‘Deserved to Win’ – Keegan Bradley Lauds Sam Burns Following Valspar Championship Duel

Published 05/03/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
May 2, 2021; Palm Harbor, Florida, USA; Sam Burns and Keegan Bradley (R) shake hands on the 18th green after finishing their final round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The 2021 Valspar Championship came to a grand conclusion on Sunday. Heading into the final round, veteran Keegan Bradley was tied for the lead with 24-year-old Sam Burns. While Bradley committed costly mistakes, Burns kept his cool and went on to win the tournament. There was mutual admiration between the golfers after their 36-hole battle. 

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Sam Burns reached the top of the leaderboard after Round 2, while Keegan Bradley had been holding his spot ever since Thursday. These two players were playing against each other in Rounds 3 and 4, and Bradley was impressed with how Burns went about his game. 

“Well, he’s a great player, he deserved to win this week. I think he’s going to win a lot more tournaments going forward. He’s a good dude. I’m happy for him. He’s never played in the Masters, so he’s going to get to do that. He’s a good guy, so I’m happy for him,” Bradley mentioned. 

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Keegan Bradley too was in contention heading into the final round. However, the 34-year-old made a double-bogey on the par-3 13th, which largely hindered his confidence. The 13-year tour veteran then finished second after 72 holes. 

Sam Burns is now a part of a unique lot at Valspar Championship

The Valspar Championship is one of the most exciting tournaments on the PGA Tour calendar. The daunting Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort is not an easy one to master, but Sam Burns was all about the poise last week. 

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Burns’ second round 63 is what vaulted him atop the leaderboard. He held on to the momentum and played fearlessly to win the maiden PGA Tour title in his career. Burns was tied for the lead with Bradley heading into the final round, but the former did not let his inexperience get the better of him. 

May 2, 2021; Palm Harbor, Florida, USA; Sam Burns poses for a picture with the trophy after winning the Valspar Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

So far, four other players have picked up their first tour victory at the Valspar Championship. Sam Burns became the fifth player on that list with his triumph in 2021. Safe to say that the Copperhead Course has gained a good reputation in this aspect. 

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Sam Burns ended his tournament with a score of 17-under par and an aggregate of 267. He eventually clinched the title with a three-stroke lead despite a bogey in the final hole.

Read Also: Brandel Chamblee Evaluates Rory McIlroy’s Swing Troubles

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Arjun Athreya

2103 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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