Burmester dominates Sunshine Tour awards

Dean Burmester after winning the Sun Windmill Challenge in Bloemfontein. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Dean Burmester was the talk of the town in Johannesburg on Monday night during the annual Sunshine Tour Players Awards as he pocketed four of the seven honours up for grabs.

The 26-year-old from Bloemfontein won four tournaments on the Sunshine Tour during the 2015 season and added to his celebrations at the awards evening with the news that he had moved into the top 100 players in the world, according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

He took the Gary Player Trophy for the best stroke average of the 2015 season (69.34 over 59 rounds of tournament golf), the Media’s Player of the Year as voted by members of South Africa’s golf journalists, the Players’ Player of the Year, which is an accolade from his fellow professionals.

He also raked in the Commissioner’s Award, which is given by Selwyn Nathan, the Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour, to a player who has served professional golf in South Africa particularly well.

The other awards went to George Coetzee, who received the Sid Brews Trophy for winning the 2015 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, Rourke van der Spuy, who took the Bobby Locke Trophy for Rookie of the Year for 2015 and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who topped the Big Easy Tour’s Order of Merit.

Lighting seemingly struck twice on the Montagu course at Fancourt in George as George Coetzee sunk birdie, birdie and eagle to edge Burmester by one stroke at the Dimension Data Pro-Am last week.

Coetzee finished his final three holes during the third round on the course in exactly the same fashion as on Saturday.

The second place finish also saw Burmester, break into the Top 100 on the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career.

The Zimbabwean-born golfer has claimed two top finishes on the European Tour this season already with a tied 10th at the South African Open at Glendowner and a fourth place finish at the recent Tshwane Open.

The tour is in Johannesburg for 2016 Eye of Africa PGA Championship, the event is the final event on the Chase to the Investec Cup calendar, which is comfortably led by Burmester.

“It’s is a big deal for me, I’m an Investec brand ambassador sponsored by Investec, so it’s really special,” Burmester told Courant.

“Quite close to home, I really enjoy the golf course out there. Having led for all this time it would be quite heart sore to give it away at the end, so I’m working really hard on trying to retain my top position.”

The top sixteen finishers will contest for the Investec Cup.