Dean Burmester slipped out of the top 20 on Saturday as he carded a one-under-par 71 in the third round of the European Tour’s AVIV Dubai Championship on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Burmester made five birdies and four bogeys after his opening rounds of 65 and 68 had put him firmly in contention. At 12-under-par for the tournament, he is seven shots off the lead shared by Joachim B Hansen of Denmark and Italy’s Francesco Laporta who were on 19-under after the third round. They led by one from France’s Antoine Rozner, with Kalle Samooja of Finland in fourth on 17-under.
Burmester’s putting was not as good as it was in the opening two rounds, as he had 30 putts compared to the 28 and 26 of his first two. His driving accuracy also let him down as he hit just five of 14 fairways from the tee.
The man who won last week’s PGA Championship back home in South Africa was joined in a share of 24th by Daniel van Tonder, who has benefitted from some time off. Van Tonder carded a three-under 69 in the third round to go with his 69-66 opening 36 holes. It was a bogey-free third round for him as he looks for a big finish to try and sneak into the DP World Tour Championship. He is currently 76th on the Race to Dubai rankings.
Zander Lombard was on 11-under-par in a share of 33rd after a two-under 70. That leaves him with a lot of work to do if he is to retain his European Tour card. He’s projected to finish 158th in the Race to Dubai rankings, with players down to 123rd likely to keep their cards at this stage.
Darren Fichardt was on nine-under in 49th after a third-round 70. He’s projected to 116th, and looks set to retain his playing privileges. At eight-under in 55th after a three-under 69, Justin Harding is safely ensconced in 26th place on the rankings.