Sam Burns had some experience staring down Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Young to win the WGC–Dell Technologies Match Play today at Austin Country Club. In the morning semi-finals match, Burns took care of Scheffler – who he beat at last year’s Charles Schwab Challenge – in extra holes. In the afternoon final, Burns downed Young, who he bested at the 2021 Sanderson Farms event, 6&5. In claiming the WGC title in its final playing, Burns grabbed his fifth, and by far biggest, career victory.
Amazingly, Burns won in his debut in the event – the first “rookie” to do so since Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy in 2006.
The final match turned early. Young got off to a quick 1-up lead, and at the par-3 fourth, he hit it to seven feet and looked like he might go 2 up. Burns, however, stuck a pitching wedge to six feet, and they halved with birdies.
Burns then nearly drove the green at the 321-metre par-4 fifth and made birdie to square the match. He followed with a nifty pitch from 40 metres at the par-5 sixth to kick-in range to take the lead, extended it courtesy of a Young bogey at the seventh, then dropped a 21-footer at the eighth to win his fourth hole in a row and go 3 up. A 12-footer for birdie at 10 stretched margin to 4 up and things ended with Burns winning in a surprising runaway.
Burns’ driver is a Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond with a 45-inch Fujikura Ventus Blue 7TX shaft. Although the stated loft is 9 degrees, the adjustable hosel is set a degree higher. Burns told Callaway he’s seeing a tighter window downrange with the adjustment and more ball speed off his mis-hits.
Of course, when you make 48 birdies in 119 holes, your short game is working, too. Burns’ putter, an Odyssey O Works 7S Black, 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,” Burns told Golf Digest last year. “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.”
What Sam Burns had in the bag at the 2023 WGC–Dell Technologies Match Play:
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond, (Fujikura Ventus Blue 7TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond, 16 degrees
Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW, 21 degrees
Irons (4-AW): Callaway Apex TCB
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey O-Works 7S Black