Christiaan Burke, this year’s scoring sensation in amateur golf in South Africa, has won three major provincial tournaments since his remarkable round of 56 at Potchefstroom Country Club in July.
The 21-year-old stunned golfers around the country when he blitzed his home course in a medal round on July 3. He was out in 26 and back in 30 on the 6 415-metre layout, having had four eagles and 8 birdies. Burke eagled three of the par 5s, and holed out from the fairway for another eagle at the par-4 eighth. Being mid-winter the course was playing short with the firm conditions.
Unfortunately it didn’t count as a course record because of preferred lies, but the 56 is nevertheless the lowest score recorded in South Africa on a full-length golf course, beating the 57 of Louis Oosthuizen at Mossel Bay in 2002.
While Burke had a gross score of 56 in the club medal, his nett score was 64, as he played off a +8 handicap!
Prior to his 56, he had posted a 62 at Modderfontein in May.
Coached by Grant Veenstra (Ebotse Links), Burke’s current handicap index is +8.5 thanks to a run of outstanding tournament scores in August and September which has elevated him to No 6 on the GolfRSA men’s rankings. His victory march began at the 54-hole Southern Cape Open where he was 11-under-par at Mossel Bay with rounds of 69-69-68 to win by five shots.
In September came a remarkable tournament score of 28-under-par in the Mpumalanga Open at Witbank, where he had four eagles and 25 birdies in posting rounds of 66-63-66-65, winning by 13 shots from runner-up Jordan Duminy.
Burke followed that with a playoff victory against No 1-ranked amateur Christiaan Maas (Pretoria CC) in the Ekurhuleni Open at State Mines. They tied on a total of 18-under-par 270, with Burke scoring 67-72-65-66.
LOWEST ROUNDS IN SOUTH AFRICA
56 (16-under) Christiaan Burke at Potchefstroom, 2021
57 (15-under) Louis Oosthuizen at Mossel Bay, 2002
57 (15-under) Daniel Greene at Bosch Hoek, 2019
58 (14-under) Jaco van Zyl at State Mines, 2003
58 (14-under) Bradford Vaughan at Maccauvlei, 2006
58 (14-under) Colin Nel at Maritzburg GC, 2014
59 (13-under) Eric Moore at Windsor Park (Bushwillow), 1949
59 (13-under) Rod Mullan at Windsor Park (Bushwillow), 1960s
59 (13-under) John Bland at ERPM, 1970s
59 (13-under) Louis Oosthuizen at Mossel Bay, 2004
59 (13-under) Branden Grace at Knysna, 2015
59 (13-under) Shaun Norris at Silver Lakes, 2015
59 (13-under) Colin Nel at Port Shepstone, 2020
59 (13-under) Casey Jarvis at Dainfern, 2023
59 (12-under) Mark Truter at Victoria CC, 2003
59 (12-under) Daniel Greene at Victoria CC, 2008
59 (12-under) Matt Saulez at Gowrie Farm, 2018
59 (11-under) Colin Nel at The Woods at Mount Edgecombe, 2013
59 (11-under) Jorge Campillo at The Woods at Mount Edgecombe, 2013
59 (9-under) Shaun Stapleton at Sandy Lane (9-holer), 2003
Note: Colin Nel has had 3, Louis Oosthuizen and Daniel Greene each 2