Once again Jeremy Chapman came up trumps picking the winner of the Mauritius Open, Dylan Frittelli and the Hero in the Bahamas (Ricky Fowler).
Dylan Frittelli and the winner of the Australian PGA Cameron Smith epitomise the talented generation of fine young golfers of whom you will be hearing more from the Southern Hemisphere. Add to both the young top amateur Curtis Luck of Perth and Hayden Porteous who has has European wins under his belt.
Apart from Marc Leishman, the present generation of leading Southern Hemisphere – Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel – do not look like they have another Major in them. Oosthuizen burned up the Mauritius course but took a seven on the 16th and slipped down the leader board. Frittelli hit his drive at the sixth into the bad stuff and had an awful lie behind a bush. He hacked out, breaking the shaft of his seven iron in the process. He flighted his third up the edge of the green and holed out with his chip to a get an unlikely par. After that he played steady golf but could not fight off the challenge of Arjan Atwal who had a birdie putt on the 18th to win. He lipped out as they went to a play-off which the young South African won.
There was a smaller field for the Hero notable for the return of Tiger Woods. Too much damage has been done to his body to make me think Tiger can win another Major. He finished 10th played some good rounds but it was Fowler’s 61 one on the last day that won him this tourney.
Unlike his immediate peers Jason Day and Rory McIlroy, Fowler has yet to win a Major but he is a consistent performer on the circuit and top five finisher in the Majors. There is no obvious reason why he has no Major other than the generation of younger Americans headed by Jordan Spieth, followed closely by Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas, have been hoovering up the Majors.
With the Bournemouth v Southampton draw successfully backed, it was a decent and more than useful pre-Xmas haul. The missus watching the lovely beaches of Mauritius and the exotic plant life on the course joked – or at least I hoped she was – that we should go there next year over the festive period.