Inaugural Investec Cup a huge hit

The Chase to the Investec Cup is complete and Jaco van Zyl has lifted the trophy. Now is the time for reflection, and we look back to the success of the inaugural points race.

For many it was an inspiration to perform consistently, for others a chance to cap off a great summer, but whatever the motivation to make it into the 30-man field, Sunshine Tour players certainly sat up and took notice.

The R5-million bonus pool certainly spiced up the cup, but added to that was the participation of three players from the top 100 in the world. With plenty of ranking points on offer, it was no holds barred as players battled their way towards the cup.

Of the top 10 finishers at the close of the Investec Cup seven of the top ten were players who had competed in 10 or more events, and not one player had participated in less than five events. 15 tournaments, beginning with the BMG Classic and ending with the Telkom PGA Championship, offered up the points that would decide the 30-man field for the finale.

Jaco van Zyl snatched victory at the Telkom PGA Championship to secure the lead going into the tournament, but Darren Fichardt nipped at his heels. Van Zyl clinched the Investec Cup title and with it zoomed to an astounding win in the points race. Fichardt held on to second and took home a bonus of R500,000.

Trevor Fisher Junior zoomed up to the frontrunners with his fourth-place at the finale, which took him to a comfortable third-place finish in the standings. He was the final player to finish with over a thousand points and netted a cool R300,000 for his efforts over the summer.

Hennie Otto pushed van Zyl right to the very end, shooting a final-round 62 to catch van Zyl on 21-under-par and force a sudden-death playoff. Otto was unable to win, but his second-place finish took him to fourth in the points race and he bagged a very decent R250,000.

Jean Hugo and Garth Mulroy shared fifth at the Lost City Golf Course, which meant the latter would move to fifth in the final standings. Hugo ended up in 12th place.

Cape Town Open winner Jake Roos finished sixth in the points standings, followed by Justin Walters. Desvonde Botes played all 15 events on the Chase to the Investec Cup and was rewarded with seventh place, which was worth a R150,000 bonus prize.

The tournament was a resounding success and drew some of the biggest South African names, including the likes of world number 48 Richard Sterne. The Investec Cup looks set to be the closing highlight of summer on the Sunshine Tour.

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