Charles Schwab Challenge: Surging Sam Burns sinks Scottie Scheffler in Colonial playoff

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Sam Burns was the last man standing after coming through a dramatic final day at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas and beating World No.1 Scottie Scheffler in a playoff.

Just as PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas had done last week at Southern Hills, Burns came from seven back on the final day before lifting the trophy.

Burns had started Sunday in 17th place and despite his 5-under 65 taking him to 9-under at the finish, it didn't look enough. But with the winds whipping up at Colonial Country Club and the greens getting fast, the leaders starting falling away one by one. Five players stood at 10-under - one better than Burns - when walking to the 12th tee. They included Harold Varner, who collapsed horribly, playing the final seven holes in 10-over to go from joint-leader to finishing tied 27th. Davis Riley hit 11-under at one point but fell back to end in a tie for fourth with Tony Finau and Scott Stallings. Brendon Todd played the back nine in 2-over to finish one out of the play-off number.

In the end, the only man who could match Burns' 9-under total was Masters champ Scheffler.

The Texas local, who started Sunday with a two-shot lead, had to dig deep to do so, holing putts from nine feet (15), eight feet (17) and six feet (18) to save par each time and complete a 2-over 72, also leaving him at 9-under.

But despite the two-hour gap between his final stroke at 18 and the playoff, Burns came out hot and drained a 38-foot birdie putt from just off the green to take victory at the first extra hole (18th).

Burns said: "Man, just starting the day seven back, you know, coming into today, I figured with how tough it was going to be playing that if I went out and posted a really good number, who knows what can happen. "Scottie has been playing unbelievable. I mean, it's just a really hard golf course with a lot of wind and crazy things happen, and fortunately I was able to sneak into a playoff and obviously make that putt there on 18." Scheffler said: "The wind was very high. It was very tough out there. I just didn't have it today. Props to Sam; he played great."

Burns starting to pile up wins

Victory in the playoff would have given Scheffler an incredible fifth win in 10 starts. That's Tiger Woods-style dominance.

In the end, he had to settle for second place although it still built his lead at the top of the world rankings. It's worth noting that Scheffler now has form in Texas this season of 2-15-1-2 so he's always one to keep an eye on when teeing it up in his home state. While no-one can match Scheffler's levels, Burns is starting to rack up the wins too.

After making the big breakthrough and achieving his first at last May's Valspar Championship, the 25-year-old American now has four to his name. Before that first Valspar win he was ranked 91st in the world; now Burns is a career-high 9th.

Fate of the favourites

It's always interesting to see how the favourites in the betting perform the week after a major. Will motivation levels be the same? Will there be fatigue? Or, in trying to peak for the major, will the extra sharpness still be there? Scheffler had missed the cut at Southern Hills but bounced back in style here to finish runner-up.

But the two players who fought out the playoff at the PGA Championship - Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris - both looked tired and missed the cut.

Justin Thomas 2020 Masters
Justin Thomas 2020 Masters

Of the other big names, Jordan Spieth battled away to finish tied seventh, Viktor Hovland had to settle for tied 21st while Collin Morikawa ended the week in a tie for 40th. Overall, it was a very mixed bag. Burns, incidentally, had finished tied 20th at the previous week's PGA Championship. The 28/1 shot now has two wins in his last six starts.

The article Charles Schwab Challenge: Surging Sam Burns sinks Scottie Scheffler in Colonial playoff appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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