Golf

Sam Burns, after starting day seven back (!), wins Charles Schwab Challenge


Sam Burns on Sunday after his birdie on the first playoff hole at Colonial Club.

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Everyone was winning. Then no one wanted it. 

And the guy who was sitting back and watching it all — for some two hours! — ended up on top. 

Wild? You bet. In the end on Sunday at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Sam Burns dropped a 38-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole, Scottie Scheffler couldn’t match from 36 feet on the 18th at Colonial Country Club, and Burns is your winner for the fourth time on the PGA Tour, and third time this season.  

Only, after starting the day a whopping seven shots out of the lead, no one, not even Burns, saw this coming.

“When you start the day seven back, I knew Scottie was at 11, 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. 

Good question. Scheffler, outside of a missed cut last week at the PGA Championship, has looked unbeatable since the Super Bowl, winning four times, including at the Masters. A host of others were also in contention on Sunday. But Burns climbed and climbed. And others either were stuck in neutral or stumbled. 

Burns birdied 1, 2 and 4. He bogeyed 6. He birdied 6, 7 and 9 for a front-nine 30. Burns then played the back at even, signed for a five-under 65, which tied for the low round of the day, then pulled up a chair and watched. 

The craziest sequence began after Scott Stallings birdied the 11th. At that point, five players — Scheffler, Stallings, Davis Riley, Harold Varner and Brendon Todd — all shared the lead, at 10-under, with Burns at nine. Not even an hour later, all five leaders dropped at least one shot.  

Riley double-bogeyed the 14th and bogeyed the 17th. Todd bogeyed 11 and 12. Varner? Oh boy. He tripled 12, doubled 13, tripled 14, birdied (?) 15, parred 16, doubled 17 and bogeyed 18 for a back-nine 45 (!). Stallings bogeyed 12, 14 and 17. And Scheffler bogeyed 12. 

Whew. After all that, Scheffler parred his way home, and he and Burns moved on to the playoff, at nine-under. 

And three shots later, the guy who was sitting back and watching it all — for some two hours! — is your winner. 

Wild? You bet. 

The takeaway 

Sam Burns holds the trophy. But Colonial was the winner. 

The leaderboard breakdown 

— Scottie Scheffler begins the final round with a two-shot lead. He’s at 11-under, Brendon Todd and Scott Stallings are at nine-under, and Harold Varner III is at eight-under. 

— Todd birdies the 383-yard, par-4 2nd, and he moves into a share of the lead with Scheffler. Scheffler and Todd are at 11-under, Stallings and Varner are at nine-under, and Sam Burns, Mito Pereira, Davis Riley and Cam Davis are at eight-under. 

— Todd bogeys the 222-yard, par-3 4th, and he falls out of the lead. Scheffler’s at 11-under, Todd and Varner are at 10-under, Burns and Stallings are at nine-under, and Davis is at eight-under. 

— Scheffler bogeys the 391-yard, par-4 6th, and he again drops into a share of the lead. Scheffler and Todd are at 10-under, Burns, Stallings and Varner are at nine-under, and Riley is at eight-under. 

— Varner birdies the 439-yard, par-4 7th on a 10-foot putt, and he moves into a three-way tie for the lead. Scheffler, Varner and Todd are at 10-under, Burns and Stallings are at nine-under, and Riley is at eight-under. 

— Riley birdies the 393-yard, par-4 10th, and he moves into a four-way tie for the lead. Scheffler, Varner, Todd and Riley are at 10-under, and Burns and Stallings are at nine-under. 

— Riley birdies the 631-yard, par-5 11th after chipping to 4 inches, and he takes a one-shot lead. He’s at 11-under, Varner, Scheffler and Todd are at 10-under, and Burns and Stallings are at nine-under. 

— Riley bogeys the 194-yard, par-3 13th after failing to get up and down from the left greenside bunker, and he falls out of the lead. Riley, Varner, Scheffler and Todd are at 10-under, and Burns and Stallings are at nine-under. 

— Stallings birdies the 11th after getting up and down from a greenside bunker, and he moves into a five-way tie for the lead. Stallings, Riley, Varner, Scheffler and Todd are at 10-under, and Burns is at nine-under. 

— Riley double-bogeys the 448-yard, par-4 14th, and he falls out of the lead. Stallings, Varner, Scheffler and Todd are at 10-under, and Burns is at nine-under. 

— Todd bogeys the 11th after hitting into the right greenside bunker on his third shot, and he falls out of the lead. Stallings, Varner and Scheffler are at 10-under, and Burns and Todd are at nine-under. 

— Varner triple-bogeys the 12th after four-putting 19 feet, and he falls out of the lead. Scheffler and Stallings are at 10-under, and Burns and Todd are at nine-under.

— Stallings bogeys the 12th after hitting over the green on his second shot, and he falls out of the lead. Scheffler is at 10-under, Burns, Stallings and Todd are at nine-under, and Riley is at eight-under.  

— Scheffler bogeys the 12th after missing a 3-foot putt, and he drops into a three-way tie for the lead. Scheffler, Burns and Stallings are at nine-under, and Riley and Todd are at eight-under.

— Stallings bogeys the 14 after hitting his tee shot into a fairway bunker, and he falls out of the lead. Scheffler and Burns are at nine-under, and Todd and Stallings are at eight-under.  

— Scheffler pars the 438-yard, par-4 18th, and he and Burns head to a playoff. After 72 holes, the scoreboard reads this way: Scheffler and Burns finish at nine-under, Todd at eight-under and Stallings, Riley and Tony Finau at seven-under. 

— The first playoff hole is the 18th. Davis and Scheffler each hit the fairway with their tee shots. On Scheffler’s second shot, he hits right of the pin and is 36 feet away, and on Burns’, he hits over the flag and is about 38 feet away. Burns drops his for birdie, Scheffler misses and Burns is the winner. 

The final word 

“Gosh, I don’t even know. I think just with the conditions today and how tough it was playing, I was just so proud of the way we hung in there.” — Burns on CBS after the playoff  

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.



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