Jean Hugo’s second place in last week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am has helped his Chase to the Investec Cup chances ahead of the season-ending Tshwane Open which tees off on Thursday.
Hugo shared second with Dane Lucas Bjerregard, and fellow Sunshine Tour players Keith Horne and Adilson Da Silva, assuring him of a haul of 380 points, lifting him from 17th position the week before to a solid sixth place – and with the total of 10,000 points up for grabs in the Tshwane Open which is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour, he can challenge Charl Schwartzel for the lead.
Schwartzel is just 295 points ahead of Hugo who is in sixth, which means a top-eight finish for the Centurion-based professional will be enough to put him in a prime position to challenge for the lion’s share of the lucrative bonus pool of R10-million. This is after the year-long build-up to the Investec Cup tournament from March 20-23 which climaxes the season.
The points allocated to each event are dependent on the prize fund and the size of the tournament, and events co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour – such as the Tshwane Open – have 900 points for the winner.
Qualification for the 30 places in the final event of the Chase to the Investec Cup is determined through a points system that incorporates all the regular-season Sunshine Tour events, beginning with the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open last April and ending at the Tshwane Open.
After the resounding success of the inaugural Chase to the Investec Cup series in 2013, the 2013-14 series features a bonus pool which is double that of 2013. The winner of the 2014 Chase to the Investec Cup will win R3.5-million, with the second-place finisher winning R950,000, and third R700,000, whilst 30th spot in the bonus pool pay-out rankings will take home R50,000.
Between Hugo and Schwartzel on the Chase to the Investec Cup rankings is a veritable galaxy of Sunshine Tour and European Tour champions: Africa Open champion Thomas Aiken is in second, 2012 Avantha Masters champion Jbe’ Kruger is third, South African Open champion Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark is fourth, and 2012 South African Open champion Hennie Otto is fifth.
Hugo was rounding nicely into form at Fancourt last week, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him lift his first co-sanctioned tournament trophy – and laying down a marker for the Investec Cup.