Jean Hugo knows exactly what it would take to get to the top of the Chase to the Investec Cup standings when he tees off in next week’s Investec Cup tournament at Millvale Private Retreat and the Lost City at Sun City.
The Investec Cup brings to a climax a year-long quest for points in all the regular-season Sunshine Tour events, beginning with the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open last April and ending at the Tshwane Open.
Hugo was one of the top 30 players at the end of that quest who made it into the final tournament which gets underway on March 20. He’s on 1,434.60 points, just 385 points behind the leader, England’s Ross Fisher who tops the log after his Tshwane Open victory.
There is a total of 15,000 points available at the Investec Cup, with 1,500 for the winner and 1,125 for the runner-up, a difference of 375 points – which means, if Hugo wins, Fisher has to finish third or worse for Hugo to get the winner’s share of the Bonus Pool.
This year’s Chase to the Investec Cup features a Bonus Pool which, at R10-million, is double that of 2013. The winner will take home 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.
“I’m glad I know exactly what I have to do,” said Hugo, who is one of a handful of players above him on the rankings who can chase down Fisher for the big prize.
Going for broke is something Hugo does particularly well: He famously chased down Charl Schwartzel in 2010 when the soon-to-be Masters champion held a two-stroke edge over him going into the final round of a tournament. Undaunted by Schwartzel’s superb final-round seven-under-par 65, Hugo fired a brilliant 10-under 62 to win by one.
“Millvale is going to be the important course,” said Hugo, who opened with a seven-under-par 65 there last year. “I played really well in that first round, but it’s not an easy course. So it’s going to be a question of staying in touch with whoever leads there in the opening two rounds so that I can attack in the final two rounds at the Lost City.”
Hugo has a solid, if unspectacular record at Lost City. He’s never won there, but he believes the recent heavy rains in the area might help him. “With the slopes on the fairways there, it would help me keep the ball on the fairways if they don’t run,” he said.
“I reckon I’ll need to try and go 10-under for the last two days, and those kinds of conditions would help me,” said the 14-time Sunshine Tour winner.
A 15th victory would mean a lot to him.