Dean looks good at home

Dean Burmester has finished in the top 20 at his last two tournaments, so he looks good as he heads for the Golden Pilsener Zimababwe Open, his national open, at Royal Harare Golf Club this week.

“I’m on a bit of a run. The golf is good, my putting is improving, and mentally I’m getting stronger and stronger every time. For me this is home. I was born here, so to win this one would be awesome. My confidence is high. Obviously there is pressure, but you just stay focused and stick to the job at hand,” he said.

But the event is important to more than just one Burmester. “This is massive,” he said. “My whole family grew up in Zim, and this would be a sweet one to win. My parents drove up from Botswana to watch, and my brother is on the bag. My aunt is in town at the moment, so it’s really special to have everyone here.

The 22-year-old leapt into contention at the KCM Zambia Open last October, but imploded on day four, dropping eight shots by the turn. He has since become a bright light for the future of the Sunshine Tour, most recently finishing tied 13th at the Telkom PGA Championship and tied fourth at the Platinum Classic.

He reminisced over his progression as a golfer, saying: “Zambia was my first real taste of getting up there in a big tournament. The way Jean Hugo (his playing partner for the final round) handled himself taught me a lot. I suppose I’m learning, just like everyone else.

“At Telkom I just tried to stay as calm as I could, even though I was very nervous. Making eagle at the end of the final day really topped off a good week.

“At Platinum I just kept it all together. The putts didn’t drop – it wasn’t my day, wasn’t my time. But I took a lot out of the tournament. I was very happy with the way I played all week, I didn’t make many mistakes. And that’s what I try to do every week, just minimize mistakes.”

Burmester was looking forward to a good week at his home open, and felt that success in Harare proved the strength of the winner. “This is a big stepping stone because the field is really good quality. The course is always in really good condition and the guys always come up here because they enjoy coming to this event. So I feel that if you can win here you can basically win anywhere, even a co-sanctioned event. The guys on the Sunshine Tour are just getting better and better. I feel that Jbe Kruger winning here and then going on to where he is just proves how tough this tournament is to win,” he said.

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