With some of the current top 30 in the Sunshine TourÂs Chase to the Investec Cup unlikely to make the trip for the concluding tournament in March, Tjaart van der Walt is one of those players keeping an anxious eye on the rankings.
The 2012/2013 Chase to the Investec Cup season consists of the tournaments starting with the BMG Classic and ending with the Telkom PGA Championship. The top 30 players on the Investec Bonus Pool ranking, after the Telkom PGA Championship will qualify for the season ending Investec Cup.
Van der Walt is in 39th place on the standings after last weekÂs Africa Open, and with 250 points up for grabs for the winner of this weekÂs Dimension Data Pro-Am, he can take a decent stride up that list with only two more events after the R3.75-million event at Fancourt Golf and Country Estate.
Inside the top 30 are some players who will find their international schedules too crowded to be able to play the Investec Cup from March 21-24 at the Rustenburg, Millvale and Lost City courses, and those four or five absentees will mean players like Van der Walt have a shot at sharing in the lucrative bonus pool for those top 30 players.
The Investec Bonus Pool will carry total prize money of R5-million with R2-million going to the winner Â 30th place will pick up R40,000. And the Investec Cup will carry a prize find of R1-million with R 163,400 going to the winner.
As things stand, Van der Walt is just 44 points outside the top 30, and a top-10 finish at the Dimension Data Pro-Am will do him nicely in his quest to get inside the cut-off point.
He started his campaign well with a flawless five-under-par 67 on the Montagu course at Fancourt Â players play a round on each of Montagu, Outeniqua and The Links with amateur partners ahead of the cut to 65 professionals and ties and the final round on Montagu.
He made three birdies and an eagle to trail early leaders Justin Harding and Scott Arnold of Australia by two strokes, with Hennie Otto and EnglandÂs Simon Dyson on six-under-par.
And, while he will focus on the job at hand for the rest of the Dimension Data Pro-Am, the Investec Cup will also loom large in his thinking.