Dean comes home at speed for Affinity Cup lead
With his eagle putt on the 18th Dean Burmester turned around his shaky on Wednesday round at the Lost City Golf Course, moving into a share of the 36-hole lead at the Nedbank Affinity Cup.
“Good finish again today. I had a nice eagle on 18, but I didn’t really get it going early on. I struggled with a lot of club selection – I was short or long all day, and I made a couple of bad swings coming in on the back nine, which cost me,” he said.
The 23-year-old from Bloemfontein is used to the sun beating down, but not to leading tournaments. He struggled with the pressure, but quickly learnt how to handle himself at the top.
“I think this morning I was quite tense. It’s been a while since I’ve been leading a tournament, last one was the Telkom PGA Championship. I was pressuring myself to do too well, and I went at a few flags I shouldn’t have. I learnt from it, and on the back nine I got nice and relaxed and had a blast coming in the last few holes,” he said.
He’s taken five top-10s over his two years on tour, but needs to find that winning mentality in order to see off the challenge from his co-leader Trevor Fisher Jnr.
“We practice for this, for getting in the mix,” said Burmester. “Every time we get a chance, we’d love to push on and win one. That’s what we’re looking for, but if it’s not your week, it’s not your week.”
Fisher took back-to-back wins at the Wild Waves Challenge and Vodacom Origins of Golf Sishen earlier this year. He was keen to add another trophy to his cabinet ahead of the SA Open next week.
“We always think we know what to do, but each day is a challenge,” he said. “I just hit some good shots and I’ve been staying calm and patient. I get a bit hard on myself sometimes, so I’m just trying to enjoy a bit out there.”
Rookie Jared Harvey had a rollercoaster round, but managed to reach the clubhouse at seven-under for the tournament. He’ll head into the final round one off the pace, sharing third with Louis Calitz, Allan Versfeld and Grant Veenstra.
“I had two eagles, one double and nearly an eagle on the last. A pretty mixed bag today, lots of birdies, lots of drops, all of it,” said Harvey. “All-in-all I’m happy, and the two eagles were great. Shot of the week for me on four – three-wood from 250 yard up the hill and I hit it to three feet,” he said.
The 24-year-old beat Burmester 4&3 during round three of the ISPS Handa SA Match Play Championship last week, a memory he’ll draw on tomorrow.
“I think I’m close, and I keep putting myself in these positions,” said Harvey. “You know you’re a rookie and haven’t played too many, but you start to think you can cross the line soon. I’ve got the game at the moment that could get me through.”