Remesy ready for pack’s charge after 66 at MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius

Jean-François Remesy led after the first round of the MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage
Jean-François Remesy produced an opening 66 at the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius having closed last weekend’s Staysure Tour event in the Seychelles with the same score. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

JEAN-François Remesy carded a bogey-free six-under par first round of 66 to lead the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius by two strokes.

The Frenchman, who won the inaugural the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship at Trevose, in June, put himself in pole position to claim another Staysure Tour title after a blemish-free round.

The two-time French Open winner’s opening round included six birdies, to lead the season-finale at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

Remesy ended last week’s MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles with a round of 66.

And he began the ninth edition of the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius, the last event of the three-event final series MCB Tour Championship, with another 66.

The three-time European Tour winner showed no sign of struggling in the Mauritius heat as he birdied three of his opening six holes.

That included back-to-back gains at the third and fourth. His putter, like the weather, remained hot as he began the back nine with another birdie to move to four-under.

With four holes left to play, he extended his advantage with a gain at the par five 15th before a final birdie of the day at the last to sign for a bogey-free round and take the lead at the European Tour Destinations venue.

“I’m happy to be in Mauritius and happy to play on a golf course that I’ve known for many years,” said Remesy.

“I’ve been playing decent for a couple of weeks and I’ve continued my goal of hitting the fairways and greens, and finally I made a few birdies today which made for a good score.

“I’m playing really well, which is great. I can now focus on the next two days. Hopefully I have a bit more luck on the greens.

“I’ve been changing all my grips on my clubs because it’s hot, trying to find a solution to playing in the heat, and it was good today. Those changes make a big difference to recorded a round of 66, 69 or even a 70.

“We know the par fives are reachable, but they are tricky, really tricky, so you need to hit the fairway.

“You have to hit very good shots around this course. If you are missing shots then you’re going to be in trouble,” added Remesy, who was a regular visitor to the Mauritius Open, before the venue began hosting European Seniors Tour events.

“It’s better to be leading than to be 10 shots behind, so I’ll take that,” said Remesy. I know the story about how to win tournaments but a lot of the guys behind me know that story as well.

“I’m expecting the guys behind to make a charge and it should make for a fun weekend.”

Two strokes behind Remesy is a chasing pack of four players, including Miguel Angel Martin and James Kingston, who are both searching for their maiden Staysure Tour title.

Defending champion Clark Dennis and the 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie. mtached Martin and Kingston’s 68s, to sit on four-under, with South African, Kingston chipping in for eagle at the 18th hole as he looks to secure a first John Jacobs Trophy, having lost the overnight lead last weekend in the Seychelles.

Lawrie still has a chance to land the John Jacobs Trophy and being crowned Staysure Tour No. 1 by winning the Order of Merit with a victory in Mauritius – but if Phillip Price can finish inside the top 10 the Welsh Ryder Cup winner will take the title for the first time.

Price currently lies in 19th place having carded a first round 71 with three birdies and two bogeys.

The second round at Constance Belle Mare Plage gets under way at 8.30am local time with Remesy teeing it up at 11.15am local time. Mauritius is four hours ahead of GMT.

For second round scores click here.