The destination of the MCB Tour Championship and the MCB Race to Mauritius titles remain gloriously uncertain going into the final day at Constance Belle Mare Plage. The Legend course has served up a championship that is beautifully poised going into the final day of the 2023 Legends Tour season after another enthralling day in the Indian Ocean.
Michael Jonzon and Robert Coles lead on 11 under, one shot clear of Peter Fowler, Michael Long and MCB Race to Mauritius contenders Peter Baker and Adilson da Silva.
Patrik Sjoland and Ricardo Gonzalez are a stroke further back after both shooting magnificent second rounds in Mauritius. Coles birdied the 1st and 4th but while he bogeyed the 6th he then picked up shots at the three holes that followed to turn in 32. Birdies at 14 and 18 saw him come home in 34 for a superb 66 and a share of the lead.
“I have not been playing too well but this is my first trip to Mauritius and I’m enjoying it!” said Englishman Coles.
“I made a stupid bogey today but bounced back with a run of birdies and that was very pleasing. People who know me know I can be a bit hot-headed on the course so I am pleased with how I reacted to the bogey.”
Jonzon went out in a tame 36 but eagled the 10th and birdied the 13th and the last to ensure the Sweden will be in the last group on Sunday. Baker and Da Silva both made five birdies and no bogeys in second successive 67s – but the Englishman may rue a six-foot putt for eagle that would have put him one stroke ahead of his order of merit rival going into the final 18 holes of the season.
“It’s exciting, it’s tiring and it’s going right to the wire,” said former Ryder Cup player Baker, who is 264.2 points ahead, after his round.
Da Silva does not intend to alter his gameplan in a bid to secure a win in the MCB Tour Championship that could also bring with it the MCB Race to Mauritius title.
“I will stick with the plan and stay cool. I won’t be chasing birdies any more than I am already - there are birdies available on this course but I think if you try too hard to make them it can cost you,” said the Brazilian.
“You can get too much ahead of yourself rather than staying in the present. One shot at a time is key. If I feel like I’ve done my best, that’s all I want to do. The greens are very good and if you are putting well you will make birdies. Anyone can go low on the Legend course at Constance Belle Mare Plage; it’s not a course where par is good, there are lots of chances to make a score.”
Australian Peter Fowler put himself in contention for the title with a second-round 66 that included three birdies in the final four holes. New Zealander Michael Long also shot 66 that including two runs of three consecutive birdies on both nines. Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina raced through the field with a best-of the-day 64 that including no bogeys and eight birdies.
In the Barry Lane rookie of the year race Patrik Sjoland fired a fine 66 - helped by an eagle at the 4th - and Greig Hutcheon of Scotland had a 70 that was marred by three bogeys on the back nine. Hutcheon starts the final round 121.5 points ahead of Sjoland.
The final day of the Legends Tour season at Constance Belle Mare Plage could not be more perfectly balanced.