Potchefstroom Country Club experienced a Monthly Medal on Saturday that will go down in history as the first time a South African golfer, amateur or professional, has signed for a 16-under-par round of 56.
The 20-year-old Christiaan Burke, a member of the golf club as well as GolfRSA’s national squad, mixed eight birdies and six pars with an incredible four eagles, including a sublime hole-out from 100 metres on the 8th hole of the 6,415-metre layout to go out in a scarcely believable 26 strokes, before coming home in 30.
Speaking after the round, Burke said: “This beat my last personal best score by four shots and it is definitely the best round of golf that I have ever played! A lot of people might think the golf course is easy but if you don’t play well from tee to green, it makes for an extremely challenging round. A two-club wind was present on occasion but conditions were ideal for scoring; I never imagined I’d be signing for a 56 …”
A closing birdie on the 18th hole took Burke above Louis Oosthuizen, one of his golfing idols along with Tiger Woods, who famously shot 57 at Mossel Bay Golf Club back in 2002 when Oosthuizen was still a fledgling professional. Daniel Greene is the only other South African to have signed for a 57, with his round played at Bosch Hoek Golf Club in 2019.
A member of the GolfRSA national squad since 2018, Burke has represented South Africa at both The Links Trophy and The British Amateur. Staying level-headed, Burke has no immediate plans to turn professional.
“I want to keep building on my amateur golf career by representing South Africa in more local and international tournaments, and I would love to experience more victories in the big events, such as the Northern Amateur Matchplay, which I won in 2019 as well as my recent win on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour.”
Christiaan has come a long way since his earliest memory of playing on the mashie course in Vereeniging as a six-year-old.
Having taken the game seriously from the age of thirteen onwards, the level of improvement evident in Burke’s golf game has been immense and under the watchful eye of his coach, Grant Veenstra, it might not be too long before the youngster from Potchefstroom tees it up in his favourite tournament of all – the Masters.
*Preferred lies were in play so, unfortunately, Christiaan’s round will not count as the official course record.