After driver found non-conforming earlier this year, Sam Burns finds one he loves at Valspar

Statistics told one story; Sam Burns said otherwise.

Burns hit just over half of his fairway, averaging 312 yards and +0.232 hitting: no tees in the first round of the Valspar Championship.

Nothing disproportionate to its seasonal performance. But after 2 to 69 years, Burns was pleased, especially with his rider.

“Yes, I found one that I really like now. Unfortunately, I had one that flunked the USGA, and let’s see, it was in Los Angeles,” Burns, who uses Callaway equipment, said Thursday.

Full results of Valspar Championship

“So it’s been a tough couple of weeks trying to come up with something that I like. You go out here and you need something comfortable, especially when the wind starts to blow. So I shouldn’t have it for a couple of weeks, but now I’ve found something that I really like and that’s why I’m excited.”

Asked why his previous driver was deemed ineligible, Burns said: “They said he was one point ineligible. So I really don’t know what that means. There’s not a lot of transparency there.”

Burns missed the Genesis Invitational and did the same in his next start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He drew 35th last week in Players.

Now with a handy rider in hand, Burns is three shots behind the leader in a claim for a third consecutive win this race. Steve Stricker is the latest player to win the same event three years in a row, having done so at the John Deere Classic from 2009 to 2011.

However, Burns has just one top ten this year, so he’s not so much thinking about making history as it is about finding consistency.

“Honestly, not really,” Burns said when asked if he was thinking about a triple. “I think for me it’s just trying to put together a good week and a lot of wins are out of my control. So I just try to get on the field and play my best, and at the end add the result.”


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