Par-busting Dean Burmester in Joburg Open dawn patrol 'honour'
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Johannesburg – The 2022 DP World Tour – the new name for the European Tour – begins on the first tee on the Firethorn course at Randpark on Thursday at precisely 6.30am in the R17,5-million Joburg Open, and hot-shot Dean Burmester has been granted the privilege of hitting the first tee-shot.
"Such an early start means getting a wake-up call at about 4 o'clock. But to be hitting the first shot of a new season on the rebranded tour - well, I don't mind at all because this is an incredible honour," said the popular 31-year-old after a practice day Wednesday.
Burmester is coming off a protracted birdie run both at home and abroad in 2021, the highlights being victory in the Tenerife Open on the European Tour and a win in the South African PGA Championship at home - good enough overall for a hefty R17-million in prize-money.
"I never enter an event if I don't think I can win it and the Joburg Open is no exception," said the big-hitting pro who will also take in next week's South African Open at Sun City and the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek after that in the DP World Tour's three-event pre-Christmas South African swing.
Joining Burmester in the 6.30am dawn patrol are England's David Howell and talented 24-year-old Dane Marcus Helligkilde, three times a winner on the Challenge Tour in 2021 including two of his previous four starts, the last of these being the Grand Final.
SELECTED TEE-TIMES FOR THURSDAY
1st tee: 6.30 Dean Burmester (SA), David Howell (Eng), Marcus Helligkilde (Den); 11.50 Toto Thimba (SA), JC Ritchie (SA), Matthew Jordan (Eng); 12 noon Dylan Frittelli (SA), Ross Fisher (Eng), Richard Sterne (SA); 12.10 Daniel Gavins (Eng), Richie Ramsay (Sco), Daniel van Tonder (SA); 12.20 George Coetzee (SA), Romain Langasque (Fra), Keenan Davidse (SA).
10th tee: 6.40 Matti Schmid (Ger), Jayden Schaper (SA), Dylan Naidoo (SA); 7am Wilco Nienaber (SA), Johannes Veerman (USA), Justin Harding (SA); 7.10 Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn), Darren Fichardt (SA), Brandon Stone (SA); 7.20 Justin Walters (SA), Darius Van Driel (Ned), Jaco Ahlers (SA).