Ruan rising toward Investec Cup

Ruan de Smidt already has a win to his name, despite being just 23 years old. This week he’ll take the next step up as he faces off against three of the world’s top 100 at the Investec Cup.

With 132 Sunshine Tour titles spread amongst the 30-man field, the inaugural Investec Cup boasts as strong a field as any on the Sunshine Tour. De Smidt has been given 80-1 odds to win the Cup and claim most of the R5-million bonus pool, but he’s still determined to succeed.

He has plenty standing in his way, including Joburg Open winner Richard Sterne and Tshwane Open winner Darren Fichardt. He’ll have to rise to the occasion if he wants to lift the silverware.

Sterne’s approach was a different story altogether. The six-time European Tour champion currently leads the Race to Dubai and, at 48th in the World Ranking, is on the verge of getting a spot at The Masters.

With Fichardt at 80th in the world and Jaco van Zyl at 84th, there will be plenty of ranking points on offer. Sterne will hone in on the impressive R2-million winner’s bonus this week, but beneath the money lie the ranking points, a superb spice to the maiden Investec Cup.

Also in contention this week will be Trevor Fisher Junior, who took Players’ Player of the Year at the 2012 Sunshine Tour Awards. Having sealed three wins last year, Fisher is certainly entering the prime of his golfing career, and with a new child in the house he’s got some nappies to buy. That tandem of form and need will make him a serious threat this week.

For de Smidt the tournament is huge. He’ll have to quickly overcome his nerves if he wants to give the big dogs of the Sunshine Tour a run for their money. But as has been said before ‘Good enough is old enough.’

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