It’s his last tournament in a mini-trip to Europe to play on the Challenge Tour, and Dean Burmester showed he was determined to make it count with a course-record equalling 63 in the second round of the AEGEAN Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort.
It’s his third tournament in three weeks, and after missing the cut in the Najeti Open in France, he found his feet with a share of 21st in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge last week.
He opened his challenge in Germany with a four-under-par 67, but he was flawless in his second round, with six birdies and an eagle to card his second 63 of the year after his first in Swaziland on the Sunshine Tour in May’s Lombard Insurance Classic, which he won by five strokes from Keith Horne.
“I played well in Scotland last week,” said Burmester, “even though the conditions were strange to me. Conditions here in Germany are much more to my liking: It’s hot, and the grass here is similar to kikuyu, so it felt like I was back home in South Africa.”
Burmester, who has won four times on the Sunshine Tour, has been using the trip to Europe ahead of the birth of his first child on July 21 to get used to European conditions ahead of an attempt to earn his European Tour playing privileges.
He came close with his third place in March’s Tshwane Open, and a win this week would go some way towards propelling him towards the top 15 on the Challenge Tour money list. That would get him onto the 2016 European Tour. “It would also be good to get inside the top 45, because that would get me straight into the Final Stage of The European Tour Qualifying School,” said Burmester. “Otherwise I have to play all three stages.”
For now, however, he will keep his attention on the weekend ahead as he tries to win a tournament. “I’m focused on tomorrow,” he said. “I’m confident going into the weekend, but this is such a competitive tour, that anyone can come through and make up a lot of shots and still win.”
Should Burmester win, he’ll follow in the footsteps of compatriot Jake Roos, who won it last year.