Sunshine Tour

Burmester’s precision game gives him PGA lead

2017-02-11 19:10
Dean Burmester (File)

Eikehof – Dean Burmester played a precision game off the tee posted a five-under-par 67 on Saturday as he eased three shots clear after the third round of the R1.5-million Eye of Africa PGA Championship.

His round took him to 16-under for the tournament, and his three-shot gap was a comfortable cushion over second-placed Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who fired a four-under 68 to move to 13-under. There was a group of four players in a share of third on 12-under: Dylan Frittelli, who shot the round of the day with his eight-under 64, Makhetha Mazibuko, who wasn’t too far off Frittelli’s mark with his 65, MJ Viljoen, and halfway leader Justin Hicks from the United States.

“I drove the ball really nicely today,” said Burmester. “I’m really happy with the way I played, and I really like the golf course. I just see a lot of things here, and I really like the greens. It was nice to make a couple of putts, and I hope there’s more of the same tomorrow.”

Burmester came second in this tournament last year, losing to Jaco van Zyl in a play-off, and is currently battling to break onto the European Tour – hoping that a victory this week and perhaps one in the following three big tournaments on the Sunshine Tour will be decisive for him.

Being at home in South Africa helps. “I’m in a really good space at the moment,” he said. “I’m happy to have my family around me, and there are a lot of friends in and on the tour. It’s nice being home, where there is obviously massive support. That puts me in a really good frame of mind and playing well helps with the confidence too.”

Burmester is long off the tee, but he was also wily during the third round, surprising everyone with his choice of club. “I hit two-iron off the tee on the par-five 17th,” he said. “I’ve been struggling with that tee-shot since last year. It’s just not one that I fancy too much. It was into the wind today, and I thought three-wood was still going to get to that fairway bunker. So I thought I might as well lay up a two-iron short of the bunker. That would leave me a two-iron – or at worst a three-wood – in. At least that would have given me a chance to go for the green.

“I hit a great first one straight up the middle, and I hit a great second one which came up just a little short. Unfortunately, my chip on released a little more than I thought it would and I missed the putt. When I get on that tee tomorrow, I hope I’ll get it right and make a four.”

He’ll be facing Bezuidenhout in tournament play for the first time – something which the youngster who won his first Sunshine Tour title just last year is looking forward to. “Dean’s being playing great golf for a year or two now,” said Bezuidenhout. “So I’ll try and make some early birdies and see if I can put pressure on him.”

Burmester is also relishing the clash. “It will be the first time Christiaan and I will be playing together,” he said. “He’s a massive talent in South Africa. He’s just a thrilling young gun. I’m excited to see what will happen. I’m sure it will be a great battle.”

Scores:

200 - Dean Burmester 66 67 67

203 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout 67 68 68

204 - Dylan Frittelli 71 69 64, Makhetha Mazibuko 73 66 65, MJ Viljoen 65 69 70, Justin Hicks 63 68 73

205 - Erik van Rooyen 69 68 68

207 - Ross McGowan 70 67 70, Louis de Jager 67 70 70, Daniel Greene 68 67 72

208 - Jared Harvey 73 67 68, Anthony Michael 69 71 68, Francesco Laporta 74 65 69, Colin Nel 65 72 71, Doug McGuigan 69 67 72

209 - Wil Bateman 74 67 68, Danie van Tonder 71 69 69, Jonathan Agren 68 72 69, Jacques Kruyswijk 69 69 71

210 - Ockie Strydom 70 71 69, Titch Moore 73 67 70, Christiaan Basson 69 69 72

211 - Ryan Cairns 69 72 70, Trevor Fisher Jnr 74 66 71, Steven Ferreira 69 69 73, Johary Raveloarison 70 68 73, Mark Williams 68 70 73

212 - Steve Surry 69 72 71, Merrick Bremner 68 74 70, Jaco Van Zyl 73 69 70, Vaughn Groenewald 69 74 69, Neil Schietekat 70 73 69, Jean Hugo 72 72 68

213 - Andrew Odoh 76 65 72, Jean-Paul Strydom 69 72 72, Jaco Ahlers 73 67 73, Tjaart van der Walt 69 68 76

214 - Rhys West 71 71 72

215 - Chris Williams 70 71 74, Jake Redman 71 71 73, Rhys Enoch 72 70 73, Antonio Rosado 71 73 71, Andrew Georgiou 75 69 71, Peter Karmis 72 72 71, Gert Myburgh 72 72 71

216 - Darren Fichardt 70 69 77, Lyle Rowe 70 74 72, Madalitso Muthiya 70 74 72, Toby Tree 74 70 72, Jaco Prinsloo 72 73 71, Jason Froneman 72 73 71, Michael Palmer 68 77 71, Garth Mulroy 71 74 71

217 - Tyrone Ferreira 70 71 76, Sipho Bujela 68 75 74

218 - Jake Roos 73 72 73

219 - Teaghan Gauche 71 71 77, Allan Versfeld 72 72 75, Grant Veenstra 75 69 75, Dwayne Basson 73 72 74, Heinrich Bruiners 72 73 74, Keenan Davidse 75 70 74

220 - Martin Rominger 70 71 79

221 - Gerrit Foster 74 69 78, CJ du Plessis 72 71 78

224 - Charl Coetzee 78 66 80

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  dean burmester  |  golf
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