Sam Burns Wins The Match Play Fueled By Uncrustables, Saying Goodbye To WGC Events, Rory McIlroy Makes No Sense, Plus Early Masters Thoughts

World Golf Championship events are now a thing of the past following the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and, to be fair, it was a rather poetic final chapter with how things unfolded on Sunday with Sam Burns earning his fifth career win on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy and his new putter had a strong outing at Austin CC, but his putting isn't the biggest takeaway when looking back on his week filled with multiple nonsensical moments.

Now with the match play in the rearview, we've officially hit that stretch on the calendar where it's completely acceptable to start talking about the Masters.

There is plenty to touch on in this week's edition of Par Talk, so let's get into it.

Sam Burns And His Uncrustables Winning The Final WGC Match Play Event Was The Perfect Closing Act

Heading into Sunday's action things were set up for a storybook championship match with world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler squaring off against Rory McIlroy. We were in store for a heavyweight battle, but Sam Burns and Cam Young had different plans.

Burns was able to take down Scheffler in extra holes and Young did the same to McIlroy setting up a final match nobody was asking for. While it isn't what golf fans wanted, closing the books on a weird event in a city known for being weird with a weird championship match was the perfect final act.

Year after year it seems like we've been one win away from having an all-time great championship match, but more often than not an underdog pulls through. Burns and Young making the final instead of McIlroy and Scheffler shows both the beauty of match play, but also the volatility of the format.

When you have four players ranked inside the Top 20 in the world, match play turns into a literal coin flip, and on Sunday, Burns and Young won the toss.

Having said all of that, Burns deserves all the credit in the world as he put on a clinic in the championship match to take down Young 6&5. While he lucked out with Scheffler missing a very short putt to send him packing earlier in the day, Burns took full advantage of his opportunity.

Burns closing out Young on the 13th hole speaks for itself, but so too do the eight birdies he made during that stretch. Young simply ran into the buzzsaw of all buzzsaws, and one that happened to be fueling himself with Uncrustables.

Nothing like housing a packaged PB&J while competing for $3.5 million. That's a man that is very much in control of his golf ball that doesn't have a single care in the world.

Sam Burns now has four Top 10s in 11 starts this season and four wins in his last 35 starts on Tour.

Bidding Farewell To WGC Events, Sort Of

While the PGA Tour is technically getting rid of WGC events, it's more so that it's just getting rid of the title and undergoing a rebrand.

The entire schtick behind WGC events was that they featured the top players on Tour with no cut, so a guaranteed payday for every player in the field. The Tour isn't getting rid of no-cut events for the top players in the world next season, but instead actually adding eight to next year's schedule and just calling them elevated events.


While the Tour and certain media members can nitpick about these elevated events being slightly different than WGC events of the past, they're more or less an exact carbon copy of one another.

The Tour must keep its biggest stars happy with LIV Golf still lingering as a threat to poach players, even if that means taking a page out of LIV's own playbook and eliminating the cut in certain events.

Before we officially close the door on WGC events we have to look back at Tiger Woods' ridiculous bunker shot from the 2019 WGC Mexico Championship.

Rory McIlroy Simply Does Not Make Sense

Rory McIlroy didn't make sense on two occasions last week. One instance came on the actual golf course, while the other involved him making what could be the most questionable comment of his entire career.

We'll start with the positive first.

McIlroy is one of the great drivers of the golf ball, most would even argue nobody has hit a driver as well as Rory has, but he even shocked his biggest supporters during his match against Denny McCarthy on Friday.

Standing on the 18th tee with a 1-up advantage, McIlroy sent his drive into orbit only to have his golf ball carry 375 yards and nestle within four feet of the hole. Just a routine eagle on a 380-yard Par 4 to slam the door shut in a match.

While McIlroy's ability with a driver in his hand makes no sense, neither did his comments earlier in the week about rolling back the golf ball.

Unlike the vast majority of his peers on the PGA Tour, McIlroy is on board with the proposal to roll back the ball which would limit it to travel no more than 320 yards.

While McIlroy is certainly entitled to his opinion, he took things a step further and made a subtle threat to the PGA Tour if it doesn't decide to adopt the local rule.

“Honestly, for me, the major championships are the biggest deal, so if the PGA Tour doesn’t implement it, I might still play the Model Local Rule ball, because I know that that’ll give me the best chance and the best preparation leading into the major championships,” McIlroy said.


Not only is this a shot directed at the Tour - the organization McIlroy constantly goes to bat for - it also sounds like a lie.

Showing up to PGA Tour events with millions of dollars on the line and giving 20+ yards to every player in the field sounds ridiculous, because it is.

It's Time To Start Thinking About The Masters

On April 6, just 10 days from now, the 2023 Masters will be underway and we'll be amid the greatest four-day stretch the sport has to offer.

With us very much in the home stretch, it's time to get in the Masters' mindset, which shouldn't take much given how many storylines there are heading into the year's first major.

A total of 18 LIV golfers are eligible to tee it up in this year's Masters which means we are bound to have a plethora of stories to follow not only throughout the tournament but from the moment players arrive on property next week as well.

While it'll be interesting to see if any LIV players make noise on the leaderboard come next weekend, we also have Scottie Scheffler playing incredible golf looking to defend his title from a year ago. Jon Rahm stumbled at the match play, but his chances of winning his first green jacket may have never been better.

McIlroy will be hunting his own green jacket on his latest attempt to complete the career grand slam. Then you also have Augsuta's golden boy in Jordan Spieth, who has shown countless flashes all season, as it would be shocking to not see him in contention down the stretch.

While there are plenty more storylines and the inevitable surprise characters that will emerge, all of this is just food for thought to get you in the right mindset for this year's festivities at Augusta National.

Until then, we have the Valero Texas Open this week in San Antonio. Despite it being the week before the Masters, the field is on the stronger side with the likes of Tyrrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, and a whole slew of players looking to punch their ticket to Augusta with a win.

Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.