“If I was to have to win one tournament, I wouldn’t mind it being this one or the Investec Cup next week,” he said. “Being an Investec player I’d like to keep the trophy in their offices.”
With a series of narrow tree-lined fairways and strategically placed bunkers within driving distance on most of them at Pretoria Country Club, most players have kept the cover firmly on their drivers for most of the low-scoring rounds achieved in the tournament so far.
But Burmester’s driver-sprinkled 68 took him to seven-under for the tournament, four back from the early second-round lead held by Spain’s Adrian Otaegui, who carded an eight-under-par 62 to propel him to 11-under at the halfway mark.
“I’m hitting a lot of drivers, which I don’t think a lot of guys are doing this week,” said Burmester after his round. “I hit 11 fairways today and I’ve been hitting it well the whole summer swing. I decided to take on the course this week and so far it’s paying off.”
And it’s all about getting to the Investec Cup in a good position for Burmester.
The Investec Cup is the culmination of a year-long chase for points, starting with the Telkom Business PGA Championship and ending with the Tshwane Open. The top 30 players on the Chase to the Investec Cup Bonus Pool ranking after the Tshwane Open will qualify for the season-ending tournament next week at Millvale Private Resort and the Lost City at Sun City.
The Investec Bonus Pool has a total prize money of R10-million with R3.5-million going to the winner. The Investec Cup tournament itself has prize money of R1-million with R 163,400 going to the winner.
“It’s a massive incentive for all of the guys that play locally,” said Burmester. “It’s not only the money, there is a lot of pride that goes into taking it, because it means that you’ve been consistent and a good performer over the whole season. Guys definitely strive to take that trophy home.
“I’m currently 16th in the Chase to the Investec Cup, and you want to get as high as you can, because if you win the tournament then you’ll have good odds of taking the Bonus Pool. If I have a good weekend in the Tshwane Open, then I should crack that top 10.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing during the second round for him, however. He made three bogeys together with his five birdies, and that left him further off the lead than would have been ideal.
“I played nicely today, but a couple of things didn’t go my way,” he said. “I landed in some divots on the fairways and had a few flyer lies, which led to my bogeys.
“I think Saturday is moving day. I’ll stick to the game plan and try to hit my wedges close. I’ll try to be aggressive and we can post a good number tomorrow then we should be in there by Sunday.”