The good scores just keep coming for Christiaan Burke, and he produced a bogey-free six-under-par 66 on Monday to take the first-round lead of the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour’s Chase to the Sunshine Tour #30 at Modderfontein Golf Club.
Recently, he won last week’s tournament on the same circuit, he’s won twice on the Bushveld Tour, and he shot an incredible 56 at his home club in Potchefstroom. This time, an eagle-three on the par-five 13th propelled him to a one-stroke lead over another amateur in rich form, Kyle de Beer of Port Elizabeth. De Beer was one ahead of Michael Kok, with Keelan van Wyk in fourth on three-under.
“I’ve been hitting the ball very well,” said Burke, who is now based at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate, “but I just didn’t make any putts on the front nine. It was quite windy, but it was not too cold in the sun. After the turn, the wind died down a little. What was left was coming off my roght when I teed off on 13, and I hit a good drive there. I had 166 in, and I hit my approach right at the flag, just six feet past and made the putt.”
He had made birdie on 10, and he followed the eagle with another birdie on the par-three 14th before making par all the way home.
De Beer was also bogey-free for his 67, and he, too, picked up an eagle which came on the par-five eighth. Michael Kok showed a welcome return to form, but he missed an opportunity to have a share of the lead when he made consecutive bogeys on 17 and 18. Van Wyk had six birdies and three bogeys in his 69.
One shot further back, in a share of fifth, Kyle McClatchie and Gerard du Plooy each carded two-under-par 70.
For Burke, who wants a good showing in the R&A’s Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes next June, all this good form is exactly what he’s after as he looks to finish off his time as an amateur with a flourish of as many victories as possible.
“I’m not going to do anything different,” he said. “Everything about my game is working well, so it’s a question of more of the same.”