European Tour

'No words to describe it', says SA's Burmester after ending 4-year title drought

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South African golfer Dean Burmester (Getty Images)
South African golfer Dean Burmester (Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images
  • South African golfer Dean Burmester sealed his second European Tour title by cruising to victory at the Tenerife Open on Sunday.
  • It was an emotional win for Burmester, who hadn't won since his maiden victory at the 2017 Tshwane Open.
  • Burmester's win sees him close in on the Top 100 of the world golf rankings, as he aims to play himself into more prestigious events.

Dean Burmester played flawless golf on Sunday to cruise to his second European Tour title at the Tenerife Open.

The South African carded a magnificent 9-under 62 as he sealed a five-shot victory at the Golf Costa Adeje in Spain.

Burmester started the final round one shot off the pace and scored nine birdies to finish on 25-under-par for the tournament.

It was an emotional triumph for the 31-year-old, who claimed his first win in just over four years. 

"It's absolutely a ridiculous feeling, it's a dream having a five-shot lead coming down the last - it's world-class. There are no words that can describe it, it's four years of struggle and hard work," said Burmester.

"Jason, my caddie and I have been together two years - he had never won so it's his first win and he deserves it because he's been with me through thick and thin. It's unbelievable, I can't even describe it."

Burmester's first win on the European Tour came on home soil in 2017 at the Tshwane Open.

Since then, Burmester has come close, including a tied for second finish at the Sunshine Tour's Kit Kat Group Pro-Am in March, but he never quite got the over the line.

On Sunday, Burmester birdied the 18th hole to return to the winner's circle.

It was an emphatic victory with Burmester stating that he drew from past experiences to guide him to the title.

"I think any time you can make your game travel, you're achieving great things, so I'm ecstatic to win here. Some of the conditions here are actually quite similar to Africa," said Burmester following his win on Sunday.

"It's pretty similar to the last time I won at the Tshwane Open - the week before I had a real chance at the Joburg Open and then got frustrated. I got in my own way, got really emotional and it was it was quite nasty out there.

"So I learned from that before the Tshwane Open and went on to win. A similar thing happened, last week I played really nicely for three days and then shot one over on Sunday so it was purely mental, getting in my own way," he continued.

"So on Friday, I said to myself, 'OK this weekend, I'm going to learn from that' and not get in my own way and just let it happen and if it's my time, it's my time. So I drew on that experience and that helped a lot."

Burmester banked a winner's cheque of €230 500 (R4 million) and moved to 18th on the European Tour's Race of Dubai Rankings.

The victory also enabled Burmester to climb 61 places to 107th on the Official World Golf Rankings.

Burmester hopes to break the Top 100 again as he aims to play in a few majors this year.

"Obviously, I would love to get into the Top 100 in the world; it's quite lucrative. A lot of things happen when you're in the Top 100 in the world so if I can get back there, I'll be very excited," he said.

"I've made it to the final event in Dubai a few times but if I can get into the Top 20 at the end of the Race to Dubai, that also gets you a lot of extra perks so I'm quite excited to give that a shot."

The victory is the fourth in the last seven events by a South African and follows Garrick Higgo's triumph a week ago at the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.

Higgo was among the South African contingent waiting for Burmester on the 18th as he was sprayed with champagne after claiming the Tenerife Open title.

"It's amazing, just to have the support of our little group of South African guys. We're kind of like a family out here," said Burmester.

"We all travel a long way to come and ply our craft so just to have those guys on the 18th green, all the caddies, all the players, spraying me with champagne and congratulating me - there's no better feeling in the world."

Burmester, though, admitted to feeling homesick during the press conference and said he'd return to South Africa following next week's British Masters.

This week, the European Tour remains at Golf Costa Adeje for the Canary Islands Championship, which starts on Thursday.

"Confidence is a great thing, and a little bit of rhythm and a little bit of luck out there helps, but when you play well you get those good bounces and that's the way it is," said Burmester.

"Hopefully, I can go from strength to strength now and that'll be my plan. I won't stop working hard and trying to get better."

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