Zimbabwe-born South African golfer Dean Burmester capped off a memorable season on the Korn Ferry Tour by securing his PGA TOUR card for the next season.
Burmester was among the 25 golfers to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2022/23 season at the Korn Ferry Tour finals.
The Mutare-born golfer needed a good finish in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio, to secure his card and he did just enough as he ground his way to a share of 46th on four-under-par for the week.
This was enough for him to gain the points he needed to take him over the line in his quest for a PGA Tour card.
“Man, it’s a long road from where I came from. It’s surreal. A junior taking up the game fairly late; always played when I was younger, and my parents just dragged me to the golf course on holidays, playing 72 holes a day,” Burmester told reporters on Sunday.
“Now I got goosebumps from where I’m going to, number one tour in the world and the best job in the world and I’m just so excited.
“Only when I realised I was in and that I’ve given myself to be on the PGA Tour. With everything is going on in golf, to have an opportunity to play the greatest tour in the world is super exciting.”
— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) August 28, 2022
Last year, Burmester found his way back to the winner’s circle as he clinched the Sunshine Tour’s PGA Championship and then claimed his second DP World Tour title at the Tenerife Open in Spain.
Despite not tasting victory this year so far, Burmester captured two runner-up finishes at the Dimension Data Pro-Am and Steyn City Championship.
Burmester then finished T10 at the Scottish Open and earned a career-best finish at a Major when he finished T11 at the 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course.
“To do well in the Scottish Open and the Open, my agent called me up and said, I have enough points to get on the Korn Ferry Finals and I was definitely going to play. There’s no way, I’m backing down on that,” said Burmester.
“So much blood, sweat and tears. There have been good and hard times. My caddie and I have been together for four years and he has been through a lot, caddying for over 17 years and it’s the first time he’ll be on the PGA Tour.”
Although he now competes under the South African flag, Burmester was born in Mutare and learnt the sport at Claremont Golf Club in Juliasdale, Manicaland, where his parents were both members and former club champions.
His father played international cricket for Zimbabwe while his mother Mitchelle played for the Southern African country as an amateur and holds the women’s course record at Royal Harare Golf Club.
He began dabbling in golf as an elementary schooler but didn’t start to consider it a realistic career pursuit until age 17, when he won the first tournament he entered, breaking 70 to do so.
He turned pro at age 20, earned Sunshine Tour status through Q-School and commenced a steady upward progression.
Now he’s headed to the PGA Tour.