Not much to go on for this week’s European Tour event, the first Mauritius Open. What we do know is that this is very much a second-rate field, with the majority of the tour’s best players either teeing up Stateside in the Players’ Championship or taking a break before some big events closer to home such as the BMW PGA and Irish Open.

Here’s what else we know. It’s being played Heritage Golf Club in Mauritius, a par-71 slightly on the short side at 7,036 yards. But that distance is skewed slightly by a couple of short par-4s that may be driveable in the right conditions: both the 5th and 9th measure 334 yards while the 12th is 368.

We understand the landing areas are reasonably generous and that, allied to the course information, suggests that actually a longer hitter could do well. If they can score on the short par-4s there could be a real advantage to getting the ball out there. The wind is also set to be a factor, so there could be an element of luck based on which half of the draw a player is in.

Two players head the market but both can be opposed. We are great fans of George Coetzee but he has been very busy of late and did not play his best at the WGC-Matchplay last week. It will be a great feat if he can keep performing and he may have been better taking this week off. Kiradech Aphibarnrat is second favourite and did have a break last week, but prior to that was in stellar form. It’s hard to imagine, however, that he can keep that going this week.

Scott Hend

So, where does the 19th Hole’s hard-earned go this week? First up we’re with SCOTT HEND (33/1), one of the tour’s big hitters. He’s a good wind player, too, and in decent nick – he was second in Thailand in February but his 15th in the Shenzhen last month was perhaps more impressive. In this field he should be there or thereabouts come Sunday.

Our second bet is more of a hunch but PEDRO ORIOL has few peers when it comes to driving distance, averaging an enormous 315 yards off the tee. He’s been mainly doing that on the Challenge Tour this season but his seventh place in the Challenge de Madrid last week is respectable in the face of the opposition he will be up against in Mauritius. If Oriol can keep it between the hedges he may go close.

Richard Forrester

Richard Forrester

Richard Forrester is an experienced sports writer, having worked at SportsVibe and written for numerous sporting titles including Golfing World, Birmingham Mail and Stoke City's website.

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