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The 2015 world under-25 singles champion was in sublime form in section six of post-section play of the men's singles at the Taieri greens yesterday, defeating Shane Pascoe (Blaketown) 21-13, Luka Mataora (Bridge Park) 21-17, Shane Sincock (Belfast) 21-19 and Shaun Scott 21-3.
Burnett (24) was encouraged to compete at this year's national championships by partner Blackjack Katelyn Inch, who decided to lodge an entry when the couple returned to New Zealand to spend Christmas with Inch's family in Oxford, North Canterbury.
Burnett played in the pairs section with Inch's father, Les, but was knocked out in qualifying,.
But playing third in the fours with the Mike Kernaghan-skipped team that also includes Tony Grantham and Rory Soden, the team won all six of its qualifying games to head their section.
''Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going,'' Burnett said.
''It is the first time I've played with Tony, Rory and Mike.''
In yesterday's singles, Burnett displayed an ability to keep a cool head and stay focused, especially in his second and third-round games, when he fought to hold out strong challenges from Mataora and then Sincock.
His fourth-round match was against Shaun Scott, who had eliminated Gary Lawson in the third round.
Very few would have expected the young Scotsman to blitz Scott 21-3 to progress through to a quarterfinal showdown with Seamus Curtin (Stokes Valley) on Saturday morning.
Curtin knocked out one of the tournament favourites Mike Kernaghan (North East Valley) 21-19 in the final round at the Kaikorai green yesterday.
Burnett followed brother Darren, the Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist in Glasgow in 2014, and father Willie, a former Scottish and British champion and Scottish national representative from 1981 to 1984, into bowls as a 16-year-old in 2009.
Ryan was first selected for Scotland in the year leading up to his first crack at the world cup in 2014 when he reached the semifinals in singles and mixed pairs.
The following year he won the world under-25 singles title followed by the Scottish pairs title with brother Darren.
While Darren has been selected in the Scottish team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, Ryan plans to keep his name and performances out there in the lead-up to the 2022 games in Birmingham.
''I'll just keep myself on the map and see what happens,''4 he said.
Originally from Arbroath, Burnett now plays the Broadbeach Club on the Gold Coast, the host club for this year's Commonwealth Games,
The was more good news for Burnett yesterday as partner Inch made the semifinals of the women's pairs with fellow Blackjack Tayla Bruce.