Mark Williams' big pay day

HARARE - Zimbabwean golfer Mark Williams is among the 16 top golfers on the Sunshine Tour circuit playing in the R10 million-rich Investec Cup which tees off today at the Millvale Private Retreat in Rustenburg.

He is one of 16 players competing for a share of the R10-million Bonus Pool. The winner’s share is R4-million while last place takes home R200 000.

The field knows that there is a tidy haul to be made over and above their regular winnings from the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.

Williams finished in 14th place on the Chase to the Investec Cup leaderboard after accumulating 1 084.28 points in the 24 tournaments he took part in.

Zimbabwe-born golfer Dean Burmester, who now has South African citizenship, takes an unassailable points advantage of 3 001.92 going into the tournament and is a favourite to land the R4m top prize.

Burmester racked up his impressive tally as a result of his four wins on the Sunshine Tour in 2015.

These included the Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open, the Lombard Insurance Open, the Sun Windmill Challenge and the Vodacom Origins of Golf Koro Creek event.

He has claimed seven other top 10 finishes to remain in first position in the rankings throughout the season.

A distant second place on the Chase to the Investec Cup is reigning BMW South Africa Open champion Brendan Stone, who has 1 964.83 points.    

“You build the whole season around tournaments like this,” Stone told the Sunshine Tour website.

“It’s validation of what I’ve been doing through the last 11 months. It’s the same as The European Tour’s Race to Dubai Final Series – the Chase to the Investec Cup is our version of it. There are only 16 players, and they are the top 16 in South Africa at this time. To be part of the field at this time is obviously quite special. It’s another week that I need to play well, get a good performance in and see where I finish up.”

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