Burmester wins Zim Open

HARARE – Zimbabwe-BORN South African golfer Dean Burmester described his come from behind win to lift the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open on Sunday as simply “surreal.”

The 25-year-old Nyanga-raised golfer edged Adilson da Silva of Brazil on the final hole of the tournament, by one stroke, to finish with a total 16-under-par.

The duo had reached on the 18th tied on 15-under-par but da Silva skewed his four-foot putt wide to leave the door wide open for Burmester, who just 18 holes earlier had been in the woods four strokes off the pace.

The Mutare-born golfer calmly sank his two-foot putt before fist punching the air in celebration of his first Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open title from six attempts.

His final round 67 included seven birdies and two bogeys whilst da Silva’s three bogeys and four birdies could only manage 71.

“Massively emotional for me,” Burmester told reporters after winning his third Sunshine Tour event.

“Being the home grown boy who was in contention myself and da Silva both of us being in the final group was amazing.

“Hole 13 was a turning point for me. I pulled by tee shot left into the tree. But I managed to pull it off onto the green.”

Burmester was playing for his adopted country South Africa after his family was “basically thrown out” of the country at the height of the land distribution exercise.

He, however, still hopes to play for the country of his birth and is ironing out the finer details for him to represent Zimbabwe at the 2016 Olympics, regardless of the scars that he still bears from the 2003 ordeal.

His heart, however, bleeds that the state of golf has deteriorated.

“I think Zimbabwe has a bit of ground work to do. When I grew up, the junior system was fantastic.

“We used to play a different tournament on a different course every day of the week during the holidays,” he said.

“But it’s positive to see the amateurs coming up and obviously Brendan (de Jonge) is a big inspiration after Nick (Price) to all of us.

“This is the biggest win of my career so this is a stepping stone,” said Burmester, whose father Mark played for Zimbabwe in the country’s inaugural cricket Test match against India in 1992.

Meanwhile, Stuart Krog walked away with the highest placed amateur award after being the only amateur to make the cut, finishing on 12-over-par.

Ryan Cairns closed tied for 14th on four-under-par.

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