Tough Investec repeat task awaits Jaco

Defending Investec Cup champion Jaco van Zyl is lying 14th in the points of the Chase to the Investec Cup, and while he can successfully defend his tournament title, the chances of taking the winner’s share of the R10-million Bonus Pool seem a little slimmer.


Qualification for the 30 places in the final event of the Chase to the Investec Cup at Millvale Private Retreat and the Lost City at Sun City form March 20-23 was determined through a points system that incorporated all the regular-season Sunshine Tour events, beginning with the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open last April and ending at the Tshwane Open.


Ross Fisher went to the top of the Chase to the Investec Cup rankings with his Tshwane Open victory, leaving Van Zyl just under 640 points adrift of him, and, with a total of 15,000 points at the Investec Cup, with 1,500 for the winner, it seems clear that Fisher has the inside track in the scramble for the big money.


After the resounding success of the inaugural Chase to the Investec Cup series in 2013, the 2013-14 series features a Bonus Pool which is double that of 2013. The winner of the 2014 Chase to the Investec Cup will win 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.


Van Zyl’s attempt at taking the winner’s share of the Bonus Pool for a second year in a row is made marginally easier by the absence in the final field of Charl Schwartzel and England’s Matthew Baldwin, who were ranked above him in fifth and 10th positions respectively.


But, as is inevitably the case when a final event of a series offers such a high premium to the winner, Van Zyl needs to hope that Fisher finishes in one of the bottom two spots in the Investec Cup tournament, while he gets himself a spot in the top four – and that calculation excludes players who are above Van Zyl in the Chase to the Investec Cup points table at this point, too.


Van Zyl went into last year’s final with two recent victories under his belt, which gave him a much better chance of chasing down last year’s leader, Darren Fichardt. This year, he knows the last tournament he won was the 2013 Investec Cup, and nothing less than a repeat performance will do.


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