Sam Burns has had several close calls in his quest to win on the PGA TOUR, but on Sunday at the Valspar Championship, he sealed the deal with a three shot victory.
“Wow, just what a day,” Burns said. “Just so many people that have helped me along the way, really I have so many people to thank that are just behind the scenes that people don’t realize and so I owe a lot of it to them. Man, what a fun day and I’m really glad that we were able to get it done.”
Burns moves up to No. 44 in the world rankings, essentially landing him in the U.S. Open in addition to putting him in the field at Augusta National next April.
Burns took home $1.24 million for the win.
Burns was tied with Keegan Bradley with six holes left when four-time PGA TOUR winner Bradley hit into the water on the par-3 13th and ended up with a double bogey.
“I just hit a terrible shot,” Bradley said. “I hadn’t really hit a really bad shot all week and you just can’t hit it there, obviously, but you can’t hit it right of the flag. And I just came out of it a little bit, it got gobbled up by the wind, if it goes another yard it might have been in that bunker, but it was a bummer. I didn’t play my best today, but I hung in there. Sam played unbelievable and he deserves to win.”
Viktor Hovland and Cameron Tringale tied for third, four shots behind Burns.
This was Hovland’s fifth top five of the season and moved him to No. 3 in the FedEx Cup rankings.
“Yeah, it’s cool. Obviously the win at Mayakoba was a lot of fun, but I think — I shouldn’t say I prided myself more, but it’s nice to see that validation with the other tournaments as well, the couple of runner-ups and other top-5s and just kind of making sure that I’m playing good golf week in, week out, because that’s, I feel like that’s a lot more fun than — obviously getting another win would be very fun — but just being consistent week in, week out is, yeah, I take a lot of satisfaction from that,” Hovland said.
Max Homa, who topped Burns earlier this year in a playoff at the Genesis Invitational, birdied his opening hiole to tie for the lead, but following a final round 74, Homa ended up in a tie for sixth. Homa is the defending champion next week at the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.
Justin Thomas finished in a tie for 13th at 7-under in his first event since the Masters and moved the reigning Players Championship winner into the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings.
“I’m playing some really good golf and I’m really, really close to, I feel like, getting it going here pretty good,” Thomas said.
Thomas led the field in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Approach-the-Green and Tee-to-Green. It’s the first time he’s led a tournament in all three categories. He’s the first player to accomplish that since Rory McIlroy at the 2018 BMW Championship.
Thomas is playing next week Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, where he won the 2017 PGA Championship.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson finished in a tied for 48th after a final round 69 followed up a Saturday 74. He is not in the field next week at Quail Hollow, but is in the field the following week at the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch.