Check out the top five shots of the week from the John Deere Classic and Utah Championship featuring highlights from Zach Johnson, Troy Matteson, Sam Saunders, John Senden, and Steve Stricker.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Q-school has plenty of pressure all on its own. Add in winds consistently in the 20-25 mph range -- with gusts as high as 50 -- and scoring has taken on a whole new meaning here in the second round. Case in point: As of this moment, only nine players have recorded rounds in the 60s. Seven more players failed to break 80, including Brendan Pappas, who shot 86 -- currently the highest score in the books Thursday.
As for the leaderboard, there’s still a long way to go here in the second of six rounds at PGA West. Matt Jones, however, was one of those players to break 70, carding a 68 on the Stadium Course to earn a share of the lead at 9 under. Harris English and Will Claxton are also 9 under, but they are still on the golf course.
Some other notable names in the top 25 on the leaderboard: Billy Hurley III, Vaughn Taylor, Jeff Maggert, Dean Wilson, Bob Estes, Troy Merritt, Adam Hadwin and Sam Saunders.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Don’t look now but Arnold Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, is climbing the leaderboard.
Saunders, who played at Clemson, started on the front nine and has played his first seven holes in 5 under. ( Click here to follow the rest of his round on Shot Tracker.)
Saunders is currently tied for second at 7 under with Padraig Harrington, Aaron Baddeley and Alex Cejka. Steve Marino leads at 10 under after making the turn at Pebble Beach in 3 under.
A local radio station was just doing a leaderboard update in the media center. The announcer, talking about the logjam at second, said, “and Sam Saunders, don’t know very much about that name.” Other reporters quickly explained the relationship to him, and the recording began anew.
Interestingly, Palmer never won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He finished second in 1966 and 1971, and had a total of four top-10s.
Saunders is competing in his ninth PGA TOUR event since turning pro. His best finish is a tie for 17th at last year’s Honda Classic. He missed the cut at the Bob Hope Classic is his only other start of 2011.
Scott Ostler, the columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, did a nice piece on Saunders earlier in the week. My favorite revelation was in the story was that while we call Palmer the “King” the family calls him “Dumpy.” That’s because when Saunders’ mother Amy was a little girl and her dad had had a bad day she’d try to call him “grumpy” but the word didn’t come out quite right.
Click here to read the whole article. – Helen Ross