Scottie Scheffler Gifts Best Friend Sam Burns a Boatload of Cash at the WGC Match Play

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Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler following their semifinal match at the 2023 WGC Match Play

With a spot in the finals of the WGC Match Play on the line, Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns engaged in an epic semifinal battle at Austin Country Club on Sunday, with Burns ultimately coming out on top after 21 grueling holes.

Now, any match involving two of the top 15 players in the world is bound to be fantastic. But this particular battle had a little extra entertainment value added to it due to the fact that Scheffler and Burns are best friends. They often travel together. Their wives are great friends. And they even sometimes stay together on the road.

But let’s not pretend this was the same as you and your best friend betting a few beers on a Sunday morning. This was two of the best players on the PGA Tour going head-to-head for a spot in the finals of an event with a $20 million purse. And the difference between winning and losing was a boatload of cash.

It seemed that Scheffler had the match locked up, but some unexpected errors from the No. 1 player in the world opened a door that Burns happily walked through.

Scottie Scheffler gifted Sam Burns a lot of money at the WGC Match Play

Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler following their semifinal match at the 2023 WGC Match Play
Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler on the 14th green after Burns won their match 1-up in a playoff during day five of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 26, 2023 | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The semifinal matchup between Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns was a true back-and-forth affair.

Burns, who came into the WGC Match Play as the 15th-ranked player in the world, came out hot and birdied the first three holes to take a 3-up lead. But just five holes later, Scheffler tied the match with a birdie at the eighth. And just two holes later, the reigning Masters champ had a 2-up lead after birdies on nine and 10.

Burns cut the lead to one with a birdie at the 13th, tied the match with a birdie at the 15th, and then took a 1-up lead at the par-3 17th, where he hit his tee shot to about a foot from the hole. But Scheffler holed a clutch birdie putt on the 18th to send the match to extra holes.

The sudden-death playoff began at the par-5 12th, where each made birdie, sending the match to the short par-4 13th. Despite the flag being just 279 yards away, both chose not to go for the green, given the wind. Scheffler was the first to hit his approach and hit his 95-yard shot just over four feet from the hole. Burns had just 75 yards on his second shot but ended up 21 feet from the hole.

When Burns missed his birdie putt, it seemed the match was over. But then this happened.

Seriously, was there anyone on the planet who truly thought he would miss that putt?

But that’s what happened. As the playoff moved to the 21st hole, it seemed Scheffler had the advantage again as his 311-yard tee shot on the par-4 14th found the fairway while Burns’ 302-yarder found the left fairway bunker. However, Burns found the green on his approach while Scheffler hit his into the left rough.

Scheffler hit a solid chip on his third to about four feet, but Burns ended things with his birdie putt, sneaking the 15-footer into the right side of the cup.

That miss on the 20th hole ended up being a costly one for Scheffler and a gift for Burns. Instead of competing for the $3.5 million winner’s share, Scheffler instead found himself in the consolation match against Rory McIlroy, who was upset in the semis by Cameron Young.

It’s not that the third-place battle was contested for chump change, as Rory walked away with $1.42 million with a 2 &1 win while Scheffler collected $1.145 million.

But the championship match was obviously worth quite a bit more, and Burns made the most of his opportunity as he needed just 13 holes to earn a 6 & 5 win over Young to take the biggest check of his career. And it was still a lucrative day for Young as he took home $2.2 million.

Sam Burns certainly played some solid golf this week. There’s no getting around that. But one could say Scottie Scheffler gifted his best friend about two million bucks on Sunday.