South Africa’s Dean Burmester turned on the magic on Sunday as he carded a stunning nine-under-par 62 to win the European Tour’s Tenerife Open on the Canary Islands by five strokes.
It was a majestic round of golf as he sailed his way to a nine-under-par 62, not dropping a shot while he pulverised drives off the tees, and showed deft touches around the greens. He matched it all with some superb putting, perhaps most significantly when he saved par on the ninth.
“That was probably the moment when I figured that I believe that there is something there,” he said. “I struck the putt and it rolled straight over my spot. I couldn’t believe I had hit such a perfect putt. It went in, and then there was a crucial par-save on 10, with a nice birdie on 11.”
Burmester is a player who thrives on positive momentum, and those three holes just kept things going after he had made five birdies in the first seven holes. In difficult conditions, he normally lets the momentum slide the other way, but this time, it was very different.
It showed on the 12th as he bombed a drive behind two fearsomely tall palm trees, which blocked his line to the green. “That’s a shot I grew up practicing,” he said. “You know, going straight over trees, and messing around in gardens. When I had that shot and it got to pin-high, I knew I could just keep going.”
He birdied the 13th, made pars on the difficult par-threes on 14 and 16, and made another birdie on 15. Then he smoked a drive 50 yards past his playing partners on the closing par-five, leaving himself just over 200 yards to the green. He put the ball on, and narrowly missed the eagle putt from 30 feet.
He had a tap-in birdie to finish at 25-under-par, and savour his first win outside South Africa, his first in four years after his Tshwane Open win in March 2017.
“There’s no words that can describe it,” he said. “It’s four years of struggle, hard work… you know, my caddie and I have been together for three years. He’s never won. This is his first one, and he deserves it – he’s been with me through thick and thin. It starts at home – family and everyone there. And then coaches… the whole team. It’s incredible.”
Second was Germany’s Nicolai Von Dellingshausen, who eagled the last to get into the runner-up spot. He was one clear of Pole Adrian Meronk and Finn Kalle Samooja, who were on 19-under for the tournament.
Next best of the South Africans was last week’s winner Garrick Higgo, who overcame three bogeys to close with a 69 and a share of eighth.
Behind him, Louis de Jager and Justin Harding were in a share of 12th on 15-under, Zander Lombard was in 42nd on 10-under after a closing level-par 71, Justin Walters carded a one-over 72 to finish 48th, and Haydn Porteous went one-under to end up in a share of 63rd.