The Investec Cup concluded this week at the exclusive Millville Private Retreat, where 16 of the best men and 10 of the best women from the local circuit played separate season finales.
Both events showcased exciting young talent on tour, while evergreen veterans were rewarded for the lengthy Chase to the Investec Cup, which came with a pot of gold Bonus Prize Pool.
Haydn Porteous won the men’s event after edging out Brandon Stone on the final hole of the tournament. It was affirmation that the pair and their rivalry will be a spectacle for many years to come.
Behind them in third place was Dean Burmester, the out-and-out best player on the Sunshine Tour since the beginning of last year. Statistics have become the scale for weighing a player and Burmester’s figures are something to behold.
Since the Chase to the Investec Cup began in April last year he’s missed two cuts on home soil and carded eight rounds over par. This year alone he’s gone a combined 68-under-par in six starts.
The world number 87 took a cool R4-million home after topping the Chase to the Investec Cup standings, a feat he achieved with four wins and eight further top-10s.
He stole the headlines away from Porteous and Stone, childhood friends who won on the European Tour within a week of each other this January.
They were the only two players into double digits below par at Millvale and, while Porteous came out on top, it was a week that could have gone either way.
The Sunshine Ladies Tour offered equally tantalising news, with Lee-Anne Pace winning the points race after nine victories in succession on her way to the Final, where she tied for second place.
Rookie Bertine Strauss won the ladies tournament, marking her third victory in as many starts. It’s hard to believe the success she has garnered in three months of professional golf, topped with a five-shot cleanup over Pace and Rebecca Hudson this week in the North West Province.
Strauss has a 2016 LPGA Tour card, but began her year on the local circuit with an eye to making the Investec Cup. Little did she know that 10 weeks into her professional career she’d be lifting the trophy and posing for photos alongside Pace.
In the first three months of the year there have been exciting prospects rising from the local circuit and this week’s Investec Cup was a window into the exciting future of SA golf.