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Burns: One eye on Tour status, another on Tiger

Sam Burns at the 2018 Valspar Championship.
Getty Images

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Sam Burns will get another shot at Tiger Woods, although Sunday’s final turn at the Valspar Championship will have a different perspective.

Two weeks ago at the Honda Classic, Burns set out on Sunday paired with Woods. He outplayed the 14-time major champion with a closing 68 and earned a spot in this week’s field at Innisbrook via his tie for eighth place.

This time he’ll tee off in the group ahead of Woods and just three strokes off the lead held by Corey Conners.

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“Obviously as a kid growing up I saw Tiger Woods,” Burns said. “I think it's really good to see him back, healthy and playing golf and obviously playing well.”

Beyond another day dueling with Woods, Burns will have much more on the line. Another top-10 finish would earn him a spot in two weeks at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, the PGA Tour’s next “open” event (he’s already in the field at next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational).

Burns could also earn special temporary status on Tour if he were to finish inside the top 3 at Innisbrook, which would allow him to accept unlimited sponsor exemptions.

“Hopefully tomorrow I can take care of it,” said Burns, who shot a third-round 67. “I'm going to go out and try to have a good routine warming up, try to hit golf shots out there and put myself in the best position to play well.”