Johannesburg – Thomas Aiken’s Africa Open victory has given him a boost in the Chase to the Investec Cup standings with only two more tournaments ahead of the final to be played.
Aiken will play in this week's Pro-Am at Fancourt, which has a total of 6500 points for the top 65 players and those tying on that score who make the cut, with 580 points for the winner.
Aiken was in 28th position in the Chase to the Investec Cup standings ahead of the Africa Open and found himself in second position behind Charl Schwartzel after his 900-point haul for his East London Golf Club triumph.
He earned those points because of the high number of points available in tournaments co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour in the year-long build-up to the cup tournament.
The points allocated to each event are dependent on the prize fund and the size of the tournament.
Qualification for the 30 places in the final event of the series is determined through a points system that incorporates all the regular-season Sunshine Tour events, beginning with the Zimbabwe Open last April and ending at the Tshwane Open in March.
After the success of the inaugural series in 2013, the 2013-14series will now feature a bonus pool of R10-million, double that of 2013.
The winner of the 2014 series will win R3.5-million, with the second-place finisher winning R950,000, third R700,000, and 30th spot in the bonus pool pay-out rankings taking home R50,000.
Aiken is just 49 points behind Schwartzel, so 39th or better in the Pro-Am will put him in the lead ahead of the Tshwane Open, during which 10,000 points are up for grabs, with 900 for the winner.
Last week, Justin Harding was in 30th spot with Martin du Toit in 31st and out of the Investec Cup. This week, Andrew Curlewis has slipped from 24th to 30th with 705.92 points. In 31st, just 12 points behind Curlewis, is Jared Harvey. – Sapa