Jean Hugo has earned a name for himself as the man to beat on the Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung, and this week at the 2014 final he’s aiming for a 16th Sunshine Tour title.
The 38-year-old has eight Origins of Golf trophies in his cabinet and heads to Pezula Golf Club as one of the hottest players in the field.
This year Hugo has been one of the standout performers on the Sunshine Tour and in 20 has missed one cut. That consistent performance has earned the Centurion local seventh place on the Order of Merit and fourth in the Chase to the Investec Cup.
His best result of the year was at Vodacom Origins of Golf Arabella in July, where the weather-affected tournament was reduced to 36 holes. Hugo was not affected by the stormy conditions and carded rounds of 68, 69.
An eight-place finish at the Investec Cup and second-place finish at the Dimension Data Pro-Am and have further punctuated his great season. Last week at the BMG Classic he took a third consecutive top-five and it looks like a win is right around the corner.
Pezula is unchartered territory for the Sunshine Tour and Hugo’s easy-going nature will prove crucial while he discovers the best approach to the championship course.
Standing in his way are Danie van Tonder and Ulrich van den Berg, both of whom have been equally consistent and dominant this year.
Van Tonder leads the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit with two wins and 12 top-10s this season. The 23-year-old is on track to become the hottest new export from South Africa.
By contrast, Van den Berg is a veteran of the tour who is in his golfing prime. The 39-year-old has recorded seven top-five results this season and will surely contend in Knysna this week.
The competition is hot, but the cool demeanour of Hugo tips the scales in his favour this week. He is undoubtedly the standout Vodacom Origins of Golf player and win number nine is on the cards this week.