The Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open is set to start on Thursday at Royal Harare Golf Club and for Dean Burmester, it brings back memories of where his life-changing year on The Sunshine Tour started.
Testament to his Investec Cup victory and four awards at the Sunshine Tour Players Awards, Burmester was without a doubt the hottest golfer on tour last season, and it all began with his victory in Harare.
Burmester said, “It’s lovely to be back home. It’s the first one I’m defending this year and it’s exciting. I was walking the fairways in the pro-am yesterday and was going through the memories of the shots I hit and how I pulled it off. It’s just amazing.”
This time around, Burmester is a far more experienced campaigner and boasts a PGA Tour debut to his name in The Puerto Rico Open.
He said, “That was obviously great fun. Puerto Rico is an amazing place. I was fortunate to play in that event and actually play on the weekend. It was a nice PGA Tour debut for me, I made the cut but obviously I had higher expectations. Overall I think the game was good and I learnt quite a lot and hopefully we can use that to my advantage this week.”
Although there have been various multiple winners of the championship, Burmester is aiming to join childhood hero Nick Price as the only player to successfully defend the event.
He said, “If I could defend it, obviously I’ll be up there with one of my childhood and all-time heroes Mr. Nick Price. It’s one of the reasons I’m back this week. I said after I won the tournament that I was going to be back this year, so it’s really exciting to have that opportunity to create history like that.”
The 156-man field will battle it out for their share of R1.8-million and with the course looking considerably softer than last year, lookout for some blistering scores.