Another week, another seven-stroke deficit was wiped out as he won the Sam Burns Trophy in the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge. With a scoring average of nearly 3 overs in the Colonials a day in the final round of 5 under 65, he lifted himself on the leaderboard and made the playoffs with his good friend Scotty Scheffler.
Stopped by a dramatic bird in the first playoff hole, Burns not only captured a tartan jacket and custom ’79 firebird, but most importantly, his third win of the season. Throughout the day – heck, for most of the match – it was almost assumed that Scheffler would have his fifth win in the last four months.
Texan could not get any momentum, however, and eventually signed for a 2-over 72. Scheffler was at times flawed – missing fairways, misjudging the wind and generally looking uncomfortable on greens – but he resisted the urge to give more. Eventually Burns pulled the carpet out from under him, which was too much along with his poor play and difficult situations.
Burns’ victory over Charles Schwab, who finished fourth in his last 28 starts, and it’s time to stop considering him a better player, rather than a star who stays here.
Comparisons are hard, but we find it hard to turn them into sports fans, writers, and the like. The parallels between Jordan Speith and Scheffler have been advertised, but strangely, I see him as Justin Thomas, Speight’s best friend. Very similar to burns.
It’s not the latest pro or easy since Thomas overcame his own seven-stroke deficit at the PGA Championships last Sunday. But ask yourself this: Are there two players on tour, while they play Hot?
You can bucket Cameron Smith in the mix, but Burns has the ability to turn every hole into a bird when he shoots all the cylinders … just like Thomas. Burns was a college player who walked out of the Southeast Conference … just like Thomas. Burns took the seat after elevating his good friend to No. 1 in the world, and everyone anointed him as the next big man … just like Thomas.
Thomas came to the 2017 PGA Championship with four wins on the PGA Tour in a span of 23 months. Burns will (probably) come to the US Open with four wins in 13 months. The 25-year-old is a certified athlete who has topped the top 10 in the official world golf rankings, and it is time for him to claim the title of major champion for himself. Grade: A +
Here are our remaining grades for the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge
2. Scotty Scheffler (-9): Raise your hand, I have written somewhat of Scheffler as the winner of your Charles Schwab Challenge. Despite his bad game, I felt he would find a way to pull this thing out like all adults do. The playoff defeat could not have kept him up at night, but rather his round of 2-over 72, a stroke would have given him the trophy. He is still the best player in the world, which is why it was thought he would win after taking a lead in the first round. He has been dormant for the past four months, so this may be the way to spread the love of the golf gods. Grade: A-
T4. Davis Relay (-7): If a playoff defeat at the Wallspar Championship felt like a bee sting, it must have felt like a hornet. Riley commanded a separate lead in the back nine after three byds, but a small bur miss in Bar-13 was the start of the end. The Double Boogie Sixer soon followed, with his chances of winning his first PGA Tour title disappearing. His last five starts were T4-T13-T9-5-T4. A battle with Cameron Young for the best new player of the year will continue for the next three months. Quality: a
T4. Tony Finow (-7): It may have been the quiet backdoor top-five end of the year, but it marks a standard end for Finau, which was hard to come by. The 32-year-old was absent from the top 20 at a full-field event outside of second place at the Mexico Open. Still, the delivery seemed sharp and now his short game is starting to help him on a consistent basis. As the summer schedule begins to heat up with the Memorial match next week, this could not be a better time to walk. Of the seven previous appearances, Finau collected four to 15 results, so one can expect his good play to continue in Ohio. Grade: A-
T7. Jordan Speed (-5): There’s nothing to surprise you with when it comes to Spite these days, but his final round could have been the perfect content of his game: he carded six bogies, six bars and six birdies. Texan finished in the top five in both strokes, with tea and strokes getting around the green, but his approach lagged behind in the game, his regular putter. Spite will not be satisfied with another first-10 decision in the colony, and will take the time to work on the flat stick before next week. The good news is that he has excelled in the village of Moorefield in the past, having received strokes on greens in eight of 10 outposts. Grade: B +
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