Dean Burmester ranks 28th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, and that’s because he’s regularly in contention. On Friday he reared his head yet again, carding a second-round 67 to take up an early share of second at the Polokwane Classic
“I like the competitive side and we practice for those times in contention. I’ve been playing well lately, so we’ll head out there and let the golf do the talking tomorrow,” he smiled.
The Bloemfontein local was quick out of the blocks on Friday, and that helped him keep within four shots of overnight leader Titch Moore, who also shot 67 for the second round.
“I got off to a nice start this morning,” said Burmester. “And I’ve made eagle at the 12th on both days, which is certainly a boost. Today I hit driver and then took a four-iron from 209 metres out. My approach stopped about six feet past the cup and I rolled it in from there.”
The proud Free Stater has already produced four top-15 results this season, the most notable of which was a tied-third finish at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, where he pipped the likes of European Tour champions Simon Dyson and Darren Fichardt.
As an amateur Burmester won the World Team Championship in 2009. He turned professional shortly thereafter and has done plenty of learning in the three years since and already has six top-10s to his name.
Settled and ready after some psychological coaching, the 23-year-old has another chance to push for his maiden win this week. If he keeps pushing, eventually it will give.
“You grow up and learn with experience. My coach, Hendrik Buhrmann, has also been helping me to mentally find the front foot after making a mistake and that’s helping me to keep the momentum when things don’t go my way,” he explained.
While the majority of players struggled in the windy conditions, leader Titch Moore gave lessons directly from the course, birdieing three of his first four holes on his way to 12-under-par.
“The plan was to leave the rest behind. I got off to a really good start and kept it going from there, and all-in-all I played really solidly and I’m happy with where I am,” he said.
He eagled the seventh before cruising to the clubhouse lead on 12-under.
“I gave myself a lot of chances, but my eagle at seven was special. I knocked it on the back edge and holed it from there. I hit a beautiful drive and then pitched my eight-iron almost straight into the hole. It went to about 30 foot and I made that,” he explained.