Sam Saunders continues to grow out of the shadow of just being “Arnold Palmer’s grandson”, and into creating his own image as a worthy player on the PGA TOUR. In his third full season as a TOUR member, Saunders has six top-25 finishes, more than he did in either 2014 or 2015. He has one top-ten finish in there, too, with a fifth-place tie in Puerto Rico earlier this year.
Saunders is still working to find some consistency in his game, but it’s coming around slowly. He’s
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made four of his last five cuts on TOUR, and has two top-25s in his last three starts, at the John Deere Classic and the RBC Canadian Open. That he’s earning marks like those in full-field events only bodes well for his future, both short-term and long-term.
Saunders isn’t the most accurate player in the world, ranked just 131st in greens-in-regulation. However, when he hits, his putter has been a weapon he can rely on. Saunders is currently ranked 26th on TOUR in birdie percentage, with 3.88 per round. Better yet, he’s 13th in one-putt percentage (42.51%) and 19th in birdie conversion (32.20% of greens-in-regulation).
The formula has worked before, as Saunders finished tied for ninth here last year. If he keeps up this type of performance, he could earn his first TOUR win this weekend.