South African Open
Tour pro goes from throwing up on course on Friday to winning title on Sunday
It was a heck of a weekend for Dean Burmester. Again. The South African native shot rounds of 65 and 68 at Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate to go from making the cut on the number at the South African Open to winning the title by three shots over Renato Paratore with an 11-under 277 total.
The performance comes on the heels of Burmester winning a week earlier at the Joburg Open. Winning back-to-back titles is a career first for the 34-year-old. In turn he also is the first player from the LIV Golf League to win two DP World Tour titles after jumping to the rival circuit; both events are co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and the Sunshine Tour, with Burmester exempt because of his national status.
Making Burmester’s performance even more impressive was his physical state during Friday’s second round. Burmester says he woke up feeling sick.
“I woke up Friday and some 24-hour tummy bug or virus or something [hit me],” Burmester said. “I was throwing up on the golf course.”
Mid-way through the round, Burmester’s caddie even asked him if he might consider withdrawing, given his prospects for making the cut looked bleak. “He said, ‘You’ve got to watch your health. We’ve still got next week [Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in South Africa]. What do you want to do?’ And I said I just need to get through today. That’s all I’ve got to do. I couldn’t look down and hit a putt I was so dizzy. But managed to get a two over par with 36 putts.”
It was good enough to get to the weekend, when he was feeling better and ready to make a run at his fourth career DP World Tour title and a tournament that has a special place in his heart.
“It’s obviously for the South Africans one of the ones you always want to win,” Burmester said. “At this stage to be involved in this tournament and to win it, it’s pretty special.