Ekuhuleni - Dean
Burmester starts the South African Open, proudly hosted by the City of
Ekuhuleni, with a sense of confidence that will make him one of the
in the tournament which gets underway at Glendower Golf Club on
finished fourth last year behind the epic play-off win by Graeme Storm
over Rory McIlroy.
He then went on to win his maiden European Tour event at the
and then chased John Rahm all the way home in the season-ending DP World
Tour Championship in Dubai, where he shared fourth with compatriot Dylan
Frittelli two shots off the the lead.
finish in Dubai gave me a lot of confidence," he said. "It was really
eye-opening for me. I never really thought I was in that league and it's
nice to kind of
feel that I belong. A lot of guys had been telling me that for a long
time and it's nice to kind of know that yourself. There's definitely a
sense of belief there and confidence than there was this time a year
That confidence should help him overcome the finish he had at Glendower last year, when he made bogey on the par-three 14th and then
a double-bogey on the par-three 17th. Those three dropped shots turned out to be the difference between fourth place and a spot in the Storm-McIlroy play-off.
went for a pin I shouldn't have gone for on 17and plugged it in the
bunker, and tried to get cute with it and hit the next shot about half a
foot," remembered Burmester. "I don't want to remember things like that but I can tell you now, I am
not going to repeat the same mistake if I come down the stretch in
didn't really think I had a chance till I birdied 15, birdied 16 and
then I thought if I birdie the next one, I might be in with an outside
shot the way the guys
were going. You know, when I got in the clubhouse, I was kicking myself a
little bit. But that's golf and you learn from your mistakes and
hopefully I won't be in that situation and hopefully I'll be coming down
with a little bit of a lead."
the stretch as familiar as the rest of the course, Burmester is looking
forward to the challenge the conditions with present.
fairly similar to
last year, I'd say. Except around the greens where I think the rough is
up a little more. So, you're going to have to be more precise. It's
going to be hard figuring out how far the ball is going to fly and try
to hit it high and in the middle of the green
at times. I think if you do go long, I think it's going to punish you
big time," he said.
tournament means a lot to South African players, and a win for
Burmester would be a significant achievement to a career which already
boasts seven Sunshine Tour
"For us, this is our fifth major," he said. "That's certainly
how I think about it and I know a lot of the other guys think that way.
Your national open will always be your fifth major and the guys want to
get their names on that trophy. Not only once,
but a lot and that's why, I think, we keep coming back and we will keep
His immediate goal, however, will be to channel his Dubai form, starting on Thursday.