The 25-year-old was tied for the lead on 15-under-par as he came down the last hole, and thick crowds added to the pressure, but he confidently fired at the pin and his wedge approach stopped two feet from the cup. He boxed the putt to go 16-under and secured a one-shot victory over Brasil’s Adilson da Silva.
“I had to go for the flag and that was the moment that did it for me, that shot,” said Burmester. “I knew I had that putt to win and the hole looked very small. There was a lot of pressure in the air and I told myself to commit as much as I could.”
It was a stoic performance from the Bloemfontein local, who was on fire down the stretch and birdied the 12th, 14th, 16th and 18th on his way to a Sunday 67 and his third Sunshine Tour title.
“If you had told me two years ago that I’d be a three-time champ I would have laughed it off, but now it’s real and we’ll be looking to bigger and better things. This is the biggest win in my career and a massive stepping stone and hopefully we can kick on to Europe and America,” he said.
The R1.8-million tournament yielded his biggest payday to date, but the win was extra special because he was born in Zimbabwe and grew up playing at Royal Harare, where his mother holds the course record.
“I have lots of memories of this place and the Zimbabweans who played here; guys like Nick Price and Mark McNulty were huge inspirations growing up. This is my sixth year in a row playing this tournament and the locals come out to support me every time. To pull off a win in front of them is probably the most emotional thing I’ve done in my life,” he said.
Da Silva led by four shots at the start of the day, but he was unable to maintain his pace and carded a sluggish 71 during the final round. The 12-time Sunshine Tour champ finished the week in sole second on 15-under-par.
Future stars Erik van Rooyen and JC Ritchie both had a superb week and shared third place on 11-under-par, while Jacques Blauuw finished the week in sole fifth on 10-under.