Sunshine Tour professional Christiaan Burke was at a loss for words to describe the feeling of walking up the 18th on the Old Course in the final round of his first DP World Tour event during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday.
“It was amazing. I actually can’t describe it. It was just an amazing feeling,” said Burke, who finished tied 48th on three under par in his debut in this tournament. New Zealand’s Ryan Fox took the title on 15 under par.
The Sunshine Tour rookie had two good rounds of 66 and 65 and then two 77s for his first taste of pure links golf at the highest level of the game.
“I finished fifth in the Sunshine Tour’s SunBet Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun before this, and that gave me quite a bit of confidence playing in the wind this week. I’m pleased with my overall performance. I’m very happy to have made the cut in my first DP World Tour event. I started well and then the second day was tough in the bad weather. The third round went well and then in the final round nothing went my way, but that’s golf.
“I love these golf courses. You just need to soak it all in. The history of the Old Course, the views at Kingsbarns and then Carnoustie where they’ve played The Open a couple of times – it’s just special.”
While not the finish he was hoping for, the experience has given him plenty of confidence as he now heads back to the Sunshine Tour and prepares for the big summer events.
“I’m feeling confident for the summer to come. I’m really keen for the next couple of tournaments on the Sunshine Tour.”
His first tournament back on the Sunshine Tour will be this week’s Fortress Invitational and Burke’s experience from this week will certainly make him one of the favourites.
The venue is none other than the Ebotse Links. – Michael Vlismas