Less than a year after earning his first PGA Tour victory at the Valspar Championship, Sam Burns went back to back by defeating his mate Davis Riley on the second hole of a playoff at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course.
Playing like a man who had been in this position before, Burns played 24 holes in a row without a bogey before stumbling on the 71st hole. That opened the door for Riley, who birdied 17 to pull even, but Burns closed out his third PGA Tour win with a lengthy 35-foot birdie putt.
In winning, Burns relied on two parts of his game: strong iron play and deft touch on the greens. Burns was second in the field in strokes gained/approach-the-green, picking up an impressive seven-plus shots on the field and being on the plus side of the ledger in all four rounds.
Burns’ irons are Callaway’s Apex TCB model with True Temper Project X 6.5 shafts and Golf Pride MCC 58 ribbed grips. Burns put the irons in play last season after testing. “These irons have more control and when I take speed off, I was able to maintain the same spin, which is so important,” Burns told Golf Digest last year. “A lot of times I’m not hitting a lot of full shots so the ability to maintain spin throughout the bag is very helpful.”
On the greens, Burns ranked 10th in SG/putting, more than four strokes better than the field average with his Odyssey O-Works Black #7S mallet putter. On Sunday Burns needed just 26 putts, including a nervy six-footer for par at the 16th hole and a clutch nine-footer for bogey at the 17th hole to keep a one-shot lead over Riley and Justin Thomas.
Burns’ putter is a club he has primarily had in the bag since turning pro in 2017. “I’ve changed a few times, but not for long,” said Burns. “It’s a club I’m really comfortable with and it sets up well for me. I’m not one to change much. Having the comfort level and seeing good results with it would make it hard to switch.”
Probably more difficult to do so after that bomb he dropped on the second extra hole to secure the win.
What Sam Burns had in the bag at the 2022 Valspar Championship
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (Fujikura Ventus Blue 7x), 10.5 degrees
5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero, 17 degrees
Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW, 21 degrees
Irons (4-AW): Callaway Apex TCB
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw (56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey O-Works Black #7S