Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
PA Tom McKibbin lies in a share of eighth.
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Tom McKibbin tied for eighth after first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship
McKibbin is three shots off the lead.

IT WAS A mixed day for the Irish contingent at the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa today.

Once again youngster Tom McKibbin showed the way to go, posting a 4-under, 68 to lie in a share of eighth. McKibbin’s five birdies was spoiled a little by a solitary bogey and he lies three shots off the lead.

The two other Irish entrants didn’t fare as well. First, Gary Hurley shot a one-over, 73, his round ruined by four dropped shots in the final four holes. He also started poorly – with three bogeys and a birdie in the first four holes before the 29-year-old went on a streak, getting birdies on 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14.

Meanwhile John Murphy had a three-over, 75 – seven bogeys and four birdies the story of his day.

So it is then that Burmester leads the way.

He produced a brilliant burst of scoring on the back nine to lead by one stroke. The two-time DP World Tour winner treated his home crowd to some magnificent iron shots and lengthy putts as he posted a 65 to get to seven under par.

After carding two birdies and one bogey on the front nine, Burmester picked up six shots after the turn to overtake early clubhouse leader Lukas Nemecz, who had shot a 66 in the morning.

Things could have been even better for Burmester, who narrowly missed his eagle try at the par-five 13th after sending his second shot to within ten feet before coming agonisingly close to holing his approach at the 17th.

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Nemecz was alone in second place on six under after making seven birdies and a solitary bogey.

There were four South Africans in the five-strong group in a tie for third – Darren Fichardt, Jaco Ahlers, Deon Germishuys and Branden Grace – along with France’s David Ravetto.

Burmester said: “What a back nine. 

“Some of the best I’ve played in a little while so I’m happy to do that.”

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