Port Elizabeth - Dean Burmester could not have started worse than he did during the first round of the Sun Boardwalk Golf Challenge, but he recovered the round at Humewood in emphatic style.
A wayward drive at the first hole would signal the start of Burmester’s trouble and he went on to double bogey the first and fourth holes, but it was not over for the two-time Sunshine Tour champion.
“On the first hole I hit it right of the fairway and had a lost ball. I made six there, but it felt like I was hitting it well. I was three-over through five holes and told myself to stay in it,” he said.
The 25-year-old put his head down in the wind and began to grind out the pars until a birdie eventually came at the seventh. That success helped him to regroup and he headed into the back stretch at two-over-par.
“I knew that even if I went level from there onward then I would be two-over for the day, which was a good score in these conditions. I only had 13 putts on the back nine and managed to get the driver in play, which was nice,” he said.
He took advantage of the par-five 11th and made birdie, but was immediately set back to two-over when he dropped a shot at the 12th. That would be his last mistake of the day.
The Bloemfontein local hit it stiff at the par-three 14th and began a streak of good play that included birdies at the 16th and 17th. Burmester finished the day in a share of fourth place and felt ready for anything after his recovery on day one.
He heads into the second round on one-under-par and three strokes shy of leader Roberto Lupini.
“It’s really nice to make that comeback and I’m kicking on. Four-under is an unbelievable score around here today, so Robbie Lupini must have played out of his boots. Hopefully we can catch him through the week,” he said.
Scores (RSA unless otherwise specified):
68 - Roberto Lupini
70 - Andrew Curlewis, Titch Moore
71 - Lindani Ndwandwe, Jean-Paul Strydom, Steve Surry (ENG), Dean Burmester, Keith Horne
72 - Shaun Norris, Desvonde Botes, Ruan de Smidt, James Kamte, Francois van Vuuren
73 - Andrew Light, Adrian Ford, Chris Swanepoel, Keenan Davidse, Heinrich Bruiners, Haydn Porteous, Ulrich van den Berg,Jake Redman, Peter Karmis, Steven Ferreira, Doug McGuigan
74 - Bryce Bibby, Alan Michell, Neil Schietekat, Colin Nel, Danie van Tonder, Andre Cruse, PH McIntyre, Jean Hugo,Alex Haindl, Tyrone Ferreira, Shaun Smith, Justin Turner, Allan Versfeld, Justin Harding, Louis de Jager
75 - Derik Ferreira, Divan van den Heever, Ryan Tipping, Paul de Beer, Edwin Kutara (NAM), Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN), Grant Muller
76 - Irvin Mazibuko, Grant Veenstra, Michael Hollick, Le Roux Ferreira, Johan du Buisson, Drikus Bruyns, Jeff Inglis (ENG),Lyle Rowe, Attie Schwartzel, Mark Fensham, Erik van Rooyen
77 - Rhys West, Thriston Lawrence, JG Claassen, Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM), Francois Coetzee, Christiaan Basson,Drikus van der Walt, Derick Petersen, Gert Myburgh, Tyrone Ryan
78 - Torben Baumann (GER), Jaco Prinsloo, Wallie Coetsee, Sipho Bujela, Desne van den Bergh, Jaco Ahlers, Vaughn Groenewald,Matthew Carvell, JJ Senekal, Gideon Pienaar, Jack Harrison (ENG), Louis Botha, Jared Harvey, Brett Liddle
79 - Warren Abery, Theunis Spangenberg, JC Ritchie, Charl Coetzee, Mark Williams (ZIM)
80 - Mpho Mafishe, Neo Thubisi, Dayne Moore (ZAM), Toto Thimba (Jnr), Tertius van den Berg
81 - Juan Langeveld, Callum Mowat, Arthur Horne (SWZ), Teboho Sefatsa, Riekus Nortje
82 - Allister de Kock, Maritz Wessels
83 - Eddie Taylor, Mike Maile
84 - Ryan Strauss, Terence Salo, Pieter Moolman
85 - Bennie van der Merwe
86 - Kangwine Chiluba (ZAM), Anthony Michael, Tyrone Mordt
87 - Makhetha Mazibuko