Dean Burmester kept his head on Saturday as he overcame five bogeys in the third round of the European Tour’s D+D Czech Masters to card a level-par 72 for a share of 12th to stay within sight of the lead going into the final round.
Although, at seven-under, he is six shots off the lead which is held by Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen at 13-under, Burmester will have the satisfaction of knowing he fought his way out of a tight spot in the third round to keep a glimmer of hope alive.
His frustrating day started with a bogey on the first, and there were four more – on the fifth, ninth, 10th and 14th. Frustratingly for a man who is as long off the tee as Burmester is, that bogey on the first and two others were on par-fives, all of which should be providing at least a look at eagle and then a fairly simple par-putt should he miss out on the chances of picking up two strokes.
To his credit, he picked up two birdies coming home, on the 15th and the 18th, which enabled him to go into the final round knowing he had rescued himself from a position that could have been even more frustrating.
Jacques Kruyswijk got it to three-under for the third round as he walked off the 10th. He was at 10-under and within striking distance of the top of the leaderboard. But he made four bogeys – on 11, 14, 15 and 18 – interspersed with just a single birdie on his way home. He, like Burmester, signed for a level-par 72, and, like Burmester, he’s in a share of 12th.
Brandon Stone carded a two-under 70 to move to five-under for the tournament and a share of 20th. Daniel van Tonder is in the same position after his third-round three-under 69, while JC Ritchie had a one-under 71 to move to four-under.
Bryce Easton also had a 71 to be one-under for the tournament in a share of 50th, Darren Fichardt is on level-par after his 72, and Zander Lombard battled to a three-over 75 and a share of 59th on one-over.
The 31-year-old Pulkkanen produced a stunning 66 at Albatross Golf Resort, carding seven birdies and a single bogey to establish the first 54 hole lead of his European Tour career. But he will have a stellar chasing pack trying to hunt him down on Sunday, with major champion Henrik Stenson and Americans Johannes Veerman and Sean Crocker in a three-way tie for second on 11-under.