While Dean Burmester is very much in pole positon to win the Chase to the Investec Cup, this week’s Eye of Africa PGA Championship gives a couple of players one last chance to reel him in and possibly overtake him.
With Burmester’s nearest pursuer Brandon Stone not playing this week, and third-placed Charl Schwartzel not likely to play in the Investec Cup, Zander Lombard (right) in fourth and Justin Walters in fifth face some very specific scenarios if they are to be in the hunt for the R4-million winner’s share of the R10-million Bonus Pool which is up for grabs in the Investec Cup which takes place at Millvale Private Retreat starting on March 9.
The 2015/2016 ‘Chase to the Investec Cup’ season consisted of players earning points at Sunshine Tour tournaments, starting with the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open last April and ending with the Eye of Africa PGA Championship this week. 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.
If Burmester misses the cut in the Eye of Africa PGA Championship – something he hasn’t done since the end of August last year – and then comes 16th and last in the Investec Cup, he will move to a total of 3050.22 points.
That means Lombard will have to finish inside the top two at Eye of Africa, and inside the top three at the Investec Cup. For Walters, the task is finishing inside the top two this week and then inside the top two again at Millvale.
For Stone, the requirements are that Burmester makes fewer than 85 points by finishing 22nd or worse this week, that Burmester comes 16th in the Investec Cup, and that Stone wins the Investec Cup.
Should Burmester finish 10th or worse at Eye of Africa, then Lombard and Walters need to finish in the top two this week and to win the Investec Cup to overtake Burmester.
So the stakes are high for the leading Investec Cup contenders at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship this week.