After the 2015 Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open, Dean Burmester started the season leading the pack for the Chase to the Investec Cup. Ten months on from his win at Royal Harare Golf Club and going into the second-last tournament of the ‘chase’, Burmester still heads up the rankings.
A stellar year of golf has seen Burmester maintain his position atop the rankings, and if last week’s performance at the Tshwane Open is anything to go by, it will take something truly special to dethrone him at the season-ending Investec Cup event at Millvale Private Retreat which gets underway on March 9.
The 2015/2016 ‘Chase to the Investec Cup’ season consists of Sunshine Tour tournaments, starting with the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open and ending with the PGA Championship. The top 16 players on the Chase to the Investec Cup Bonus Pool ranking after the PGA Championship will qualify for the season-ending ‘Investec Cup’.
Going into the Dimension-Data Pro-Am, Burmester leads his closest competitor by 173 points. However, his closest competitor is Charl Schwartzel, who might not be in the field at the Investec Cup due to his PGA Tour playing schedule.
As a result, Burmester is effectively 370 points clear of the next closest competitor, Brandon Stone. Stone, who had a life-changing start to 2016 with his victory in the BMW South African Open Championship, will have it all to do and more if he is to claim the Cup.
Stone will need to win and see Burmester miss the cut this week at the Dimension-Data Pro-Am and hope for a similar sequence of events next week at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship if he is to have any chance of claiming the coveted number one spot come March 12.
With two tournaments to go until the Investec Cup, players sitting outside the top 16 will need to do their all to make it into the field that offers a R10-million Bonus Pool. Players looking to make it into the field of 16 will be Richard Sterne, Mark Williams, former winner Jaco van Zyl and Jacques Blaauw, but keep a close lookout for what happens this week as it could set up a fascinating end to the chase.