Dean Burmester remained near the top at the WGC-HSBC Champions with a Friday round of 70 in cold and breezy conditions at Sheshan International Golf Club.
It’s Burmester’s WGC debut, yet he looked comfortable in 11th place on the leaderboard, his name sandwiched between Paul Casey and Rickie Fowler.
The South African started on the back nine and made short work of that stretch with birdies 14th, 16th and 18th. He slowed on the front nine, where a late drop pushed him out of seventh place.
He signed for 70 and a total of six under par to make the weekend tied for 11th with Fowler.
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama put his incredible ball striking to good use on Friday and shot 65 to reach 13 under par, leaving second-placed Bill Haas and Russel Knox three shots behind.
Francesco Molinari, Richard Bland and Daniel Berger shared fourth place on eight under par.
Burmester’s career has been on a steady rise since he won on the Sunshine Tour in 2012, but his share of 11th this week is a serious feather in his cap.
He’s mixing it with the best in the world, playing an elite course, and producing the goods. Behind him on the leaderboard are all four major champions from 2016, along with world number one and two, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson.
Even if the weekend goes badly for Burmester, he’s proven that he can compete with the best, rain or shine.