Merrick Bremner knows what it would mean to him and to his sponsors should he pull off a victory in next week’s Investec Cup to be played at Millvale Private Retreat and the Lost City at Sun City.
Bremner is sponsored by Investec, a deal which he readily acknowledges has brought a new dimension to his game. “I’ve been able to stop worrying about all the details of getting into tournaments and concentrate on the way I play them instead,” said Bremner.
He goes into the Investec Cup tournament 441 points adrift of Ross Fisher, the leader in the Chase to the Investec Cup, which has been 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.
Bremner knows that if he wins the Investec Cup tournament played from March 20-23, and Fisher finishes third or worse, he puts himself in line for the winner’s share of the lucrative Bonus Pool. At R10-million, the Bonus Pool 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.
And Bremner’s sponsorship deal has given him another little edge going into the Investec Cup tournament: “I’ve played Millvale quite a few times during work I do for my sponsors,” he said of the Investec-owned retreat for its staff and clients.
“I played it for the first time last year in a practice round for the Investec Cup then, and I’ve grown to know it well, and I really like it,” he added.
And, in addition to having a little more ‘local knowledge’ of Millvale than his competitors, he’s also at home round the Lost City Course, where he came third in last year’s Sun City Challenge behind Adilson Da Silva.
“It’s not an easy place,” said Bremner. “You have to be patient, try and score on the par-fives, and you also have to know when to play fairways and greens, take your par and move on.”
With the breathing space his sponsorship deal has given him, Bremner has evolved into a more patient player instead of the bomber he was before. And it’s showing now after he finished in the top 10 in the Tshwane Open.
“I like to think my game’s coming round,” he said. “You can’t tell when everything’s going to fall into place, but it would be huge if my good week comes in the Investec Cup.”