ZIMBABWE-BORN Dean Burmester took advantage of his familiarity with the Royal Harare Golf Club layout after carding six-under-par 66 to stay in contention on 11-under-par 133 at the halfway mark of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open yesterday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The long-hitting 25-year-old golfer wrapped up his second round with a long putt for birdie which left him just a shot behind defending champion Jbe’ Kruger, who carded 68 yesterday to set the midway mark at 12-under-par 132.
After his brilliant round which included our birdies, two eagles and two bogeys, Burmester, who has been enjoying a successful season on the Sunshine Tour, said he had sounded out some advice from his mother, Michelle, who holds the ladies course record at Royal Harare.
“It was nice to finish off with a good roll. It feels like the hard work is paying off, and it’s about time. It’s a really nice time of the year to play well and hopefully we can keep it up for the next two days,” Burmester said.
“Growing up here, playing here really helped. You know my mum holds the (ladies) course record here, so it was nice to chat with her and hear what she used to do back in the day . . . that always pays dividends,” he said.
Although he is currently classified as a South African, Burmester, who has been playing with a Zimbabwe flag on his bag this week, said plans to represent the country of his birth were now at an advanced stage.
“I think the Zimbabwe flag could be coming very soon rather than later. I’ve been in contact with a few guys. You know Olympics and World Cup and that kind of thing is now in my range, so we just have to get the logistics down and I think it will be done,” said Burmester, whose father Mike played Test cricket for Zimbabwe.
Another player who benefited from his prior knowledge of the course was Brazilian Adilson da Silva, who shot four-under-par 68 to remain within two shots of the lead on 10-under-par 132, three shots clear of fourth-placed JC Ritchie.
“I have some sort of idea what to do around here, which helps a lot,” he said afterwards.
“I like coming back here. You know I’ve family and friends here. So it’s always a special week on tour for me. This is a tournament that I’d really like to win,” said Da Silva, who played all his amateur golf and the early part of his professional career in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Mark Williams faded after a promising first round performance after a disappointing three-over-par 75 for the 36-hole total of one-under-par 143, while Ryan Cairns is also on one-under-par after another level par round of 72.
TC Charamba also made the cut after carding 72 to remain on two-over-par 146, while junior golfer Stuart Krog shot a solid round of one-under-par 71 for a total of three-over-par.