ZIMBABWEAN golfer Ryan Cairns will be looking to get his name onto the upper echelons of the 2014 chase to the Investec Cup standings when he tees off at the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in South Africa this morning.
Cairns will be the country’s sole representative in the Joburg Open field after his fellow countrymen Sheldon Steyn, Greg Bentley and Micky Hough failed to make the cut during Monday’s pre-qualifying round.
In one of the richest events on the Sunshine Tour, he will have his work cut out for him as he faces up to a host of local and European stars who will have their eye on victory as well as some Investec Cup points.
Cairns, who turns 30 next week, is currently ranked 31st on the Chase to the Investec Cup standings and just one place shy of a place in the top 30 which would guarantee him a place in the final event of the Chase to the Investec Cup.
“I will be playing six events on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa starting with the Joburg Open as I am in a position to qualify for the Investec Cup points race which carries a bonus pool prize fund for the top 30 players on the Sunshine Tour. I am currently in 31st position and feeling good about my game heading into that final stretch of events,” said Cairns.
The Chase to the Investec Cup got underway at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open in April of last year and end at the Telkom PGA Championship in March.
With the points allocated to each event dependent on the prize fund and the size of the tournament, the Joburg Open, which has a lucrative prize fund of €1,3 million, has more points available for players who make the cut.
The 2014 Chase to the Investec Cup series will feature a lucrative bonus pool of R10 million, double that of 2013.
The winner of the 2014 Chase to the Investec Cup will get R3,5 million, with the second-placed finisher earning R950 000, and third R700 000, while 30th spot in the bonus pool pay-out will take home R50 000.