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Sam Burns turned professional in 2017 before joining the PGA Tour in 2019, and over his time on the Tour, he’s had one bagman – Travis Perkins.
Since making his Tour debut, Burns has steadily climbed the world rankings with a series of impressive finishes, including ninth in the RBC Heritage in his maiden PGA Tour year. He really announced his arrival as a serious contender in 2021, though, initially by finishing third in the Genesis Invitational, then winning the Valspar Championship and Sanderson Farms Championship later in the year.
Throughout his time on the PGA Tour, Burns has had compatriot Travis Perkins by his side. Perkins, who hails from Lewis Center in Ohio, grew up with a love for golf, and counted Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples as childhood heroes. It’s not surprising, then, that he is a talented golfer in his own right, and played for Florida Southern College before receiving his PGA Tour card in 2008. Despite making three cuts in the 2008 season, Perkins struggled to maintain his status. As a result, in 2011 he teamed up with his friend, Kris Blanks, to caddie for him. However, it was when caddying for D.A. Points that Perkins really began seeing success, with Points’ win at the 2013 Shell Houston Open.
Perkins, who has also caddied for Scott Piercy, Aaron Wise, Brandt Snedeker and Cameron Tringale teamed up with Burns when he turned professional and the pair have barely looked back since. After Burns’ Valspar Championship win, Perkins was full of praise for his boss, saying: “Sam played amazing golf for 72 holes. He putted unbelievably. It made my job easy – just get him on the green.” 2022 began more shakily for Burns, with three missed cuts in the first four tournaments, but he showed signs he was hitting his stride in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, finishing tied for ninth, suggesting that his and Perkins’ partnership is still very much on the right track.
In an article per Florida daily newspaper The Ledger last year, a former college teammate of Perkins certainly didn’t have any concerns that Perkins has what it takes to caddie at the top level, saying: “He really knows the game. I’m not surprised he is so successful as a caddy. Great players need a caddy who is detailed and calculated with a strong work ethic. He has all of those. Bottom line - he has everything to partner well with world class PGA Players.”
How Much Does Sam Burns’ Caddie Make?
Burns earned $5.1m in the 2020/21 season, leaving him the 14th highest earner on the Tour. As a result, Perkins is likely to have earned as much as $500,000 (10%) as his bagman during that period. With Burns’ career seemingly on an upward trajectory, he can expect to earn even higher sums as the partnership progresses.
More Sam Burns articles
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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