It’s unusual for the betting favorite in a PGA Tour event that has 140 players in the field to emerge as the winner, but at this past weekend’s Sanderson Farms Championship, that’s exactly what Sam Burns was able to accomplish, despite making a bogey on his 72nd hole.
Burns delivered on his +1400 odds with a final round 67 to defeat Nick Watney and Cameron Young by a shot with a Country Club of Jackson course record 22 under par 266.
It was the second career Tour win for Burns, who broke through at last season’s Valspar Championship, and the 25-year-old out of LSU went on to finish a career-high 18th in the final FedEx Cup standings in 2021.
Burns rode a seven-under-par 65 in Saturday’s round three to tie for the lead entering Sunday’s finale, and he used his experience to give himself a two-shot cushion coming to the 18th hole.
Other Top Performances
Will Zalatoris, who was among the favorites with pre-tournament odds of +1600, surged into contention with a second-round score of 11 under par 61 but stumbled to an even-par 72 on Saturday to allow the leaders to rush past him on the leaderboard, eventually finishing in a tie for 14th after a closing four-under-par 68.
Sahith Theegala held at least a share of the lead following each of the first three rounds after opening with an eight-under-par 64 but faded to a one-under-par round of 71 on Sunday, a score that really put him in reverse on a track like the Country Club of Jackson that yields very low rounds on a regular basis.
Sergio Garcia, who elected to defend his 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship crown after his record-setting performance in a losing Ryder Cup effort, missed the cut by a single shot after taking a bogey on the 16th hole of his second round when he missed a six-foot putt for par.
Matthew Wolff, who is attempting to recover from a disappointing finish to his 2021 season, made the cut on the number at five-under-par and s.hot 11 under par 133 on the weekend to scratch out a tie for 17th in his 2022 season debut.
Big Early Season Wins
Along with Max Homa, who won the Fortinet Championship for his third Tour title and second in seven months to open the 2022 season, Sam Burns has established himself as one of the new stars of the PGA Tour who should challenge for President’s Cup and Ryder Cup team spots in the next couple of years.
He also took advantage of a field devoid of top players, most of whom were nursing hangovers from celebrating a huge Ryder Cup victory last week.
Whether it’s a win in the Wyndham Championship in the last regular season Tour event or a victory in one of the early fall tournaments, the 500 FedEx Cup points for finishing first in the field count the same.
The Tour moves to Las Vegas next week for the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin, with Martin Laird defending his 2020 title.