Belek - Bloemfontein bomber Dean Burmester was champing at
the bit to reignite what he termed "the best year of my career" at the Turkish
Airlines Open on Thursday morning.
As he stood
on the 11th tee to start the sixth event in the Rolex Series at the Regnum
Carya Golf and Spa Resort and beamed a huge smile towards the fans surrounding
the tee box, he left no-one in doubt about his delight to be back in the fold.
certainly had been a dream season for Burmester up until July.
State golfer bagged his first European Tour title with a sublime performance in
the Tshwane Open on the back of a fourth-place finish in the SA Open and
seventh in Abu Dhabi at the start of the season.
He continued to bank a
succession of cheques, including a R2-million payday for a top 10 finish in the PGA Championship shortly before disaster struck.
spent six weeks on the bench nursing a grade one tear in his left shoulder, and
another six to get match ready, Burmester declared himself back to full
strength ahead of the $7-million showpiece at the second best golf resort in
a frustrating couple of months, but I'm ready to challenge," said the
"I'm driving it really well, the irons are working nicely and I
love the feel of this golf course. All I'm looking for is a solid start and to
keep it going for four rounds."
shot a timely 65 in the final round at Wentworth in June, which guaranteed his
spot in the Rolex Series before the injury.
there was a lot of new territory to cover in my first year on the European
Tour, but I never really thought hard about the Rolex Series," said the
Schoemans Park golfer.
to play as many tournaments as possible to find the ones that suits you best,
while all the time trying to chase ranking points. You're working towards the
Rolex Series, but there is so many other factors at play.
shocked me. It was my first injury and to realise that you're out for at least
three months was devastating. I guess I kind of expected that I would just pick
up where I left off after the six weeks of rehab. I wasn't prepared for the
battering my body took during the time away.
drive it nearly as far as I was before the injury and that ate away at my
confidence. I had to stay patient and give myself time to bring my game back to
the top level and it was stressful. You get closer and closer to the business
end of the season, when you want to peak. It was a real baptism of fire in way
and I would do things a lot differently."
started to click at the Portugal Open at the end of September and Burmester
bagged another top 10 to solidify his position in the Race to Dubai.
Now he is
targeting a solid performance in Turkey ahead of another debut appearance in
next week's Nedbank Golf Challenge back home.
my whole game is solid and that's why I'm really excited to start this week," he
said. "Next week will be tough, because the Gary Player Country Club is so
the South Africans competing this week stand as good a chance as any of the top
players in the field, because the Regnum Carya course rewards accuracy off the
tee and good iron play. The fairways are pretty generous and the greens are
running true and at a good speed. We can get a little more aggressive here and
fire at the pins. This is a great course for me to reignite my season."
European Tour winners George Coetzee, Richard Sterne, Haydn Porteous, Dylan
Frittelli and Brandon Stone complete the South African challenge in Turkey.