10 Notes to Know: May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021
Justin Ray
  1. Sam Burns shot a final round 68 to seal a three-shot victory at the Valspar Championship, his first career PGA Tour title. To say Burns had been knocking on the door is an understatement: this is the ninth time Burns has led or co-led following a round on the PGA Tour this season, the most of any player. Burns, age 24, is the second-youngest winner in this tournament’s history behind only Jordan Spieth in 2015 (age 21).
  1. Burns’ score of 17-under is the lowest by any player in this tournament since Vijay Singh won it at 18-under-par in 2004. The former LSU star putted brilliantly in his victory: one year after Paul Casey won despite ranking 43rd in the field in strokes gained putting, Burns ranked third in the field in his win. Burns totaled 9.10 strokes gained putting for the week, the most by a winner at the Copperhead Course since Luke Donald gained 10.32 in his win nine years ago.
  1. Speaking of Casey, he finished tied for 21st in his effort to become the first player to ‘three-peat’ in a PGA Tour event since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic ten years ago. There are eight instances in the last forty years of a player winning the same PGA Tour event three consecutive seasons – six of those belong to Tiger Woods.
  1. Keegan Bradley contended late into Sunday, but a back nine 38 in the final round left him in second place. Bradley fought his putter down the stretch, losing more than a stroke-and-a-half on the greens over the final nine holes. Over the last three seasons, Bradley has had 105 PGA Tour rounds where he lost strokes to the field putting. His combined score to par in those rounds is +78. In the 69 rounds in that span where he gained strokes on the field putting, he’s 168-under-par, a 244-stroke differential.
  1. Cameron Tringale finished tied for third, the seventh time in his PGA Tour career he has finished in the top-three. In 299 official career starts on the Tour – an admirable total in itself – Tringale is yet to claim a victory. His $407,100 payday pushed him into dubious territory: at $13.7 million in official earnings, he has the most winnings in PGA Tour history by a player to never win.
  1. Hyo Joo Kim shot a brilliant final round 64 to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship, her fourth career LPGA title and first in nearly four-and-a-half years. Kim made eight birdies, no bogeys, missed only one fairway and only two greens in regulation in her final round. This was just Kim’s fourth LPGA start since the end of 2019 – she led the Korean LPGA in official earnings in 2020.
  1. The LPGA will remain in Asia next week, moving on to the Honda LPGA Thailand, where Amy Yang has won three times since 2015. The LPGA record for most wins in a single event is five – done on five occasions. The last instance was Se Ri Pak at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, when she picked up her fifth trophy there in 2007.
  1. PGA Tour Champions rookie Mike Weir shot a closing 68 to get his first victory on that tour at the Insperity Invitational in Texas. It is the first official win of any kind for the affable Weir in more than a decade – his previous victory came at the 2007 Fry’s Electronics Open in Napa, California. To put in perspective how long that has been, Fry’s Electronics has since closed all of its stores.
  1. One week after Garrick Higgo recorded the lowest 72-hole total score in European Tour history, Dean Burmester made a run of his own at it, shooting 25-under to win the European Tour’s Tenerife Open. The five stroke margin of victory is the largest in a European Tour event this season, and the biggest on European soil in an E.T. event since Andy Sullivan won the English Championship by seven strokes last summer.
  1. The PGA Tour shifts to Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina next week for the Wells Fargo Championship. Will this be the week Rory McIlroy breaks out of his victory slump? Since 2010, there are 169 players with 10 or more rounds played in this event, on this golf course. McIlroy leads that group in scoring average (69.5), strokes gained tee-to-green (2.62), strokes gained total (2.76) and birdie average (5.24).