George - Dean Burmester came second in the 2016 Dimension Data
Pro-Am, and he finds himself one of the favourites ahead of this year's
tees off on all three courses at Fancourt on Thursday.
Bloemfontein-based professional who now plays most of his golf on the
European Tour, has had a quiet time of it on home soil in the five
events he has played in
the 2017/18 Sunshine Tour season so far, with a best finish of a share
of 19th in December's Joburg Open.
the players all paired with amateur partners for the week, and play
taking place for the opening three rounds on Montagu, Outeniqua and The
Links at Fancourt
ahead of the final round on Montagu, the pressure will be a little less
than in conventional tournaments.
That will allow the gregarious
Burmester to focus less on the difficulties confronting him on the golf
course and more on the pleasure of simply playing.
do like the format," said Burmester. "It was one of the first
tournaments I played starting out on the Sunshine Tour, and I finished
will in it and my career kind
of kicked on from there. I have made some great friendships, and it's an
event I look forward to every year."
he gets into the kind of free-wheeling mode the tournament permits,
Burmester can be unstoppable.
When he unfurls his attractive and
powerful long game off the
tee - and it's working well - the rest of his play seems to fall into
place. Should that happen, he is capable of going very low.
was beaten by a single stroke by George Coetzee to the title in 2016,
and he has fond memories of that performance.
"I started on The Links,
and made 67 there,"
he said. "That is my best round there.
have changed things up a little there, and made things a little easier
this year - mainly to help with pace of play, because we were having
some seven-hour rounds
around there. I've just practiced on it, and I like what they've done.
It makes it better for my kind of game, so I'm quite excited to play
there. I felt there were a lot of birdies out there."
all that love shown for The Links, Montagu is his favourite course at
"I really like Montagu," he said. "It's great that we get
to play the final
round on it. It's a good test, and it gives the players a chance at
making a charge if they're within striking distance."
With defending champion Paul Lawrie not playing this year, Burmester will still have to contend with Coetzee again.
There are four other former champions in the field: Oliver Bekker, Hennie Otto, James Kamte and Alan McLean.