Burns sinks 38-foot birdie putt to beat world No 1 in playoff
Sam Burns sank a 38-foot birdie putt from off the green on the first playoff hole to defeat world No 1 Scottie Scheffler and win the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday.
Burns’s improbable victory was his third of the PGA Tour season, pushing him to second place — behind only Scheffler — in the FedEx Cup standings.
After starting the day seven shots off the pace, Burns posted a five-under-par 65 to reach nine-under 271. Scheffler was one of five players at one point tied for the lead at 10-under with Burns in the clubhouse, but one by one they all faltered down the stretch.
Scheffler, who held at least a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds, shot a two-over 72 with two bogeys and no birdies. He made a crucial up-and-down from a greenside bunker at No 18 to save par and ensure the playoff.
Burns and Scheffler replayed the par-four 18th. After his second shot missed just over the green, Burns putted from the first cut of rough and read the long double-breaker to perfection. Scheffler could not match it with a long birdie putt of his own.
“I just played such a good round of golf and [caddie] Travis Perkins] did a great job all day just keeping us in it, especially after hitting a foul ball or 12 and kind of killing our momentum,” Burns said. “Just proud of the way we finished, and then to make that putt is just icing on the cake.”
Burns, 25, also won tournaments in October and March of this season. His seven-shot deficit tied for the largest a player has overcome to win at Colonial Country Club. He also denied Scheffler what would have been his fifth victory in his past 10 starts.
“When you start the day seven back, I knew Scottie was at 11 under — I mean, the way that guy is playing right now, who would have ever thought that you’d have a chance seven back?” Burns said.
Brendon Todd, playing in the final pairing with Scheffler, bogeyed No 10 and No 11 and carded a one-over 71.
PGA Tour rookie Davis Riley held the outright lead at 11-under after making three straight birdies at numbers nine to 11. But he lipped out a four-foot par putt at No 13 and lost his next tee shot, leading to a double bogey six at No 14. He finished with a 69, tied for fourth at seven-under with Scott Stallings (72).
Kevin Na (69), Jordan Spieth (70), Chile's Mito Pereira (71), Australia’s Cam Davis (72) and Patrick Reed (72) tied for seventh at five-under.
Harold Varner III was tied with Scheffler, Todd, Riley and Stallings at 10-under before a back-nine implosion. He four-putted for triple bogey at No 12, twice missing putts inside four feet. His tee shot at the next hole, the par-three 13th, found the water. Varner wound up with two double bogeys and another triple bogey for a back-nine 45. After three rounds in the 60s, he shot a 78 and fell to T27 at even par.
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