South Africa’s highest-ranked golfer, the 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel will be using the Investec Cup played at the Millvale Private Retreat and at the Lost City at Sun City from Thursday as part of his preparation for the first major championship of the year.
Schwartzel donned the Green Jacket after a brilliant final round 66, including birdies on the last four holes, to reach 14 under and beat Australian duo Jason Day (68) and Adam Scott (67) by two shots at Augusta National.
His presence in the Investec Cup adds spice to a tournament which 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 players on the Chase to the Investec Cup Bonus Pool ranking after the Tshwane Open will qualify for the season-ending tournament.
The Investec Bonus Pool has a total prize money of R10-million with R3.5-million going to the winner. The Investec Cup tournament itself has prize money of R1-million with R 163,400 going to the winner.
For the Investec Cup, there is no minimum number of tournaments that need to be played, and European Tour players are entitled to play for the Bonus Pool and the R1-million tournament prize fund. And the tournament prize fund counts towards the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit if the player is a member of the Sunshine Tour.
Schwartzel is currently 12th on the points table in the Chase to the Investec Cup ahead of the completion of the Tshwane Open, thanks in large part to his share of second in the South African Open Championship in January.
He has had a quiet start to his 2015 PGA Tour season in the United States, with a best finish of a share of 19th in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia last November.
But the man who was ranked 33rd in the latest Official World Golf Rankings is one player who will be closely watched by everybody as someone who can be difficult to beat at Augusta should he game be on song.
With his 1,047 Chase to the Investec Cup points, Schwartzel would love to rake in the 1,500 points the winner takes in the Investec Cup tournament, a feat which would take him past current leader Trevor Fisher Jnr, who is on 2,067.65.