Burmester goes low on back 9 in Scottish Open

Big hitting Dean Burmester ensured he avoided the third round cut with a brilliant back nine on Saturday in the abrdn Scottish Open on the European Tour at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.

The South African started the day on the cut line but was back to even-par after bogeys at the second and third and was in danger of missing Sunday. But a remarkable stretch saw Burmester card par-par-birdie-eagle-birdie-eagle-birdie-par-par for the lowest back nine at the Scottish Open this century after coming home in 28.

His five-under-par 66 saw him climb into a share of 31st ahead of the final round. He is at seven-under for the tournament, seven behind leaders Matt Fitzpatrick of England and Thomas Detry of Belgium.

Burmester was just one shot behind the leading South African in the field, George Coetzee, who, after his great two opening rounds, battled to a two-over-par 73. That left him at eight-under for the tournament, six off the lead.

Branden Grace carded a two-under 69 to move to four-under in 57th together with Brandon Stone, who also had a third-round 69. Christiaan Bezuidenhout had a one-under 70 to be at three-under heading into the final round.

Elsewhere, on the Challenge Tour, Jacques Blaauw, after his great second round, battled his way to a level-par 71 on Saturday to leave himself on four-under-par in the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge, seven shots behind the leaders Hugo Leon of Chile and Marcel Siem of Germany.

Blaauw made two early bogeys on the first and fifth to set his challenge back a bit. He picked one of those shots back with a birdie on eight. Two more birdies on 11 and 12 got him into red numbers, but he dropped another shot on the 14th to finish the round level-par.

Hennie du Plessis was on three-under in 22nd, and Jacques Kruyswijk shot a three-under 68 to move to two-under for the tournament in 26th. Oliver Bekker shot a level-par 71 to stay at level-par for the week, and Jayden Schaper’s three-over took him to three-over in a share of 57th.

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