His lowest finish in a tournament on the Sunshine Tour in 2015 is 18th, and Dean Burmester has a victory to go with four other top-10 finishes, putting him in sixth place after eight events in the 2015 Order of Merit. You might say he’s having a good year.
And he kept the ball rolling with an opening four-under-par 67 in the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, giving himself a decent chance of contending again over the weekend after he was just two shots off the first-round lead.
“I like to think it’s been a good start to the year,” he said after his first round at the Heritage Golf Club. “I’ve been playing nicely for a while, so it’s great to be out here and keeping the good golf going.”
Burmester started his professional life on the Sunshine Tour with a lowly 105th in the 2010 Order of Merit, and got himself going properly the following year with a pair of runner-up spots on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour, and then a share of second in that circuit’s Tour Championship.
He was inside the top five four times on the Sunshine Tour in 2012, and then broke through in the 2013 Polokwane Classic for his maiden victory. He had another in 2014 in the Sun City Classic, while his win in last month’s Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open on his former home course at Royal Harare took things to another level.
All that has created a level of expectation – for him, for his fans, the media and for his sponsors. “There definitely is pressure coming into Mauritius after I have played as well as I have,” he said. “There are big perks at the end of the year, with the Investec Cup next year, and with the top two guys on the Sunshine Tour getting into the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“I’ve given myself a chance to get into the Nedbank, so these big money events like here in Mauritius are everything for us on the Sunshine Tour. I’m off to a good start, and we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the week.”
Part of the joy of getting into a tournament like the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open is that it gives him a shot at winning status on The European Tour or the Asian Tour, as the event is the first to be sanctioned by the three tours.
And more, there is the pleasure of being in the paradise of the Indian Ocean island. “I might go and snorkel a bit this afternoon,” he said after he finished his first round, “and see if I can catch some fish this week too!”