Dean Burmester is targeting a maiden Masters Tournament appearance as he tees it up in this week’s 25th anniversary edition of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
The South African would move into the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking with a victory at Doha Golf Club this week, and with it secure a place in the field at Augusta National for the year’s first Major Championship.
The 32-year-old moved to a career-high 64th in the world following his second place finish at last week’s Steyn City Championship in his homeland, where he finished two shots behind compatriot Shaun Norris. Burmester is now eyeing that next step to make his Masters bow, which he could also achieve with a solo second place finish in Doha.
The eight-time Sunshine Tour winner is joined in the Qatari capital by Frenchman Antoine Rozner, who will defend his title at a different course having secured his second DP World Tour title at Education City Golf Club last year by holing a 60-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole. He would join Branden Grace as the only players to successfully defend the title and Major champions Adam Scott and Paul Lawrie as the only multiple winners.
One man who has already secured his Masters debut is Italy’s Guido Migliozzi and he will be hoping to go one better than his tie for second in Doha last year. Meanwhile Spaniard Jorge Campillo, the 2020 winner, will be looking to add to his excellent record in this event, which includes a tie for second the year before his victory.
Dean Burmester: “I’m glad I made a competition of last week. I was four shots behind going into the final round and I had a two-shot lead for quite a while there. I’m a bit gutted to have thrown it away but anytime someone is leading a tournament, shoots 32 on the back nine, they’re normally going to win the tournament and that’s what he did.
“I’ve been playing solid. I take a lot of positives out of that. I was tied for the lead with two holes to go, had a chance to win a tournament on Sunday and that’s what we practice for really. I’m here in Qatar trying to do it again.
“The course is in great nick. They’ve re-laid the greens, all the surfaces, the fairways, the rough is up a little bit, it will make for good viewing, that’s for sure.
“It’s something you can’t not think about (playing at the Masters). When you’re on the golf course you just try and stay process-driven; one shot at a time, it’s cliché, everyone says it, but as a little boy that’s the one Major you want to go and play. You see everyone wearing that Green Jacket and you’re standing on the putting green with the lights on at seven-years-old and you’re making a putt to win the Masters and beat Tiger Woods. If it does go my way and I happen to win or whatever it takes, that’ll be great.”
Antoine Rozner: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime putt to win a tournament. You don’t get a putt to win a tournament every week in our job but to have a 60-foot putt to win is even more special so it was definitely the biggest putt of my career.
“It was massive for me, it was huge, it got me into the Match Play two weeks later and to get a second win so quickly after my first win in Dubai was just a big achievement for me and I was really proud of myself that week.
“I think the more you play on this Tour, the more you realise how hard it is to win a golf tournament. It’s so competitive nowadays. I’ve only been here two years but hopefully I’ll be here in ten or 15 years and I’ll tell myself what you’ve done is very, very good and winning a tournament is so hard. Every single part of your game has to be perfect to win a golf tournament, I think that’s just what happened those two weeks and to do it that quickly was very big and I think, looking back, very impressive.
“I think the margin of result is just so small. Last week I came 25th but I was only two shots away from a top ten finish and I feel like I gave up so many shots on the course, silly shots as well. It’s just so, so close to great results and I feel like my game is actually very good, it’s been very solid the last three weeks and I’m really looking forward to this week, bring some good vibes again. It’s very close to being good again.
“I’m going to play nine holes today, I want to get used to the greens as well because I’m sure the grass is going to be very different to what we had in South Africa and Kenya. I’m going to spend some time on the putting green, play the Pro-Am tomorrow, so I’m going to try and use that time as well to get used to the course. I’ve heard good things about the course, so we’ll see. I’m really curious to see what it’s like.”
Jorge Campillo: “I’m feeling good. My game has been okay, I’ve been playing solid in the last few events but my putting has been a little bit off. I’m feeling good coming into this week.
“It’s always nice to come back to a tournament where I’ve been the champion, even though it was on the other course. I’ve finished second here once, so I’ve played well here too, so it’s a nice track as well and I’m glad we’re back here where I can play well as well.
“It was a great play-off. 18 was a tough hole and David (Drysdale) was hitting some great shots and I was hitting it well too, but it didn’t look as good as my ball was always further away from the hole than him but I made some good putts and it was a nice feeling to win like that. It’s what you practice for. To be able to make the putts when you have to make them is a really nice feeling. To be able to do it in a play-off is really, really nice.
“They’ve changed the greens so they look a little bit bigger to me and they are firmer. The rough is quite high so it’s going to be a tough test, especially if it’s a little windy. The way the rough is and the greens are quite hard, so it’s going to be definitely different to the last two weeks in South Africa where you can fly the ball into the hole and the ball stops. Here, you have to think a little bit more about where to land the ball and the shots you’re going to hit.