First round of the 2018 MCB Tour Championship

First round of the 2018 MCB Tour Championship

Tom Lehman got his experience of the Staysure Tour’s Indian Ocean Swing off to the perfect start with victory in the MCB Tour Championship Pro-Am alongside team members Raoul Gufflet, Mary McLaren and Noel Ian Espitalier in the gross competition on the Legend Golf course.

The former World Number One and 1996 Open champion said: “What a great start to the week and it would mean a lot to win the Championship itself because we’re treated so well by everyone at MCB, Constance Hotels and the European Tour. I’m glad to have claimed victory in 2011, but a big reason I want to do it again is to show them that I gave it my best effort.”

Other winners during a celebration of golfing friendship were the team of Phillip Price, Yalkin and Elsa Tanyar plus David James in the net competition on the Legends, whilst on the Links Miguel Angel Martin led his team of Silvia Valli, Lorenzo Caminoli and Pino Cianfoni to victory in the gross and Antoine Schwarz captained Jean Paul and Margaret Shi Sun, and Marguerite Kan Wah to top honours in the net.

Thaworn Wiratchant, the defending champion this week, proved that his affinity for the Legend course had not wilted in claiming a third place alongside Loic, Luc and Josiane Bax.

The Thai golfer secured the title last year with a stunning final round of 10-under-par 62 which, one year on, was still drawing gasps of astonishment from another former World Number One, Ian Woosnam, who is one of 11 former Ryder Cup players in this week’s field.

For Paul Broadhurst, already confirmed as the number one player on this year’s Staysure Tour, there is nothing but excitement for what lies ahead.

“It’s a good place to end our season,” he said ahead of his first round pairing with Phillip Price and Stephen Dodd. “There aren’t many of us who are used to playing in these conditions, so it’s a good leveller for the Europeans. “It’s a good test, no question about that. The greens are very grainy, and we’re not used to playing on them.