Sam Burns hopes a return to top form is just around the corner as he seeks a rare hat-trick of PGA Tour victories in the Valspar Championship.
Burns won his maiden Tour title on the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in 2021 and retained it the following year by beating fellow American Davis Riley in a play-off.
The world number 15 will become the first player in more than a decade to win the same event three years in a row if he triumphs again on Sunday, although he comes into the week having posted just one top-10 finish so far this season.
“I would say it hasn’t been great so far,” Burns said of his 2023 campaign in a pre-tournament press conference. “I think just a little bit of inconsistency.
“But I think the important thing to remember is, as a player, it’s never as far off as sometimes you feel that it is, and so I think just continuing to do the hard work and continuing to kind of stick to my process of trying to get better, and I know that at some point it will click and everything will come together.
“So I think for me it’s trying to not just look too far ahead and just try to get a little bit better each day.
“(I have) lots of really great memories from the last couple years. But it feels good to be back. It doesn’t seem like it was a year ago. It goes by quick.”
Former Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker was the last player to win a PGA Tour event three years in a row, doing so at the John Deere Classic from 2009-2011.
There have been 13 players with an opportunity to match Stricker since then, with nobody succeeding. Brooks Koepka came closest when he finished runner-up at Pebble Beach in 2019 in pursuit of a third straight US Open title.