Louis de Jager shot his second-consecutive 65 in the Tshwane Open on Saturday and set himself up for a real charge at a top-30 spot in the Chase to the Investec Cup.
He charged into a share of fifth in the Ä1.5-million tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour being played at The Els Club Copperleaf, just one shot off the lead Ė and a top-five finish will put him in position to do battle for a share of the lucrative Investec Cup pickings.
The 2012/2013 Chase to the Investec Cup season consists of the tournaments starting with the BMG Classic last October and ending with the Telkom PGA Championship on March 17. The top 30 players on the Investec Bonus Pool ranking, after the Telkom PGA Championship will qualify for the season ending Investec Cup on March 21.
The Investec Bonus Pool offers total prize money of R5-million with R2-million going to the winner Ė 30th place will pick up R40,000. And the Investec Cup will carry a prize find of R1-million with R163,400 going to the winner.
The concluding tournament will take place with a round over each of the Rustenburg, Millvale and Lost City golf courses, and the final round will be played at the Lost City.
De Jager finds himself in 51st spot ahead of the final round of the Tshwane Open, and with 330 points available to the winner of the Tshwane Open Ė going down to 100 for the 10th-place finisher Ė another good round is clearly called for: 100 points will take him just inside the top 30, and 145 for fifth will take him close to the top 20.
De Jager is one of a group of young South Africans emerging in the wake of the major victories of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, and the rise to prominence of Branden Grace and George Coetzee.
He won the Suncoast Classic on the Sunshine Tour in 2009, and has yet to repeat that kind of form, although he has had 12 top-10 finishes since then.
With the Tshwane Open being played on his home course at The Els Club Copperleaf, he has every intention of exploiting home-ground advantage Ė as well as his newly regained confidence.
ďThis is the first time Iíve been in contention in a tournament as big as this, but Iíll just stick to my guns because the things I have been doing are working.
ďIíve been working hard on my putting and it seems as if something has clicked and Iím rolling the ball very nicely,Ē he said. ďAnd a bit of course knowledge helps and Iím definitely enjoying the home track.Ē