Dean Burmester begins European season with Joburg Open title

Dean Burmester shot a bogey-free final-round 64 to win the Joburg Open by 3 shots Sunday as overnight leader Thriston Lawrence imploded at the Houghton Golf Club.

Burmester made six birdies and cruised through his round for a 18-under 262 total to overturn a 3-shot deficit and claim his third win on the DP World Tour and first in 2½ years.

"I was a little rusty coming in, but my team did such a great job getting me ready for this week ... and it paid off," said Burmester, whose previous win was at the Tenerife Open in May 2021. "I knew I had to do something special, and fortunately I was able to do that."

The 34-year-old South African finished ahead of second-place compatriot Darren Fichardt, whose final-round 64 included an eagle for a total of 265. It was South African-dominated leaderboard, with eight of the top 11 being home players.

Defending champion Dan Bradbury from England moved into third place, five back of Burmester, after shooting a 64 on the final day.

The top three finishers all qualified for The Open at Royal Troon in July.

Lawrence, who led after the first round and by 3 shots after Saturday's third round, dropped 4 strokes in his first five holes and had a double-bogey coming home in shooting a 5-over 75. That was eight shots worse than any of his first three rounds, and he finished in a tie for seventh at 10 under.

The Joburg Open marks the start of the European tour season, which begins with three straight tournaments in South Africa that are co-sanctioned by the country's Sunshine Tour.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.