Sauth African Money Title Battle to be Decided


This week's Tour Championship will bring down the curtain on a historic summer leg of the Sunshine Tour. The Tour finale features an all-exempt field comprising 72 professionals and three amateurs.
The Sunshine Tour of South Africa will reach another milestone when the all-exempt 50th place on the final Order of Merit money list will top the R100,000 ($8,768) mark.
But the focus is at the top of the Order of Merit and Tim Clark and Justin Rose will settle their battle to finish first on the money list. Clark currently heads the money list, slightly ahead of Rose.
The victor is ensured lucrative exemptions into the British Open, the World Golf Championship's American Express Championship and the Victor Chandler British Masters.
The winner of the Tour Championship is also ensured a place in the World Golf Championship's NEC Invitational, which increases the significance of a solid performance this week.
'All of this jockeying for position on the Order of Merit just proves how healthy professional golf in South Africa is,' said Louis Martin, the chief executive of the Sunshine Tour. 'The South African connection has shone through this summer, and I'm including a golfer like South African-born Justin Rose in this statement.
Apart from Clark and Rose, the field will include defending champion Darren Fichardt, who used this victory last year as a springboard onto the European Tour. Fichardt went on to win the Sao Paulo Brazil Open to earn himself a two-year exemption on the European Tour.
Jean Hugo and Trevor Immelman both return to the Sunshine Tour following credible performances on the European Tour, with Hugo finishing 34th on the money list last year.
And Richard Sterne returns to Leopard Creek, this time as a professional. Sterne finished eighth as an amateur in this event last year, and has made an impressive start to his professional career, including contesting for the Nashua Masters this past weekend.
Sterne remains a strong contender for the Rookie of the Year title, with Jaco van Zyl currently heading that race ahead of the young Pretoria professional.