February 11 2011
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