LSU Golf Star, Sam Burns, Ready for 2023 Ryder Cup
BATON ROUGE– Former LSU standout golfer, Sam Burns, is set to tee off with team USA in his first ever Ryder Cup on Friday at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy.
Burns has been paired with the world No. 1 golfer, Scottie Scheffler, to take on Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton of team Europe in the opening foursome of the tournament on Friday. The match will tee off on the par-71 7,181 yards Marco Simone golf course at 12:35 a.m. central time.
“We’re very confident in putting Scottie and Sam out there.”, said American captain Zach Johnson on his first pairing selection at Thursday’s press conference. “You’ve got experience and some chemistry in there. Those guys want to get after it and I’m confident that they can do that. Those two bond and mesh so well together on and off the golf course so it’s a very natural fit, zero hesitation.”
The 27-year-old Burns, has five PGA wins, ranks 21st in the world, and played two seasons (2015-17) at LSU. He was 2017 NCAA Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year, a two-time All-American and the 2017 SEC Player of the Year.
Burns is the third Tiger to play in the Ryder Cup behind LSU legend David Toms and Fred Haas. Toms played on three Ryder Cup teams (2002, 2004, 2006) and Haas played in the 10th Ryder cup back in 1953.
The Shreveport area native was one of six captain’s selections made by Johnson to round out the 12-man roster. Other players named to the team by Johnson were Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
“Great athlete. He won the World Golf Match Play Championships this year. Tremendous putter, which is always good in a Ryder Cup.”, said the American captain when asked about Burns. “To say he mixes well with the rest of the team would be a massive understatement, he’s a versatile team-mate. Guys want to be around him, guys want to play with him – it’s nice locking hands, locking shoulders with somebody you want to be around and Sam fits that to a tee.”
Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa, and Xander Schauffele were the six automatic qualifiers who have accumulated the most Ryder Cup points over the last two years.
The European team is made up of Ludvig Åberg. Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrell Hatton, Nicolai Højgaard, Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, Robert Macintyre, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, and Sepp Straka.
The United States has a 27-14-2 lead in the series dating to 1927, but Europe has a 11-9-1 edge going back to 1979 when continental Europe was invited to join players from Britain and Ireland. The States defeated Europe 19-9 in the last Ryder Cup at Whistling Straight in Haven, Wisconsin. The U.S. hasn’t been victorious on foreign soil since its 15-13 win in 1993 in England.
This will be Burns’ rookie appearance with the Ryder Cup team, but he is no stranger to representing his country. Burns was a part of the victorious 2014 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team that played in Scotland.
The 5-time winner on the PGA Tour has proven successful in the match play format. Most recently, Burns won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in March. Burns will be looked to for his superb putting, ranking ninth on tour in strokes gained: putting (.584).
Burns was turning heads before play even started when he shared his new “american-themed” haircut to social media earlier this week. Burns will be sporting a mullet with “U-S-A” etched in the side of his head at Marco Simone.
“When you start shaving things into the side of your head, you’re kind of asking for it, I guess, but it’s been fun.” Burns said to the press on Wednesday.
The three day competition will get started on Friday with four foursome matches (alternate shot) and four four-ball matches (best ball), all featuring two players from each team. Saturday will be more of the same with eight matches total, four of each. (foursomes and four-ball)
Sunday’s finale will feature all 24 golfers competing in 12 singles matches to determine the winning team. Each match is worth one point, and if there is a tie each team will receive a half-point. There are 28 points up for grabs so the first team to reach 14.5 will take home the Ryder Cup trophy.
The Ryder Cup will be televised on NBC and USA for all three days of the tournament. You can also stream the Cup on Peacock.