Hugo leads strong line-up for BMG Classic

Jean Hugo heads into this week’s BMG Classic as a three-time winner this season already and looking for another win to boost his confidence ahead of a trip to the European Tour Qualifying School.

Hugo will lead a field of veteran professionals and promising youngsters in the R600 000 event at Glendower Golf Club from 28-30 October, and where he finished fourth last year.

“I would backing myself going into this week,” said Hugo. “With the European Tour Qualifying School just a few weeks off, I’m definitely in tournament mode. My game is on solid ground and I’m hungry to win again.”

The history of this tournament has also inspired Hugo to add it to his list of 13 Sunshine Tour titles.

“Bearing Man has been involved with the Sunshine Tour for close to 20 years. Most of South Africa’s top professionals have a BMG tournament among their victories. Players like Mark McNulty, Gavan Levenson, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen all won a Bearing Man title.

“I want to add my name to that list,” said Hugo.

Doug McGuigan, also a former BMG Classic champion is in the field, as is Darren Fichardt, a two-time winner this season and fresh off his success at last week’s Suncoast Classic.

The other 2011 winners in the field are Africom Zimbabwe Open champion Theunis Spangenberg, MTC Namibia PGA Championship winner JG Claassen, Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open champion Justin Walters, Lombard Insurance Classic winner Justin Harding and Chris Swanepoel, who won the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Arabella.

Oliver Bekker is also chasing a repeat success after his maiden win at the Northern Cape Classic.

“It won’t be an easy week by any measure,” said Hugo. “We are in the closing stretch, warming up for the summer tournaments. Everyone is chasing victory and looking to position themselves on the Order of Merit. I’m quite sure that every guy in the field this week will be coming out guns blazing.”

East Rand professional Brandon Pieters is back to defend the title he won from Englishman Ben Mannix in a playoff 12 months ago.

“It’s been nearly a year since I last won and nearly as long since I’ve posted a top 10 finish,” said Pieters. “It was a great feeling last year to pull it off and get back into the winner’s circle. I’m going to draw on those positive memories and try to give my season the kick it needs to get some momentum again. When you win, you realise that you can compete and that’s what you are out here for. I’m ready to win again.”

Lali Stander

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