Bay Hill Golf

Former LSU All-American Sam Burns, shown teeing off in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March in Orlando, Florida, won his U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday in Memphis, Tennessee, by five strokes.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A few weeks ago, Sam Burns was back in Baton Rouge to attend a formal for his girlfriend’s sorority at LSU.

Sunday, he roared to his first professional victory, with the kind of flourish that makes it look like it will be the first of many.

The former LSU Tiger birdied four of his last five holes and the last three in a row to squeeze past Roberto Castro for a one-stroke victory in the Savannah Golf Championship at The Landings Club.

Burns shot three straight rounds of 7-under par 65 to close the tournament after an opening 72 to finish at 21-under 267. The win, worth $99,000, vaults the Shreveport native into fourth place on the Tour money list and comes close to putting a 2018-19 PGA Tour card in his hands.

“You work hard to play well and try and win,” Burns said rather prophetically Saturday after he took the 54-hole lead. “It’s happened pretty quick for me. I didn’t know what to expect from professional golf coming out of college. It’s been fun and really exciting.”

Burns, who turned pro after his sophomore season at LSU, can earn a PGA Tour card if he finishes in the top 25 on the season-ending Tour money list. He can also earn a special temporary PGA Tour membership for this year if he earns 80 more FedEx Cup points.

Burns tied for eighth in February in the Honda Classic and has two such exemptions left, plus a start in the upcoming Memorial Tournament. Burns is not qualified for the Masters.

Julian Etulain, who won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open last week at Le Triomphe in Broussard, tied for fifth at 15-under 273. Former LSU golfer Ben Taylor, who won earlier this season on the Tour in Colombia, tied for 15th at 12-under 276.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​