South African Open champion Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark can put the cherry on top of a remarkable run in South Africa by winning the Investec Cup when that tournament take place from March 20-23.
He started his run at last year’s Tshwane Open with a share of eighth, topped that with his South African Open Championship title, came 16th in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, sixth in February’s Dimension Data Pro-Am and then was 13th in this year’s Tshwane Open to get himself into fourth position in the Chase to the Investec Cup.
The Investec Cup tournament 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.
And 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.
With a total of 15,000 points available at the Investec Cup tournament, with 1,500 for the winner, Madsen is in a good position to be able to chase down and overtake leader Ross Fisher – if he wins the tournament ahead of Fisher.
If Madsen doesn’t win, he has to win 199 points more than Fisher does in the finale being played at Millvale Private Retreat for the first two rounds and at the Lost City at Sun City for the final two. That means that the further down in the 30-man field Madsen finishes, the further ahead of Fisher he has to finish.
So if Fisher finishes 30th and last, Madsen has to finish 16th or better – and that doesn’t take into account Thomas Aiken and Hennie Otto above him in the rankings who could also win the top prize in the Bonus Pool.
Like Fisher, Madsen will be facing the courses in the Investec Cup for the first time, and that is a distinct disadvantage to the seven overseas players in the final 30 – but as he showed when he won the South African Open Championship, he is a gritty player and can put together four rounds good enough to win anywhere.