Burmester ready to tee it up in “Africa’s Major”

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Dean Burmester during the 2017 BMW SA Open in Johannesburg PHOTO: LUKE WALKER / SUNSHINE TOUR

The 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge tees off on Thursday morning at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City.

Bloemfontein’s Dean Burmester, who already has five top 10 finishes on the European Tour to his name this season, will be teeing it up in the event for the first time in his career.

The 28-year-old will feature in one of the most exciting pairings of the opening round and plays alongside England’s Andy Sullivan and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, with their tee-off time at 10:28.

Burmester said that it’s any South African kid’s dream to play in the Million Dollar and it doesn’t get any bigger than this for a local player.

“Every little boy that plays golf in South Africa is watching the Nedbank and we watched Ernie and Retief and Trevor, and all the guys.

“Price, back in the day. And here we are. We’re quite a few South Africans in the field so hopefully, we can keep the trophy right here at home.”

The Pilanesberg regions plays into the favour of the South African golfers, and Burmester feels that this will once again be the case.

“I think when you have spent a bit of time in Europe, it does when you come back.

“Before I went to Turkey, I have been lucky enough to be at home for a few weeks, so I’ve kind of acclimatized.

“I think the heat plays in the South Africans’ favour so, you know the heat and the kikuyu grass.

“It will be good for the South Africans and hopefully we’ll see a few boys up there.”

The first players on the tee box tomorrow are Ian Poulter, Graeme Storm and Dylan Frittelli on the first, and Anthony Wall, Victor Dubuisson and Nacho Elvira on the 10th. – MORGAN PIEK