Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

he young guns of the Sun­shine Tour dom­i­nated the Chase to the Investec Cup in 2015/16, so it was ap­pro­pri­ate that the nal tour­na­ment at Mil­l­vale Pri­vate Re­treat should come down to a nal round shootout be­tween two of the tour’s most promis­ing young­sters, Haydn Por­te­ous and Bran­don Stone.

The 21-year-old Por­te­ous ul­ti­mately claimed the Investec Cup ti­tle by a shot from then 22-year-old Stone, af­ter the lead had gone back and forth be­tween them over the clos­ing holes.

Un­for­tu­nately for the tour­na­ment, and TV view­ers at home, nei­ther of them had a chance of win­ning the R4 mil­lion vic­tory bonus which had gone to the over­all win­ner of the Chase to Investec Cup, Dean Burmester, be­fore any­one had teed up at Mil­l­vale.

If there had been R4 mil­lion at stake as they came down the 72nd hole tied for the lead, it would have made for in­cred­i­ble drama. As it was, with the tour­na­ment ti­tle at stake, and R250 000 on line for the win­ner, noth­ing for sec­ond place, the ner­vous­ness be­ing shown by Por­te­ous and Stone was pal­pa­ble. Por­te­ous had missed a short par putt on 17 to lose the lead, and Stone bo­geyed 18 af­ter a poor drive.

Burmester had the bonus pool rst prize wrapped up prior to the tourna-

Tment, putting an im­pres­sive stamp on a 12-month pe­riod where he set the tour alight with his ex­cit­ing play and pur­suit of birdies. Be­tween his vic­tory in the Zim­babwe Open in April 2015, and third-place nish at Mil­l­vale, the 26-year-old from Bloem­fontein earned him­self R7.2 mil­lion, not a bad re­turn for play­ing on the lo­cal tour.

For next year’s nale the Sun­shine Tour need to build in a sys­tem where the over­all win­ner of the Chase to the Investec Cup can­not be de­cided be­fore the sea­son is done. It needs to be set­tled in the clos­ing tour­na­ment, not be­fore­hand. The PGA Tour did this with their FedEx Cup fol­low­ing Vi­jay Singh’s tri­umph in 2008 when he had it wrapped up be­fore the sea­son-end­ing Tour Cham­pi­onship.

All four rounds of the Chase nale were this year played at the ex­clu­sive Mil­l­vale es­tate for the rst time, and the eld was also trimmed from 30 to 16 play­ers. The long-hit­ting Burmester had the 36-hole lead on 135 (70-65), by one from Stone, but Por­te­ous took it away from him with a 68 in Fri­day’s third round, with Stone re­main­ing one shot be­hind.

Mil­l­vale was a di cult test for the Sun­shine Tour stand­outs. Por­te­ous had 18 birdies and one ea­gle in the 72 holes, but also 8 bo­geys. Stone had 21 birdies and 6 bo­geys.

In the Ladies Investec Cup, Ber­tine Strauss won the 54-hole clos­ing tour­na­ment at Mil­l­vale by ve shots from Re­becca Hud­son, earn­ing her­self R100 000, and Lee-Anne Pace won the over­all Chase to Investec Cup, and R400 000.

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