This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
There certainly was a faction in the golf world that felt Sam Burns should've been a Ryder Cup captain's pick, a young, fiery 20-something rising rapidly in the world rankings. He surely was in the conversation and, even though we don't know, maybe even the dreaded 13th guy, the last man cut.
The Americans won very easily, of course, so from that perspective it didn't matter. But it surely did for Burns, who on Sunday made a preemptive strike to qualify for the 2023 team in Italy by winning the Sanderson Farms Championship for his second title of the year.
Burns, 25, the top player in the field in terms of world ranking at 25th, rallied on the back nine for a two-stroke win over Nick Watney, who used to be a pretty big deal himself, and Cameron Young, who is not even in the top four of Camerons on the PGA Tour.
Burns is now up to a career-high 18th in the OWGR, which is just behind five actual Ryder Cuppers: No. 17, Tyrrell Hatton, No. 16 Daniel Berger, No. 15 Rory McIlroy, No. 14 Viktor Hovland and No. 13 Jordan Spieth. Before the 2023 Ryder Cup comes the Presidents Cup next fall, and Burns just jumped from 12th to seventh in those point standings – ahead of Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka, to name a few.
This victory was just the latest progression in a remarkable 2021