Par-3s key to Burmester’s round at Mooinooi

Dean Burmester picked up birdies on both the par-threes on his homeward nine on Friday to move to 10-under-par and an early two-stroke lead in the R500,000 Platinum Classic presented by UD Trucks.

“Par-threes seem to be my weakness,” he said, “but lately I’ve been playing them nicely and it’s turned my game around.”

Those accounted for two of seven he made in his six-under-par 66, and, with a bogey on the 311-metre second, it opened the way for some fireworks on the back nine after he turned in one-under 35 with his second birdie coming on the ninth.

“I made three in a row in the middle of the back nine,” he said. And, because the 54-hole tournament is played on the nine-hole Mooinooi Golf Club layout – the only such course on the Sunshine Tour – he had familiar territory ahead of him.

“You get used to the greens when you reach the back nine.” he said, “I was hitting it well all day, and I just made some putts coming in.”

Burmester had a two-stroke lead over Rookie of the Year leader Danie van Tonder, who carded a three-under-par 69 in a round which, like Burmester’s, had seven birdies, but also four bogeys.

James Kamte and Allan Versfeld shared third in the clubhouse on seven-under-par, and Versfeld’s round was illuminated by an ace on the 141-metre 15th.

The 2011 Sunshine Tour Rookie of the year used a nine-iron to record the first hole-in-one of his professional career, and it also got him a cheque for R10,000 from UD Trucks MD Johan Richards – a consolation for not recording the ace in the final round when a R200,000 U35 truck was up for grabs for the first perfect fluke.

It’s the second tournament in a row Burmester has got himself into contention after his solid performance in the Telkom PGA Championship last month.

“Being in contention keeps the game sharp,” he said. “And winning gives you exemptions and things like that. So giving myself a chance week-in and week-out is the goal – and then trying to finish off.”

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