A prize of R3.5 million is at stake as the Chase to the Investec Cup Final tees off at the Millvale Private Retreat west of Rustenburg on Thursday with Trevor Fisher Junior on top of the standings with a 111.73-point lead.
But his defence of his title – as well as the first place on the standings he achieved last year – will be under attack from classy golfers like Charl Schwartzel, George Coetzee and Morten Orum Madsen, as well as in-form locals like Jacques Blaauw, Dean Burmester, Keith Horne and Wallie Coetsee.
With 1500 points on offer for the winner of the Chase to the Investec Cup Final, and 180 points guaranteed for last place, Fisher Junior can be overtaken by 21 of the 30-man field for the big prize when the tournament ends on Sunday at the Lost City.
Apart from Fisher Junior, who won the Africa Open two weeks ago and has done so well in the co-sanctioned events that he is 23rd in the Race to Dubai, the other golfer coming into the tournament with great form is Dean Burmester, who had top-20 finishes in the Dimension Data Pro-Am and the Joburg, Africa and Tshwane Opens.
Coetzee, in 11th place in the standings, 829.15 points behind Fisher Junior, put some poor form behind him as he won the Tshwane Open in fine style last weekend and the world number 67 led going into the final round of the Investec Cup final last year so he has a score to settle.
There is plenty of water around Millvale to have errant golfers in trouble, while the greens are slick and, given that Gary Player was one of the designers, canny bunkering is no surprise.
With overseas players like Andy Sullivan and Kevin Phelan, and locals like Branden Grace and Thomas Aiken turning down the chance to play for the bonus pool, Sunshine Tour regulars like Justin Harding, Louis de Jager, Jbe’ Kruger and Chris Swanepoel have earned a ticket to the lucrative summer finale in North-West.