Summer 2024

Sam Burns beats good friend, brother in Christ Scottie Scheffler in playoff at Colonial

Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns had to put their close friendship aside when they went head-to-head in a playoff at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday. It was Burns who came out on top, draining a 38-foot putt to collect his third PGA Tour win of the season.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

With the victory, Burns collected more than $1.5 million in prize money and got the keys to a custom-built 1979 Firebird.

He started the final round seven shots back of Scheffler, but posted a 5-under 65 to get himself back into contention. Burns then had to wait for the groups behind him to finish to see if his 9-under overall score would be enough.

About two hours later, Scheffler completed his round with a 72 that left him at 9-under as well, and sent the tournament to a playoff.

“Yeah, we’re probably best friends,” Burns told the media after the tournament. “But at the same time, I can assure you he wanted to beat me more than anybody else and I wanted to beat him more than anybody else, and it just happened to be the two of us at the end. Yeah, it’s going to be a fun story that we’ll get to have for the rest of our careers, and fortunately I got the better end of it this time.”

Scheffler — the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer and winner of four events this year — was gracious in defeat and said he gave Burns a hard time for making such a difficult putt.

“I kind of joked with him at the end, he ruined all the fun making a 40-footer,” Scheffler said. “It was definitely good to see him win. He’s obviously a great player and got a bright future ahead.”

Faith is the foundation of Burns’ and Scheffler’s friendship, and both are open about the role God plays in their lives. Burns’ Twitter and Instagram bios begin with “Christ Follower” and Scheffler talked about using golf to glorify God after winning the Masters in April.

One way Burns lives out his faith is through his support of Compassion International’s “Fill the Stadium” initiative, which seeks to provide food, medical supplies and other forms of support to children and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. For Burns, the partnership is a way to share God’s love by serving those in need.

“Everyone has experienced some type of adverse change in their lives due to the pandemic,” he said upon joining the effort. “The children who are being helped by the Fill the Stadium team experienced changes that were devastating. They need to have those negative changes reversed — this effort is truly making a difference in the lives of these children. Joining my fellow athletes at Compassion International is a way for me to support this critical change, and to serve God as well.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sam Burns (@samburns66)

This past winter, Burns joined Scheffler at an annual retreat the latter hosts for College Golf Fellowship members.

“I’ve done that now, that was my third year, and to have Sam be a part of it as well was really fun for the both of us,” Scheffler said in a feature for the Summer 2022 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine. “If some of our experiences can have a positive experience on some of those guys’ lives, then that’s something that we’re going to want to do for a long time.”

Burns was grateful to be invited and enjoyed having an opportunity to pour into the next generation of golfers.

“I never went to one of these [CGF] events in college, but I wish I had,” he told Sports Spectrum. “To be able to develop a community with these kids and show them how important faith is in their lives is incredible. I’m glad we’re able to have a platform with them and give back.”

Thanks to their performances at Colonial Country Club over the weekend, Scheffler and Burns are now first and second in the FedEx Cup stadings with the U.S. Open just over two weeks away.

Sam Burns wins first PGA Tour event while helping ‘Fill the Stadium’
Scottie Scheffler wins Masters, says ‘reason I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God’
Scottie Scheffler staying grounded in faith during rise to golf’s world No. 1
SS PODCAST: LPGA Hall of Famer Betsy King on faith, bringing hope to women & children
SS PODCAST: LPGA Tour’s Kristy McPherson on overcoming arthritis, trusting in Jesus