Guide to the 2022 MCB Tour Championship - the Legends Tour annual seasonal finale

Ahead of the 2022 MCB Tour Championship - Mauritius at Constance Belle Mare Plage, 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman used country music to explain the dilemma of senior golf.

"At our stage of life," the 63-year-old American said, "it's a bit like Toby Keith when he sings 'I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was'. That's what we're hoping for every week."

Defending champion Jarmo Sandelin warmed to Lehman's theme by admitting, when asked about his form: "I can be very, very good at the moment but I can also be very, very bad."

Lehman has missed most of the last six months of tour action following a knee replacement while 2018 European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn also has an excuse - but in his case it is the arrival of twin babies and the consequent difficulty of getting to the range when fatherly duties get in the way.

"My recent golf has been non-existent," he said. "I hope I find something this week. I still love the game and live in hope that I play my best."

The first round of the tournament starts on Friday, December 9 on the Legend Course. Here's our guide to the event.

History

South Africa's David Frost has always adored the course. He made his debut in 2009 and after seven starts he had never finished outside the top five. Moreover he was the winner in both 2010 and 2012, and finished top three on another four occasions.

In-between Frost's two wins the 1996 Open champion and former World number one Tom Lehman forced him into second in 2011.

Frost's dominance was unexpected. He had been a formidable presence on the PGA Tour through the 1980s and 90s and has a home in Mauritius. But the back-to-back victories of Paul Wesselingh in 2013 and 2014 were less predictable.

The former club pro had hit the senior circuit running, but he had never established himself on the European Tour. It didn't stop him going head-to-head with Colin Montgomerie in the first win, emerging triumphant, and defending his crown.

Monty returned to the island in 2015 and had his revenge, overhauling an early Frost lead to win by three and he was succeeded by his European Ryder Cup team-mate Barry Lane, previously a two-time runner-up.

The last three editions have witnessed sensational final-round golf. Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant carded a Sunday 62 for an eight-shot win in 2017, American Clark Dennis matched that winning margin with a final-lap 64, and Jarmo Sandelin turned a four-shot deficit into a three-shot win with a final-round 65 in 2019.

The circuit returned to Mauritius earlier this year for the delayed 2021 Tour Championship but torrential rain forced an abandonment.

The venue

Constance Belle Mare Plage lies on the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean and it's not unknown for the players to spend a morning snorkelling ahead of their tee time or take a dip straight after signing their card.

The Legends Course is a mere stroll across the road, a Hugh Baiocchi-designed layout that twists between lush vegetation and boulders of volcanic rock. Both big scores and low scores are typical because hitting fairways and greens will result in birdie opportunities - but stray shots can easily find unplayable spots.

The main contenders

James Kingston: As the leader of the seasonal rankings, the South African is high on confidence, the consequence of sensational form in Europe which has seen him finish top 20 in all 12 starts, the highlight of which was a win in Switzerland. His course form is solid: four starts, three top-seven finishes and he was the runner-up in 2019 after sharing the pre-final round lead.

Phillip Price: Another fine season for the relentless Welshman. The hero of the 2022 Ryder Cup won the Irish Legends Open to reach three wins at this level, the equal of his main tour tally. Another with a consistent record in the tournament. It's also his fifth start and he's a three-time top-four finisher.

Adilson DaSilva: Another man set for his first experience of the track and there is every chance that it will suit the well-travelled Brazilian perfectly given his pinpoint accurate tee-to-green game. He has played most of his golf in South Africa and Asia, and has landed six top 10s in his rookie year among the seniors, including victory at the PGA Seniors Championship. He was the runner-up last week in Seychelles.

Paul Lawrie: The 1999 Open champion made his course debut in 2019 when he carded a pair of 68s, but was left to rue a poor second round of 74 which pushed him into a share of seventh. He's a two-time winner this season.

Tom Lehman: One of the class acts in the field, the American went wire-to-wire when winning on debut in 2011 and he's backed it up with three top 20s but is yet to revisit the top five. He has played lots of Champions Tour golf in the last two years without landing one top 10.

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