Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes, LIV Golf Correspondent
Apr 24 2024
- 4 MIN
Stingers Adelaide preview image Burmester

ADELAIDE, South Australia – If the Stingers can replicate the self-belief and superb form shown over the last six months by their best player, Dean Burmester, then their quest this season for an elusive team title could end this week at LIV Golf Adelaide.

Burmester finally broke through to secure his first LIV Golf victory in Miami earlier this month, beating Sergio Garcia on the second playoff hole, and he firmly believes that he and his three team mates are producing good enough form to clinch team success.

"We just need to put in a good Sunday," Burmester said while competing in Wednesday's pro-am competition at The Grange Golf Club. "The Sunday with all four (scores) to count now, there are so many variabilities and there can be so many changes in a short space of time so if all four of us can put in a good round, then we will be up there.

"All four guys are playing well enough to contend any week, so as long as we can put consistent rounds together on a Sunday, then we will have a chance to win."

The all-South African Stingers have come close to victory in three of their five starts this season - in Mayakoba (where they finished fifth), in Jeddah (second) and in Miami (third). However, a particular area of concern has been their form in the final round, which all too often has cost them dearly.

"If you look at Jeddah, Charl (Schwartzel) and Louis (Oosthuizen) were in the last group or the second-to-last group on Sunday and there is pressure in there," said Burmester. "You're not always going to go low in those groups because you are trying to win a tournament individually, so you're not really thinking of that.

"And then in Mayakoba, I was in the last group there on Sunday. Those things kind of play a factor but if you look at what the Crushers have done, they just believe that all four of them can play well at any time and that's what they did to us in Jeddah and there is a lot to learn from that."

The Stingers led by seven strokes heading into the final round in Jeddah before losing steam. They had to settle for second place after being blown away by the fast-finishing Crushers, who were a collective 20-under in the final round.

"It's just about sticking to your own game and knowing that three or four under will get the job done," said the long-hitting Burmester. "It's not super special but as long as all four of you play pretty solid, then you are going to do well."

Burmester has produced superb form over the past six months, winning consecutive tournaments in South Africa co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour late last year before tasting further success on the Blue Monster layout at LIV Golf Miami.

"Three wins in my last nine starts - I am very happy with that obviously," said the 34-year-old who was born in Mutare, Zimbabwe. "It's the result of a lot of hard work and my family life is stable, so my golf life is stable. I owe a lot of credit to a lot of people. It's not just me. I'm very happy with the way my game has been and I am excited to see what lies ahead for the rest of the year.

"Those two wins back in South Africa (the Joburg Open and the Investec South African Open) were really emotional wins because those are tournaments I have played in for the 15 years I have been a professional. I have pretty much played them every year, so it was great to get those under the belt and that gave me a lot of confidence going early into the season."

Burmester hinted at what was to come by finishing third at LIV Golf Mayakoba in February. Just two months later, he sealed a playoff victory over Garcia in Miami. After matching pars on the first playoff hole, Garcia found the water with his approach shot at the 18th while Burmester safely landed on the green for a two-putt par to win.

"To get that chance in Miami and then to capitalize on that is super special, especially against a guy I have looked up to for so long, in Sergio," smiled Burmester. "And with so many other great players in the field, it was a great affirmation of all the hard work and sacrifice I have put into it."

Burmester likes the look of The Grange Golf Club this week, and he has good memories of last year when the Stingers finished third at LIV Golf Adelaide while he and Schwartzel tied for seventh on the individual leaderboard.

"It's very much like a South African 'old style' golf course," said Burmester. "It's a little bouncier than what we have been used to in South Africa but the turf is nice and tight, and the sand and a lot of the eucalyptus or gum trees, as we would call them back in South Africa, give it a very 'home feel' so we like it. All four of us like moving the ball around both ways, so it's cool to have that option around here."