Sam Burns rolled in a 38-foot birdie putt from off the green at the first playoff hole to beat world No 1 Scottie Scheffler at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Sunday.
Burns, seven back to start the day, matched the biggest comeback in tournament history at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, a mark set by Zimbabwe’s Nick Price in 1994.
Burns polished it off with a playoff win over his good friend Scheffler. Burns shared a house with the Texan at Augusta in April, when Scheffler won his maiden Major title at the Masters.
“Gosh, I don’t even know,” Burns said of how he made his winning putt, some two hours after he had completed a five-under-par 65 final round for a nine under total of 271.
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It matched the low round of the day as fierce winds pushed up scores and a stream of contenders wilted in the Texas afternoon heat.
“I think just with the conditions today, how tough it was playing, just so proud with how we hung in there,” Burns said.
Scheffler started the day with a two-shot lead, but the world No 1 had two bogeys without a birdie in his two-over-par 72.
He kept himself in the hunt with some clutch par putts on the back nine, a nine-footer at the 15th, an eight-footer at 17 and a five-foot putt to salvage par from a greenside bunker at the last.
Burns launched his comeback by getting up and down from a greenside bunker for birdie at the first. He rolled in a 10-foot birdie at the 2nd and an eight-footer at the 4th.
After a bogey at the 5th, he birdied 6, 7, 9 and 11 to reach 10 under before a miscue at the 12th.
“I played such a good round of golf today. Especially after I hit a foul ball on 12, kind of killed our momentum,” Burns said. “Proud of the way we finished and to make that putt is just icing on the cake.”
Burns notched his fourth PGA Tour victory and his third of the season. He successfully defended his Valspar Championship title in March.
He was especially pleased to put his name on the trophy at Colonial, where he recalled as a teenager watching his fellow Louisiana native David Toms triumph in 2011.
“I remember that week like it’s yesterday,” Burns said. “To have my name on that list is really cool.”
Burns’s five under round looked all the more impressive as a handful of Americans who led or shared the lead at 10 under blew up on the back nine.
Brendon Todd opened with back-to-back birdies to reach 11 under, was 10 under after a bogey at the 4th, then bogeyed 11 and 12 on the way to a 71 that left him in third place on 272.
Scott Stallings was 10 under through 11 before bogeys at the 12th, 14th and 17th, closing with a two over 72 to share fourth on 273 with Tony Finau (67) and Davis Riley (69).
Riley, 11 under through 11, fell back with a bogey at the 13th followed by a double-bogey at 14.
Harold Varner, 10 under through seven, endured a nightmarish back nine that included two triple-bogeys, two double-bogeys and one last bogey at the 18th.
Dylan Frittelli was the best of the South Africans, finishing tied for 35th on one over par.
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