Jordan Burks wins Briarbrook Invitational

Jordan Burks, pictured during the Joplin Area Championship in 2019 at Briarbrook Golf Course, shoots a 5-under-par 67 on Sunday afternoon and wins the 52nd Briarbrook Invitational by five strokes with a 54-hole total of 13-under-par 203. Globe File

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Should Jordan Burks play the lottery or roulette soon, you can bet one of his numbers is 32.

For the third straight day, Burks fired a 4-under-par 32 on the front nine at Briarbrook Golf Course, and that sparked Burks’ victory in the 52nd Briarbrook Invitational that ended Sunday afternoon.

With rounds of 70-66-67, Burks’ 54-hole total of 13-under-par 203 gave him a five-stroke victory and is the second-best score in tournament history behind Tug Baker’s 16-under 200 last year.

“I got off to a good start,” Burks said. “Tee to green again I was good. Putting was a little shaky, but I made a couple today. I had a nice chip-in on 4. It went my way.”

Bryce Benson posted a 4-under 32 on the back nine en route to his second straight 69 for an 8-under 208 to finish second. Garrett Stallings, who held a one-shot lead after two rounds, slipped to third at 211 after a final-round 76. Taylor Lansford, the first-round co-leader with Stallings, matched par-72 and was fourth at 214.

Erin Campbell was fifth with 75-215, followed by two-time former champion Mark Bruder with 75-218, Brent Wilson with 76-218 and Baker with 79-221.

Burks was one shot back after 36 holes, but he pulled even on the par-4 first hole with a four-foot birdie while Stallings three-putted from behind the green for par.

“Garrett smoked one off the tee and drove it just over the green,” Burks said. “First-tee jitters, I pulled (my drive) left but was wide open and hit it to about four feet and made birdie.”

Burks bogeyed the par-5 second hole but still took a two-shot lead when Stallings hit his drive out of bounds and took 7. From there, Burks chipped in for birdie on 4 and birdied the seventh and eighth holes to hold a four-shot lead at the turn.

He maintained at least a four-shot advantage throughout a back-nine 35 that included four birdies and three bogeys.

“I feel like I had one bad shot today, and it was on 11 (a par-3),” Burks said. “I pulled a punch 6-iron left of the green. I felt like that was my first good putt of the day, and I missed it. From there, I threw in a couple of bogeys, threw in a couple of birdies.”

For the weekend Burks had 20 birdies and seven bogeys, including 13 birdies and a lone bogey on the front nine.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Burks, who finished third last year. “I was nervous as hell over that last putt on 18 (18-foot birdie). I don’t know how it went in. My approach shot, I hit it not very good and looked up, and all I saw was sun. They said ‘good shot,’ and I’m like OK then.”

Benson moved up from third place to second place with his back-nine 32, making birdie on the odd-numbered holes.

“I was off to a slow start and played good on the back,” said Benson, who moved to Joplin from Arlington, Texas, about 10 years ago. “I birdied the first hole, then just didn’t make any putts (the rest of the front nine). I made bogey on 4 and 9, then made four birdies on the back.

“He (Burks) played good all day. It was fun to watch.”

Stallings’ 4-over 76 included a triple bogey on No. 2 and double bogey on No. 12 after hitting both drives out of bounds. He made two birdies on each side and also had three bogeys on the back while shooting 37-39.

“It was pretty rough,” said Stallings, who finished second last year. “The driver, I double-crossed two of them, and those went out of bounds. I did the same thing last year on Sunday, hit two out of bounds. That was pretty disappointing.

“It was a pretty rough start, especially when I drove the green on 1. I was right off the back and ended up with a par. A rough start, and they stuffed some (approach shots) in there. ... A good first day, all right second day, worse Sunday. It should be the opposite.”

Champions were crowned in eight more flights.

Past champion Ethan Hutcheson shot a closing 69 and won Presidents Flight with 213.

Mike Maier captured A Flight with 69-219, and Ronnie Ressel and Doug Harvey both had 74-229 to share top honors in B Flight. Other flight winners were Cam Lawrence in C Flight with 75-236, Carl Francis in D Flight with 79-247 and Chase Hunter in E Flight with 82-254.

In the Seniors Division, Chad Walker won Championship Flight with 74-222, and Elbert Smith prevailed in Presidents Flight with 75-242.

Smith actually had another first on Sunday as his 75 marked the first time he shot his age. A steady round saw him match par across the scorecard except for bogeys on 6 and 12, a double-bogey on 14 and birdie on 15.

Follow Sports Editor Jim Henry on Twitter at @Jim_Henry53.

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