His best round in a European Tour tournament saw Merrick Bremner charge up the leaderboard in the Open d’Italia on the weekend and his eventual share of 14th saw him clinch the final spot for this week’s Porsche European Open in Germany.
Bremner carded an eight-under-par 64 with 2 bogeys, eight birdies and an eagle to climb 36 spots on the leaderboard, finishing just four shots off the 19-under-par winning total by Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg.
“It’s fantastic, especially when there’s no more golf to play and you get in to the top 10,” he said after his round. “I hope I can hang on and get into Germany next week. A good finish will do a lot for me to get some form of exemption for next year, hopefully to get into Germany as well. Then I’m into the Dunhill Links the next week.”
He’s in to Germany, but he has flown back to South Africa for a few days to be with his pregnant wife before flying back to Europe to play the German tournament and the extremely lucrative Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland the following week.
The finish in Italy has given Bremner the kind of confidence boost he needed as he tries to get himself onto an international stage. “In the third round, I gave myself a few chances earlier on and didn’t convert,” he said.
“I don’t want to say the pressure mounts, but the feel of having so many opportunities and none going in kind of grinds at you after a while and then you find it harder and harder to make a putt. Today, I actually missed a four-footer on the first hole for birdie, and then rolled in three in a row after that. And then off I went. The two bogeys I made today were quite poor. I made bogey from the middle of the fairway on eight, and then 13 as well, but overall, I’m pleased.”
And while his round wasn’t the best he’s carded as a professional, he had good reason to be pleased. “I had a 63 twice on the Sunshine Tour. And both times I did it, I ended up winning the event,” he said. Those 63s came in the 2008 Telkom PGA Pro-Am and the 2013 Lombard Insurance Classic.