FORT WORTH, Texas — Sam Burns made a 38-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole at Colonial, which came just more than two hours after he had finished his round, to beat top-ranked Scottie Scheffler on Sunday.
After finishing his 5-under 65 to get to 9 under, Burns was done in the clubhouse when, at one point, Scheffler was among five players tied at 10 under.
The gusty wind and a strange sequence changed all that. And Scheffler needed three clutch putts for a 72 just to get into the playoff matching 25-year-old standouts and close friends.
Burns’ seven-stroke comeback matched Nick Price in 1994 for the biggest in a final round to win Colonial.
The playoff began with both driving into the fairway at No. 18, the same hole where just moments earlier Scheffler made a 6-foot par putt after his approach on his 72nd hole went into the bunker.
Scheffler got on the green with his approach in the playoff, but was 36 feet away. Burns hit just off the back edge of the green and used his putter, with the ball curling the last few feet into the cup. Scheffler made a good run with his putt, but didn’t have a birdie all day.
It was the third win this season for Burns, and his fourth overall in his last 27 starts. The world’s 10th-ranked player won at Valspar for the second time in March.
The Colonial win was worth $1,512,000, along with a plaid jacket and a custom-built Schwab Firebird Trans Am.
Masters champion Scheffler was going for his fifth victory in his last 10 starts. He missed becoming the first player since Tom Watson in 1980 with five wins in a PGA Tour season before the start of June.
Burns was 5 under on the front nine to make his turn at 9 under. He had birdie at No. 11, but then had bogey after a wayward tee shot and a penalty stroke. He parred out and then waited.
After Scheffler’s first putt at the 17th went 8 feet past the hole, he pumped his fist when he made the par save. That was even more emphatic than his reaction when he also pushed a birdie attempt 9 feet past at No. 15 and also saved par there.
Brendon Todd (71), who played in the final group with Scheffler, gave up his share of the lead with back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12. That dropped him to 8 under, where he stayed to finish in third alone. That was a stroke ahead of Tony Finau (67), Davis Riley (69) and Scott Stallings (72).
Temperatures were again in the mid-90s with sustained winds of more than 20 mph gusting to more than 30 mph, much like Saturday. The greens got firmer, and the wind made it even more difficult to get on — and to putt when players did.
There were five players tied at 10 under after the final groups made the turn, and then a long gap of time between shots for Scheffler when he briefly regained the solo lead.
Stallings birdied the 631-yard 11th to get to 10 under before he flew his approach over the No. 12 green onto a slope where his view to the green was obstructed by a temporary TV tower.
After getting a drop from that, relief from standing on a sprinkler head and then even more relief from a temporary sign, Stallings was 43 yards from the hole with a direct line to it. But his approach came up short and he ended up with bogey.
Harold Varner III, in contention for his first PGA Tour victory, was in the group with Stallings and also fell out of a share of the lead when he four-putted from just inside 20 feet after the long wait. His approach had buried into a bunker fronting the green.
After that triple bogey, Varner’s tee shot at the par-3 13th went into the water, and he had a double bogey. He had another triple and double after that for a backside 10-over 45 and a 78 to finish the tournament tied for 27th at even par.
During that delay, Scheffler was in the fairway at No. 12 and suddenly back in the lead alone at 10 under. But that was short-lived. His approach came up just short, and he then missed a 3 1/2-foot par putt.
PGA Tour rookie Riley actually had the outright lead at 11 under with his sixth birdie of the day, a tap-in at the par-5 11th after chipping from behind the green after a 340-yard drive and a 305-yard approach.
But his par attempt at No. 13 curled off the cup, and then his drive at the 12th went out-of-bounds on way to a double-bogey 6.