Saunders Shoots 59 at Web Tour Championship


Sam Saunders may never truly escape the shadow cast by his grandfather, Arnold Palmer, but with each passing year it becomes more abundantly clear that the 30-year-old’s golf game is no joke. The latest testament came on Thursday at the Tour Championship where Saunders fired a 12-under par 59 in one of the biggest tournament rounds of his life.

While the 2016-17 PGA Tour season has wrapped up, golf’s minor leaguers are grinding out spots in the Tour Finals with their jobs and livelihoods on the line. Entering the season-ending Tour Championship, Saunders was right on the 25-man bubble that determines status for next year both on the PGA and Tours. 

Proving that no moment was too big, Saunders played the round of the year on the Tour to put himself in a great position. Ryan Lavner of had more

Sam Saunders sank a 10-foot birdie putt on his final hole to shoot 59 in the opening round of the Tour Championship.

Saunders, the grandson of the late Arnold Palmer, made six birdies in a row to finish, and 13 birdies overall, on his home course, Atlantic Beach Country Club, in the Tour finale.

Saunders hit 14 greens and needed only 20 putts on a day when the field average was 68.3.


“Today was about putting,” he said. “I made everything today, and that’s how you go low.”

Entering the week at No. 24 on the Tour Finals money list, Saunders wasn’t assured of keeping his PGA Tour card for next season. This 12-under round should help, as he took a three-shot lead over Matt Atkins and Steve Wheatcroft, and now is projected to move to No. 1 on the money list.

Saunders’ 59 is the seventh sub-60 score in Tour history, and his magical round came nearly a year to the day after Palmer passed away (Sept. 25).



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