'Difficult Decision' - Sam Burns Withdraws From WGC-Match Play

The Valspar Championship winner has withdrawn from the first WGC of the year

Sam Burns hits a golf shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Burns says he has made the "difficult decision" to withdraw from this week's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas. 

The American cited a need to rest ahead of a busy stretch on the PGA Tour that includes the year's opening Major at Augusta National in just two weeks' time.

"I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play," Burns said in a statement. "After 3 long weeks of golf, I feel that taking this week to rest and prepare for the busy stretch is best. I appreciate the support and look forward to seeing everyone soon."

The withdrawals continue from the Match Play after both World No.8 Rory McIlroy and No.6 Cameron Smith decided to miss the event. It is a five day tournament which sees the top four finishers all play seven rounds of golf, with the last-16, quarter finals, semi finals and final all taking place over Saturday and Sunday after the three day round-robin format.

The Match Play comes just nine days after the final round of the Players Championship, which was delayed to a Monday finish after bad weather disrupted play at TPC Sawgrass.

Burns, now World No.10, won his third PGA Tour title in the space of a year with his successful title defence at the Valspar Championship. He overcame Davis Riley in a playoff after shooting a final round of 69 on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook. The 25-year-old also won the Sanderson Farms Championship in October.

Billy Horschel defends his Match Play title this week after defeating Scottie Scheffler in the final last year. It is the only World Golf Championship on the PGA Tour schedule this year, although the European Tour still has the WGC-HSBC Champions in China on its schedule for November. The WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational both no longer exist.

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x