Dean wants R4m prize
After sweeping the Sunshine Tour’s awards, Burmester is feeling confident about winning the Investec Cup
Fresh from sweeping most of the Sunshine Tour Players’ Awards this week, pro Zimbabwean golfer Dean Burmester says his main goal now is winning the Investec Cup. The tournament takes place at the Millvale Private Retreat Golf Club in Koster, North West, from March 9 to 12.
At a glittering ceremony at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Joburg, this week, the Bloemfontein-based golfer walked away with four of the seven honours up for grabs: The Gary Player Trophy for the best stroke average of last season; the Golf Writers’ Player of the Year, decided by the media; the Players’ Player of the Year, an accolade from fellow professionals; and the Commissioner’s Award, which is given by Selwyn Nathan, the executive director of the tour, to a contestant who has served professional golf in South Africa particularly well.
The 27-year-old player is currently leading all players on the circuit on points in the cup, with an impressive 2 600 collected from the 17 events he has so far played in.
Winning the cup would crown his impressive streak. The top 30 professional golfers wanting to compete in the showdown have to qualify by earning points from the tour’s contests. The overall victor in the 36-hole Investec Cup pockets R4 million.
Burmester believes that his pocketing of the awards will inspire him to do well at the Millvale showdown.
“I’m enjoying the best golf of my career at the moment. This has been proven by the awards I have collected as a result of my hard work on the golf course last season,” said the elated Zimbabwe-born player, who has moved into the top 100 on the official world golf rankings.
“Competition will be extremely tough at Millvale because the greens and fairways there are mostly narrow,” he said. “My consistency and accurate tee shots will make it easy for me to do well.”
Burmester said that, after the Investec Cup, he would participate in the Barclays Kenya Open in Nairobi from March 17 to 20.
“The contest is played under the banner of the Challenge Tour, which is the second tier to the European Tour. Winning it will set me up for greater things in my career.”
Burmester, who turned pro in 2010, has won six events on the local tour and featured on all the previous co-sanctioned events on the European Tour stage as well ( see box).
He credits his father, Mark, who is also his caddie, as his source of inspiration. “Ever since he carried my bag in 2014, I have been on top of my game. I believe my dad understands the way I play very well and this makes my game easy,” said Burmester.
He says fellow Zimbabwean and former three-time major winner Nick Price is his role model.
Of all his trophies, he said winning the Golden Pilsener Zimbab- we Open in 2014 had been his toughest triumph.
“I had to birdie the last hole to win the event. That was difficult, but I managed to win by a stroke.”
The most difficult event he has played in locally was the Tshwane Open on the European Tour at the Pretoria Country Club two weeks ago. He finished tied for fourth with an under-par five.
Charl Schwartzel won with a score of -16.
BIG SHOT Dean Burmester has been voted the best golfer on the Sunshine Tour. He now wants to win the Investec Cup