The South African Open Championship marked the final event on the 2014 Sunshine Tour calendar, but the Chase to the Investec Cup is far from over and newly crowned Order of Merit winner Thomas Aiken has risen to 20th.
The eight-time Sunshine Tour winner proved his mettle yet again at Glendower Golf Club on Sunday, where he sank a crucial putt to finish tied for fifth place. His efforts were rewarded with a rise to 20th in the points standings, and with four events left before the season finale it’s the right time to be climbing.
The world number 154 will continues his campaign at the Joburg Open in February and then heads to East London for his title defence of the Africa Open. Like the SA Open, those big events offer up large points and will help a player of Aiken’s calibre to make the grade for the Investec Cup tournament.
The Chase to the 2015 Investec Cup began at this year’s Telkom Business PGA Championship and incorporates every Sunshine Tour event until the week preceding the Investec Cup tournament next March.
Danie van Tonder continued to lead the Chase to the Investec Cup on 1525 points. Ulrich van den Berg brought up second place some 270 points behind, while recent Alfred Dunhill Championship winner Branden Grace held on to third.
Sunshine Tour veteran Trevor Fisher Junior held fourth place on a 1073-point total, but breathing down his neck was SA Open runner up Charl Schwartzel, who has risen to fifth.
Young gun Jared Harvey has also laid down his claim and his share of fifth place at Glendower Golf Club this week has moved the 26-year-old to ninth place in the standings.