Just one below average round at Millvale Private Retreat in 2014 stood between Jacques Blaauw and the winner’s share of the R10-million Bonus Pool, and he can change all in this year’s finale to the Chase to the Investec Cup.
Blaauw posted a one-over-par 73 after opening with a 67 at Millvale in the 2014 Investec Cup, and he closed at the Lost City at Sun City with a 66 in the final round to finish one shot adrift of eventual winner Trevor Fisher Jnr.
He went on in 2015 to have his best year on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, finishing third with a total of over R3-million, thanks in large part to his brilliant second place behind George Coetzee in the Tshwane Open.
But he hasn’t pulled off a victory since his November 2013 win in the Nedbank Affinity Cup. There have been some near misses since then – that second place in the Investec Cup and another pair of runner-up spots in the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open and the Investec Royal Swazi Open in 2014 amongst them – and he has a pair of top-10 finishes in the five events he has played in the 2016 so far, in the Joburg Open and the Eye of Africa PGA Championship.
So the time is ripe for Blaauw to make the step up to the top level of the podium once again.
He goes into the final event of the Chase to the Investec Cup, where 16 players will be competing for a share of the R10-million Bonus Pool, in 12th position with 1,124.25 points. And while his chances of pulling off the winner’s share of R4-million are slim, he will want to get the win in the event for his own sake, as well as for the R250,000 up for grabs for the man who takes the honours at Millvale starting on March 9.