If defending champion Trevor Fisher Jnr finishes 30th and last in the Investec Cup which is played at Millvale Private Resort and at Lost City at Sun City from Thursday, there are 21 other players in the field who can beat him to the lion’s share of the R10-million Bonus Pool.
On form, one of the likeliest challengers on the list should be Jacques Blaauw, fresh of his brilliant 61 in the final round of the Tshwane Open last week, and the man whom Fisher edged by one stroke to take the title and the R3.5-million winner’s share of the Bonus Pool.
The last man on that list is Darren Fichardt, and he would need to win the tournament and have some other players between himself and Fisher perform poorly too in order to hit the jackpot.
The R1-million tournament is the culmination of a year-long quest for points to get into the elite 30-man field which also competes for the lucrative Bonus Pool. The Chase to the Investec Cup started with the Telkom Business PGA Championship and ends with the Tshwane Open. The top 30 available players on the Chase to the Investec Cup Bonus Pool ranking after the Tshwane Open qualified for the season-ending tournament.
And with the Investec Cup tournament carrying a total of 15,000 points, with 1,500 for the winner down to 180 for 30th, winning the tournament is the surest way of putting yourself in position for the biggest possible share of that Bonus Pool.
Blaauw has history on the Lost City course, too: In his breakthrough year of 2013, during which he won three titles, the third of those came at the Sun City resort course, when he won the Nedbank Affinity Cup there.
He opened that tournament in 2013 with a superb eight-under-par 64, and that took him clear enough to have him ahead of Ulrich van den Berg and Steve Surry by one shot when the 54-hole event was done.
He also birdied the 18th in all three rounds, and it was the final one which sealed the deal for him – and that experience, allied with the knowledge that he can go low under real pressure, will make him a tough competitor if he is anywhere near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
And Blaauw can be secure in the knowledge that if he wins the tournament, he will top the takings from the Bonus Pool too.