Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer's Grandson, recorded the seventh 59 in Tour history in the opening round of the Tour Championship


Sam Saunders Shoots 59 In Tour Finale

Sam Saunders recorded the seventh 59 in Tour history in the opening round of the Tour Championship, the final event of the second-tier circuit’s season.

Saunders – the grandson of the late Arnold Palmer, who passed away a year ago on Monday – recorded 13 birdies, four pars and a bogey at the Atlantic Beach Country Club, which is situated a stone’s throw from his house and happens to be his home club.

He started on the 10th and birdied his last six holes to reach the magic number. The eight-footer he holed on the final green was remarkably just his 20th of the round.

Saunders has played on the PGA Tour for the last three seasons, but he finished 129th in the FedExCup standings to miss out on a full-time card for next season.

As such, he entered to the Web.Com Tour Finals – a series of four events where those who finished 25th-75th on the Web.Com Tour order of merit, and those who came 125th-200th in the FedExCup – compete for 25 PGA Tour cards.

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Saunders would have qualified for some events next season courtesy of his 129th-place finish, but he was keen to improve his priority ranking.

Happily, his opening-round 59 has put him in pole position to secure the first available card. Even if he doesn’t win – he’s currently three clear – he’ll more than likely earn his PGA Tour playing rights, given he entered the tournament inside the top 25 on the Tour Finals order of merit.

Saunders’ best PGA Tour finish came in 2015 when he tied for second at the Puerto Rico Open. He’s never won an event as a professional.