Golf: Burns outduels Bradley to capture career first title

World No. 94 Sam Burns's prior PGA career best was third at Riviera in February.
World No. 94 Sam Burns's prior PGA career best was third at Riviera in February.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Sam Burns outduelled fellow American Keegan Bradley over the back nine on Sunday (May 2) to win the Valspar Championship and capture his first US PGA Tour title.

Burns fired a final-round three-under 68 to finish 72 holes on 17-under 267 and defeat Bradley by three strokes at Innisbrook resort's Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida.

The 24-year-old took his breakthrough victory in his 76th PGA start with his wife, parents and siblings among those there to celebrate with him and caddie Travis Perkins.

"It's just, you work so hard for this moment," Burns said, wiping his eyes.

"To have them all here, they have sacrificed so much for me growing up, it really is a dream coming true."

World No. 94 Burns, whose prior PGA career best was third at Riviera in February, had been a leader after 36 and 54 holes in prior events but had never managed a victory until now.

"Those moments in the past, they just test you and you learn a lot from them," Burns said.

"Coming down the back nine, Travis and I just tried to stick to our process. In the past, I got away from that. Today I was focused on that."

Burns finished 15-under for the week on the course's par-five holes, including three birdies on Sunday.

Bradley, the 135th-ranked winner of the 2011 PGA Championship, missed a chance for his fifth US PGA victory and first since the 2018 BMW Championship.

"I just didn't hit the shots I needed coming down the end, but I'm proud of the way I finished off to come in solo second," Bradley said.

Norway's Viktor Hovland (65) and American Cameron Tringale (68) shared third on 271 with Mexico's Abraham Ancer (69) fifth on 272.