LSU great Sam Burns tees off at lunchtime today as a contender in U.S. Open

MAJOR OPPORTUNITY: Sam Burns is playing well and is considered among the contenders this week at the U.S. Open, which starts today.

JOURNAL SPORTS

Shreveport native Sam Burns, a former LSU All-America golfer, will make his fourth appearance in the U.S. Open as a contender for the first time when the 122nd edition of the Grand Slam event takes place at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Burns tees off at 12:14 p.m. CT on Thursday and will be paired with Abraham Ancer and Thomas Pieters. The group will tee off on No. 10. Tournament action can be seen on USA Network as well as NBC.

“For me, it’s just being able to manage the game I have each day; not having my best stuff each day, but being able to get the ball around and shoot those couple under rounds that could have been a couple over,” he told Golf Channel Wednesday, “and when you have your A-game, being able to shoot 4-5-6 under. Obviously that may not be the case this week with that kind of scoring, but being able to manage your ball around here so when you get on a hot stretch, you’re able to make birdies.”

Burns, a Calvary Baptist Academy graduate, was the winner of the 2017 Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year as a sophomore at LSU. He is currently ranked ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking.

In 17 starts in 2021-22, Burns has won three PGA events and finished in the Top 10 eight times. He’s ranked No. 2 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Standings.

Since winning the Valspar Championship on March 20 of this year, Burns has gone on to finish second at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and then won the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 29. Last week, Burns carded a 14-under total to place in a tie for fourth at the Canadian Open. The 25-year-old has over $6.1 million in winnings this season.

Burns’ other PGA Tour victory this season came in October when he posted a 72-hole total of 22-under to claim the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Burns first appeared in the U.S. Open following his freshman season at LSU in 2016. He followed that with appearances in 2018 and last year. His top finish came in 2018 when he tied for 41st with a 72-hole total of 14-over par (71-76-75-72—294). Last year at Torrey Pines, Burns opened with rounds of 73 and 74 and missed the cut by one stroke.

This will mark Burns’ third appearance in a Grand Slam event this year. He tied for 20th at the PGA Championship in late April at 1-over par (71-67-71-72—281). He missed the cut at The Masters in early April by one stroke.

At LSU, Burns left as the school’s record holder for career scoring average (71.13) and his 70.05 stroke average in 2016-17 ranks as the best in school history dating back to 1982. Burns won four tournaments during his LSU career, including the NCAA Regional played at the University Club in Baton Rouge in 2017.