During the week of the one-year anniversary of his grandfather Arnold Palmer’s passing, Sam Saunders did something pretty special. Saunders fired a 12-under 59 during the opening round of the Web.com Tour Championship.
He closed with a torrid stretch of six straight birdies, carding the seventh sub-60 round in Web.com Tour history.
Saunders, who played the back nine first, poured in a 10-footer on the par-4 ninth to join the 59 Club.
Here’s his closing birdie and “I just shot 59!” reaction.
Right in the heart. ????
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) September 28, 2017
“It was dead center. I saw it going in from a few feet out,” he said of the 59-clinching putt.
In addition to some surely heightened emotions owing to the public remembrances of his grandfather, the round was extra special for Saunders as his wife and eight-year-old son were in attendance.
“Honestly, I was excited because my wife and my son, Cohen, who is really getting into golf, got to watch,” Saunders said. “He’s only watched me play three full rounds of golf probably. He’s watched me fail in golf a lot, which is good, that’s a good lesson for him. For my wife, Kelly, to be there; she’s watched the ups and downs of this whole deal. I’m really glad that they got to be out there and watch me do that.”
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) September 29, 2017
Saunders finished 129th in the FedEx Cup standings. The top 125 players earn full-time status. Thus, he’s trying to secure his card during the Web.com Tour Finals. He tied for 40th at the Boise Open, then missed the cut at the DAP Championship.
He entered the Championship at No. 24 on the Finals Money list (the top 25 earn cards). In other words, Saunders really needed a good round, and he got it.
There would be a certain poetry to Saunders winning this week and locking up his card. Here’s hoping the King’s grandson can get it done.