South Africa’s Dean Burmester booked his place at next week’s US Open at Pebble Beach after winning Pebble Beach after winning the USGA’s Sectional Qualifying event held at Walton Heath Golf Club on June 3.
The 30-year-old from Bloemfontein opened with a blistering nine-under-par 63 at the Surrey venue, which he followed with a 65 to ease to a 16-under total for 36 holes and a comfortable four-stroke win over Sam Horsfield.
Burmester carded six birdies on the back nine of his second round, including five in a row from the 12th to the 16th, to secure his second appearance at the US Open after 36-hole qualifying. He said: “I guess it’s just one of those days when you roll out of bed and the putts go in. The nine-under round was solid. I had a few bad shots, but managed to get up-and-down and roll in the putts. I had a nervy start in the afternoon, and was one-over par through the first five, but then the momentum kicked in after rolling in a few, and it was like how things were in the morning. Getting the chance to play in a US Open at Pebble Beach is up there with playing in an Open at St Andrews, just because of where it is and the history. I’m excited to go out there and give it my best for four days.”
Horsfield carded rounds of 67 and 65 to finish on 12 under par, two strokes ahead of Marcus Fraser and Clément Sordet, who shared third place. Sordet birdied his final six holes to book his place at Pebble Beach.
“It was a long way to come over for this qualifier,” said Fraser. “I was first reserve for Made in Denmark and didn’t get in, I didn’t play great in Belgium and missed the cut. I didn’t play well today, but the putter was as good as it’s ever been and that got me through. This will be my fourth US Open and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Marcus Kinhult, Matthieu Pavon and Lee Slattery were among the early finishers who secured their place on nine under par, while in a share of eighth place were six golfers, including Thomas Pieters, who birdied the last hole to avoid a play-off, and New Zealand amateur Daniel Hillier. South Africa’s Justin Walters, who lives in Horley and is a member at the London Club, finished on 8-under par, holing a 10-foot putt on the last to get into his first US Open.
A five-man play-off was required to determine who would take the 14th and final spot from Walton Heath. Renato Paratore overcame Bernd Wiesberger with a birdie on the second extra hole, while Nacho Elvira secured the second alternate spot.