Best friends and outspoken Christians Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler put faith to the fore once again Sunday on the PGA Tour, with a short but dazzling playoff at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth.
It was Burns who bested his friend on the first playoff hole with a sensational 38-foot birdie putt to win. But they both have rocketed to the top of the sport this year: Scheffler has won four times on tour, while Sunday’s win was Burns’ third of the year. They are now first and second, respectively, in the season’s big-money FedEx Cup standings.
Their amazing run of victories provides a huge win as well for people of faith, as both Burns and Scheffler regularly share their buoyant Christian beliefs in the media – and their platform as PGA Tour winners spreads the good word worldwide.
Moreover, for several years Scheffler also has hosted an annual retreat for the College Golf Fellowship, which “exists to make disciples by investing relationally with the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world of college golf.” Burns joined him at the event last year – a fact that was mentioned prominently during CBS’ coverage of the Charles Schwab.
“That was my third year, and to have Sam be a part of it as well was really fun for the both of us,” Scheffler told Sports Spectrum Magazine for its Summer 2022 edition. “If some of our experiences can have a positive experience on some of those guys’ lives, then that’s something that we’re going to want to do for a long time.”
“I never went to one of these [College Golf Fellowship] events in college, but I wish I had,” Burns told Sports Spectrum. “To be able to develop a community with these kids and show them how important faith is in their lives is incredible. I’m glad we’re able to have a platform with them and give back.”
After Scheffler’s breakthrough major win at the Masters Tournament in April, he shared the importance of his faith with the world’s assembled media.
“The reason why I play golf is, I’m trying to glorify God and all that He’s done in my life,” Scheffler said then. “So for me, my identity isn’t a golf score. Like Meredith told me this morning, ‘If you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by 10 shots, if you never win another golf tournament again,’ she goes, ‘I’m still going to love you, you’re still going to be the same person, Jesus loves you and nothing changes.’ All I’m trying to do is glorify God and that’s why I’m here and that’s why I’m in [this] position.”
For his part, Burns identifies himself first and foremost on his Twitter account as “Christ Follower.”
“Golf is what I do,” Burns tweeted in 2015, “it’s not who I am and can’t thank the Lord enough for this opportunity and all of the support so far.”
One of the ways Burns has put his faith into action is his support for Compassion International’s “Fill the Stadium” project, which has provided food and other supplies to help children and families through the COVID-19 pandemic.