The American Sam burnsThe 24-year-old saw his dream of claiming the first PGA Tour title come true after staying strong in the fourth round of the Valspar Championship by delivering a card of 68 hits (-3) and finishing with 267 (-17), three less than his compatriot Keegan Bradley (270, -14), b.
BurnsSo far this season, he had already been in the lead eight times after a round, but never in the decisive round, Sunday’s fourth.
Everything changed at the Cooperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, where he was the best player from start to finish, dominating all shots, but especially when he hit the green with his putt.
True that Burns got some help from Bradley hitting the water on the 13th hole, and then the Louisiana player took it from there with two big deciding birdies.
Burns he won for the first time on the PGA Tour after failing twice to convert the 54-hole courses at the Houston Open last fall and at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera in February this year.
The victory puts him in the top 50 in the world and nearly secured him a spot at the US Open, along with his first trip to the Masters next spring.
Bradley and Burns they were tied after the first 54 holes and stayed that way through 12 holes on another overwhelming day on the Copperhead course. That changed with a single hit.
Bradley he came up very short on par 3 on 13 and went overboard, causing a double bogey. Burns He saved par with a putt of just over six feet for a two-shot lead.
Burns he was three shots ahead through 13 holes on Saturday and struggled to retain some of the lead, so he knew what was possible. This time, however, Bradley he had no chance.
“I have worked very hard to get to this moment,” he said. Burns, moved to tears. “Having all my loved ones here with me, who sacrificed so much for me, is really a dream come true,” he added.
Norwegian Viktor hovland and the american Cameron tringale shared the third place with a record of 271 strokes (-13), while the Mexican Abraham Ancer He finished in fifth place after delivering a card of 69 hits (-2) and achieved a cumulative score of 272 (-12).
The Chilean Joaquin Niemann He had the worst result since the tournament began by not finding precision with his shots and finished the round with 72 impacts (+1) that cost him to lose four positions and finish eighth (275, -9), a place he shared with others two players.
The American Dustin Johnson, number 1 in the world, improved somewhat on the last day by delivering a 69-stroke card, but finished in 48th place, 15 strokes behind the winner.
Final classification (par 71):
1. Sam Burns (USA) -17 (67-63-69-68)
2. Keegan Bradley (USA) -14 (64-66-69-71)
3. Viktor Hovland (NOR) -13 (69-69-68-65)
. Cameron Tringale (USA) -13 (69-67-67-68)
5. Abraham Ancer (MEX) -12 (67-70-66-69)
6. Max Homa (USA) -10 (66-68-66-74)
. Vaughn Taylor (USA) -10 (70-67-69-68)
8. Troy Merritt (USA) -9 (68-69-68-70)
. Joaquin Niemann (CHI) -9 (68-68-67-72)
. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) -9 (73-67-66-69)
13. Justin Thomas (USA) -7 (69-71-67-70)
. Bubba Watson (USA) -7 (70-67-68-72)
29. Sung-Jae Im (KOR) -4 (68-67-74-71)
48. Dustin Johnson (USA) -2 (71-68-74-69)