh place in Manilla and 38th in the WGC-HSBC Champions, having won his first title at this level as recently as October.

Gavin Green
Gavin Green should take to the course

The Malaysian competed with the likes of Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas as an amateur and his similarly modern game is going to take him all the way to the PGA Tour, likely via a breakthrough victory on the European Tour and quite possibly in an event such as this one.

He hasn't played in either of the previous two renewals of the Mauritius Open, but can be expected to take advantage of the par-fives and the driveable par-four ninth to wrap up the Order of Merit, which will absolutely be at the forefront of his mind having failed to collect a decent cheque last week.

We saw earlier this year when second in the co-sanctioned Indian Open that he's already good enough to win at this level and if Oosthuizen is to be upstaged, the 23-year-old is a prime candidate.

When Green won the Taiwan Masters in nine-under, a score which bodes well should the wind get up and make this really demanding, Scott Vincent was among those tied for second.

Another youngster with a bright future, the Zimbabwean is gaining experience all over the world, going close in Asia, training in the US and producing some decent results on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, where he led an event which was eventually won by the highly promising Lee McCoy this summer.

He was also ninth in the Fiji International, another multi-sanctioned event and one played by the coast under the sort of breezy, tricky conditions we should expect in Mauritius, and that's form which puts him in the picture here having finished a shot behind Wade Ormsby.

Last week saw Vincent miss the cut on the number at Fanling, but prior to it he had been third in Korea and second in Taiwan as he continues to close in on a breakthrough.

Scott Vincent looks worth an each-way bet
Scott Vincent looks worth an each-way bet

Now back to Africa, this looks like a good opportunity for a player who was 18th as an open qualifier in last year's renewal and can be trusted to set up opportunities with an impressive long game which generates more power than you'd expect given his frame.

It's possible, too, that events back home ignite a little spark from a player who, unlike a lot of these, has the ability to move forwards and compete with those who rightly dominate the market.

Others to mention include Sam Horsfield, so impressive a winner of Qualifying School that it's tempting to overlook some modest beginnings on the European Tour, and Micah Lauren Shin, who defied a penalty for carrying too many clubs when making his own Asian Tour breakthrough recently and was in the mix for much of last week.

Riekus Nortje and Jaco Prinsloo are two fairly new names on the Sunshine Tour who are improving all the time, while Ockie Strydom has finished second on two of his last three starts, latterly behind close friend Prinsloo, and appears to be edging towards his first win.

Zander Lombard is a name more familiar to European Tour followers and was second by the coast in Sicily earlier this year, so he too is of interest having finished fourth in the same event. The 22-year-old would be fourth on my list but such is the confidence in Oosthuizen that we'll stick to three this time.

Recommended bets: AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

5pts win Louis Oosthuizen at 8/1 - beats up fields like this frequently and much fresher than most

1.5pts e.w. Gavin Green at 66/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7) - leads Asian Tour money list; should be suited to this

1pt e.w. Scott Vincent at 150/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6) - promising youngster bagged top-20 in Mauritius last year

Posted at 1700 GMT on 27/11/17.

Related links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Christian Erkisen: The Danish midfielder scores an 88th-minute winner for Spurs v Brighton1

Eriksen breaks Brighton hearts

Christian Eriksen's 88th-minute goal gave Tottenham a 1-0 win over Brighton to keep their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish alive.

Soto Sizzler features among the midweek Value Bet picks
2

Value Bet: Sizzler can be too hot

Ben Linfoot had a 12/1 winner on Saturday and he has three selections for Epsom on Wednesday for their first meeting of the season.

Ronnie O'Sullivan3

World Championship draw & schedule

The full draw, schedule, results from snooker's 2019 Betfred World Championship, which takes place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield from April 20 to May 6.

Shane Long: The Republic of Ireland forward celebrates after scoring the Premier League's fastest ever goal in Watford v Southampton4

Fastest PL goal record broke

Shane Long has broken the record for the fastest goal in Premier League history after scoring seven seconds into Watford v Southampton.

Don't miss our latest racing tipping preview5

Wednesday's racing preview

Turgenev can make a big impression at Epsom, according to Ashley Iveson - he has a tip for every race on every card.

Most Read

Christian Erkisen: The Danish midfielder scores an 88th-minute winner for Spurs v Brighton1

Eriksen breaks Brighton hearts

Christian Eriksen's 88th-minute goal gave Tottenham a 1-0 win over Brighton to keep their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish alive.

Soto Sizzler features among the midweek Value Bet picks
2

Value Bet: Sizzler can be too hot

Ben Linfoot had a 12/1 winner on Saturday and he has three selections for Epsom on Wednesday for their first meeting of the season.

Ronnie O'Sullivan3

World Championship draw & schedule

The full draw, schedule, results from snooker's 2019 Betfred World Championship, which takes place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield from April 20 to May 6.

Shane Long: The Republic of Ireland forward celebrates after scoring the Premier League's fastest ever goal in Watford v Southampton4

Fastest PL goal record broke

Shane Long has broken the record for the fastest goal in Premier League history after scoring seven seconds into Watford v Southampton.

Don't miss our latest racing tipping preview5

Wednesday's racing preview

Turgenev can make a big impression at Epsom, according to Ashley Iveson - he has a tip for every race on every card.

Racing Tips

Soto Sizzler features among the midweek Value Bet picks

Value Bet: Sizzler can be too hot

Ben Linfoot had a 12/1 winner on Saturday and he has three selections for Epsom on Wednesday for their first meeting of the season.

Daily Nap: Local hero

Simon Dow goes for a hat-trick in the last race at Epsom on Wednesday and Matt Brocklebank expects Silvestre De Sousa to deliver for the local trainer.

Don't miss our latest racing tipping preview

Wednesday's racing preview

Turgenev can make a big impression at Epsom, according to Ashley Iveson - he has a tip for every race on every card.

Next Race Off

10:55 Marseille-borely
7
(3)
Frenchy
J: R Fradet
6
(5)
Alta Rocca
J: E Cieslik

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Manchester derby betting preview

Man United players will be looking to bounce back as they look to halt City's title charge on Wednesday. George Pitts looks at the betting.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview

Wolves to make it tough again

Wolves can go seventh with a win over Arsenal, who will be hoping to bounce back from defeat at the weekend. George Pitts looks at the betting.

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.