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Valspar Championship 2021: Sam Burns Pulls Away for 1st PGA Tour Win

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMay 2, 2021

Sam Burns watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

After spending two rounds tied at the top, Sam Burns used a three-under-par 68 final round Sunday to break free from Keegan Bradley and come away with the Valspar Championship title at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

A first-time PGA TOUR champion πŸ† 24-year-old @SamBurns66 becomes the second-youngest winner in @ValsparChamp history. https://t.co/RYDK7IN66P

Burns, who was beaten in the Snake Pit on Saturday when a bogey sent him down into a tie for the lead, redeemed himself with a shot for birdie on No. 16 that increased the distance between himself and Bradley to four strokes with two holes to play.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

A twirl and a finisher. πŸ‘ Another birdie and @SamBurns66 leads by 4 with two to play. https://t.co/BVJkvwjm9Z

He finished the final round with six birdies to cruise to the victory, while Bradley ended the day at even par to drop into second place.

The win is the first on the PGA Tour through 76 starts for the 24-year-old, who starred at LSU before making his professional debut in 2017.

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Final Leaderboard Scores and Prize Payouts

1 ($1,242,000): Sam Burns (-17)

2 ($752,100): Keegan Bradley (-14)

T3 ($407,100): Viktor Hovland, Cameron Tringale (-13)

5 ($282,900): Abraham Ancer (-12)

T6 ($241,500): Vaughn Taylor, Max Homa (-10)

T8 ($201,825): Louis Oosthuizen, Troy Merritt, Joaquin Niemann (-9)

T11 ($167,325): Camilo Villegas, Brandt Snedeker (-8)

Full leaderboard via PGA Tour.

Payouts via Golf Digest.

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Recap

Despite a strong opening from Burns, who posted two consecutive birdies to start the round, it was Bradley who held the one-stroke lead after the front nine.

Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 put Bradley in a tie with Burns, who would go on to bogey No. 8.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Birdie-birdie start for @SamBurns66. 🐦🐦 He takes sole possession of the lead. https://t.co/bOA8r4g7xb

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Tied at the top. πŸ‘€ @Keegan_Bradley goes birdie-birdie to get to -16. https://t.co/tDiiDVeqGS

Bradley went into the turn with the advantage after going three under on his last five holes of the opening half.

But a birdie on No. 11 put Burns back in it.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Back-and-forth at the top of the leaderboard. πŸ‘€ @SamBurns66 gets back into the co-lead. https://t.co/Nz6BOaN0CZ

It was No. 13 that made the difference when the tie turned into a two-shot swing for Burns to take solo possession of the lead. Bradley's ball found the water, and he walked away with a double bogey on the par three.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The only water ball at 13 today. A double bogey drops @Keegan_Bradley to -15. https://t.co/89IgbLmb6x

GOLFonCBS @GOLFonCBS

SAM BURNS! πŸ“Ί | CBS https://t.co/oSAqgAqTgN

A birdie on the par-five No. 14 all but sealed the deal for Burns. Following that up with a bogey gave Bradley an opportunity to get within two strokes, but a missed putt kept the distance.

It wasn't over yet for Bradley, since he held the advantage on the week over Burns in the Snake Pit. Bradley fared pretty well on the final three holes, shooting one under on the trio throughout the weekend, while Burns struggled and was three-over on the final stretch.

Max Homa, who entered the day in third place, fell right down with a plus-three round on the last day of play. Though he opened strong with a birdie on No. 1, he posted two bogeys on the front nine and seemed to snap things back into place around the turn, going for six straight pars before double-bogeying No. 15.

He finished in a tie for sixth with Vaughn Taylor, who climbed six spots up the leaderboard on the final day of play.

Elsewhere, Viktor Hovland climbed nine spots up the leaderboard with a six-under to finish at 13 under overall and in third place. Cameron Tringale, who moved into a tie for third with a putt for birdie on No. 18, became the all-time leader for most career earnings without a PGA Tour win.

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