India’s Arjun Atwal fired a bogey-free 9-under 62 on day one of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, and will take a four-shot lead into Friday’s second round.
The three-time European Tour winner made seven birdies and one eagle en route to a new course record at the Heritage Golf Club.
“I’m pleased and shocked. I took a very long route coming here. I came through Dubai and it took me 16 hours to get here. I was tired and I didn’t really expect anything. Sometimes when you don’t expect much, you get a lot out of it,” said Atwal, who will captain Team Asia in January’s EurAsia Cup.
“I found it pretty tough out there but I didn’t make any mistakes and I had a hot putter. The wind was on and off – it wasn’t very gusty. I’m looking forward to some rest and will see what happens tomorrow.”
A group of five players are tied for second at 5-under 66, including Germany’s Sebastian Heisele, Brazil’s Adilson da Silva, and Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines. South Africans Louis de Jager and Ockie Strydom are the others at 5 under.
Six more South Africans, headlined by Louis Oosthuizen, Dylan Frittelli and George Coetzee, are among a group of 13 players deadlocked at 4 under.
TOP 10: ROUND ONE
1 Arjun Atwal -9
2 Sebastian Heisele -5
2 Adilson da Silva -5
2 Miguel Tabuena -5
2 Louis de Jager -5
2 Ockie Strydom -5
7 13 Players -4
“I was in Kuala Lumpur the last two days to announce the players in Team Asia for the EurAsia Cup and I had some media activities to do. I had no practice round and went straight on the first tee. I’m pleased and shocked. I took a very long route coming here. I came through Dubai and it took me 16 hours to get here. I was tired and I didn’t really expect anything. Sometimes when you don’t expect much, you get a lot out of it.”
– Arjun Atwal, First Round Leader
Credits: Getty Images