Wait, why are there 3 letters on the head of the PGA Tour’s leader?

Sam Burns

Sam Burns on Friday on the 18th hole at the American Express event.

Getty Images

Sam Burns eagled the 3rd. He was maybe safe. He birdied 4, 5 and 6. Still likely OK. But then he eagled again, on 11. And birdied 13. And 14. And 15. And freaking 16. He was on a watch for golf’s magical number, a 59. 

But that also meant that the cameras would come. 

And at some point, perhaps around the time when he’d shake the hands of his playing partners and caddies, he’d also probably have to remove his white hat. 

And sooner or later then, they’d show the left side of his head. 

Where there were three letters. And he’d presumably be thinking of a few choice words. 

To set this up, Burns is playing this week’s American Express tournament on the PGA Tour. But last fall, his college, Louisiana State, played football. And on Nov. 3, the Tigers played Alabama. And they lost, by two touchdowns.  

And fellow pro Justin Thomas went to Bama. 

And Thomas is also playing the American Express. Before this week, it’s unclear if he saw Burns since LSU-Alabama; they did each play the Hero World Challenge last month. But they definitely met up on Monday. Thomas grabbed his phone with his right hand. With his left, he gave a thumbs-up. He smiled. Burns stood behind him. There, his hat was off. 

And the left side of his head was facing Thomas’ camera when Thomas snapped a photo. He posted it to his Instagram stories. 

But those posts die after a day, right? Maybe no one would see. But then Burns went nuclear on Friday during the Am Ex’s second round. When he was done, he was the leader. When he was finished with his round of 11-under 61, he did greet his group. And he took off his hat. 

And the left side of his head turned toward the Golf Channel cameras. 

Daniel Berger disappeared for 19 mysterious months. Where’d he go?
By: Dylan Dethier

Where shaved into his hair were these three letters:


Or Roll Tide Roll. Yeah, that’s one of the chants of Thomas’ Crimson Tide. Yeah, the friends had friendly-wagered. (Though, we’re wondering: What would JT have done if LSU had won?)

The cameras stayed on Burns’ head. The commentators commented. 

Said announcer George Savaricas: “Little wager there with Justin Thomas from football season that Sam Burns finally settled. … I don’t think he was expecting the camera time there on the side.” 

Said announcer Terry Gannon: “Exactly right to take off your hat and show that, yeah.” 

Said Savaricas: “He’s a good man; he pays his bets, Terry.” 

Said Gannon: “Exactly.”

They showed Thomas’ Instagram story post. On it, Thomas wrote: “I love your new haircut @samburns66. For sure didn’t lose a bet and did it on your own RTR.” On the broadcast, there were more thoughts. 

Said Gannon: “I will never make a bet like that. I bet you right now that I won’t …”

Said Savaricas to analyst Brandel Chamblee: “You ever make a bet like that, Brandel?”

Said Chamblee: “I can’t say that I have.” 

He lost his daughter days before Q-School. Now he’s contending in PGA Tour debut
By: James Colgan

Said Savaricas: “You got too good a set of hair to make a wager like that.” 

There was more. Golf Channel’s Steve Burkowski interviewed Burns. The golfer was asked if he hoped his hair grew back quickly. He did. But he was happy his job lets him wear a cap.    

But then Burkowski asked him to take it off. To show the folks at home. And he did. RTR, on live TV. 

Said Burkowski: “Roll Tide Roll. That’s tough for an LSU man, isn’t it?”

Said Burns: “Very. Very tough.” 

Said Burkowski, referring to Alabama’s recently retired coach, Nick Saban: “Good news is, Saban’s gone, maybe you got a chance next year.” 

Said Burns: “Celebrating Saban’s retirement, as everybody else in Louisiana is.”

At the bottom of this story is a pic of Thomas’ Instagram post. But wait, you’re saying, you had the goods since Monday and didn’t share?

Yeah, yeah we did. Thomas shared it, and that was maybe enough for poor Burns. 

But then he started birdieing all over the joint. And he’ll be on your screens this weekend. 

And you should probably know why he’s got RTR on the side of his head.  

Justin Thomas’ Instagram story on Monday.
Exit mobile version