He took a little while to shake off the rust, but Dean Burmester closed with a six-under-par 66 to finish fourth in last week’s Sun City Challenge and climb into the world’s top 150 for the first time in his career.
As the 26-year-old jetted off to play in this week’s Challenge Tour tournament, the GANT Open in Turku, Finland, he finds himself in 150th position on the Official World Golf Rankings and with a chance to go one better than his second place in Aegean Airline Challenge Tour last month.
He started the Sunshine our event at the Lost City Golf Club slowly, fighting off the effects of three bogeys for his opening one-under 71, and a double-bogey six on the fifth in the second round saw him finish with a two-over 74, but he finished with a flourish in the 54-hole event, carding a six-under-par 66 for his five-way share of fourth with Adilson Da Silva, Neil Schietekat, Danie van Tonder and Wallie Coetsee.
Burmester had a three-week stint in Europe on the Challenge Tour starting towards the end of June, and got progressively better in each outing. After missing the cut in the Najeti Open, he had a share of 22nd in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge before he was runner-up to Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia in Germany.
His performances have seen him to 45th on the Challenge Tour money list, and he will have his sights firmly set on getting inside the top 15 – a position from which he can earn his European Tour card.
He has built his successful season on his share of third behind George Coetzee in March’s Tshwane Open, and that has him in fifth spot on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit with more money than he has earned in his career so far.
He followed that with a share of 20th in the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, after which there was a two-month break over the winter period on the Sunshine Tour, and during that time Burmester’s wife, Mel, gave birth to his first child. “It’s absolutely amazing to see how things have changed. A year ago we were still planning our wedding and now I’m married and my son, Jordan, has just been born, which has totally changed our life and perspective,” he said.
Part of that change of perspective means he will have to get used to the view from the top: He finished 2014 in 669th spot on the world rankings. Now he’s 150th and climbing.