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SUCCEED AND ADVANCE It doesn’t take long to make an impact at the highest levels of professional golf. The following young players have all shown they’ve got what it takes By Kevin Prise


very year, Tour graduates have proven they’re not afraid to contend and win on the PGA TOUR, a trend that has stood the test of time. Recent examples include 2017 graduate Austin Cook, who won The RSM Classic less than two months into his rookie TOUR season, and Wesley Bryan, the 2016 Tour Player of the Year who won last year’s RBC Heritage.

The level of play on the Tour mirrors that of the PGA TOUR, and graduates arrive on the PGA TOUR with the knowledge of what it takes to succeed, the ability to do so and the confidence to make it happen. Each year, the Tour provides 25 PGA TOUR cards via the Regular Season and 25 more via the Tour Finals. Who is poised to earn a TOUR card and thrive in the near future?

WEB.COM TOUR PLAYERS SAM BURNS The 2017 NCAA Division I Player of the Year while at Louisiana State, Burns successfully navigated the Tour Qualifying Tournament in his first attempt and proved his mettle immediately. The Louisiana native finished runner-up at the Club Colombia Championship in February, then captured the inaugural Savannah Golf Championship title in early April, making birdie on his final three holes to finish one better than Roberto Castro. Burns has quickly earned the respect of his fellow pros with a well-rounded game and a knack for maximizing the moment, most notably in the final round of The Honda Classic (which he played on a sponsor exemption). Playing 58


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alongside Tiger Woods, Burns fired a bogey-free 68 to record a top-10 finish and gain entry into the Valspar Championship. Burns spent last fall living in the house of longtime Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Kyle Williams, known in professional football for his tenacious work ethic, and the 21-year-old has shown a similar commitment to the game and the work it takes to perform at a high level. Through seven events, Burns stood No. 4 on the Tour Regular Season money list, on the verge of securing a PGA TOUR card. Once he gets there, it wouldn’t shock fellow pros to see him raise a trophy sooner rather than later. W W W.P GAT OUR.COM

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Profile for Magazine

Official PGA TOUR Essential Guide to Golf: 2018 Part 2