PRETORIA (Reuters) - A blistering start allowed Dean Burmester to surge away from the field at the start of the final round before surviving a late wobble to secure his maiden European Tour title when he won the Tshwane Open by three shots on Sunday.
The 27-year-old South African birdied his first three holes and turned in 29 to blow away the rest of the field as overnight leaders Alexander Bjork and Scott Jamieson faltered early.
Burmester was four ahead after nine holes and then six shots ahead of the pack but hit bogeys at the 16th and 17th before paring the last hole to finish with a 65 for an 18-under-par total of 266.
“I knew that if I could get through unscathed on the back nine I would make it but bogeys weren’t great. I was just trying to keep myself calm. I never thought I was that far ahead, it was only when I got to the 17th that my caddie said to me: ‘Don’t worry, we’ve got this’,” he said at the presentation ceremony.
Mikko Korhonen of Finland and Spaniard Jorge Campillo were runners-up on 269 with American Peter Uihlein a further stroke back after he carded five birdies on the back nine of his final round to storm up the field.
Swede Bjork, in his first season on the tour, finished fifth but fellow overnight leader Jamieson of Scotland had a horror round of 78, hitting three double bogeys to end well down the field tied for 22nd place at six under.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Clare Fallon