Saturday, September 28, 2013

Arnold Palmer to Play Pro-Am with Grandson Sam Saunders on Web.Com Tour

Arnold Palmer to Play Pro-Am with Grandson Sam Saunders on Web.Com Tour

Ryan Ballengee May 14, 2013 8:13 PM

COMMENTARY | It's going to be a grand affair on Saturday on the Tour.

Arnold Palmer will play in the pro-am of this week's BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina with grandson Sam Saunders, according to a source close to the situation.

Palmer will replace Saunders' originally scheduled pro-am partner, "The Voice" winner Javier Colon, who will be unable to play the final day for the amateurs as he is performing that day at the tournament. The event is contested over 72 holes, with the 168-player field split among three courses before a cut is made to the top 60 and ties for the Sunday finale.

The King will already be in town to reveal news of a golf complex at The Reserve at Lake Keowee near Greenville, S.C. A Jack Nicklaus-designed course, built at The Reserve in 2002, is one of the three 18-hole tracks in the rotation for the tournament. The Palmer complex has been on the table for several years, with developers waiting until it made financial sense to build it.

Saunders played his collegiate golf at Clemson, however, he left before his senior season to turn pro in 2009. The now-25-year-old played just once on the Tour in '09, then split time between the Tour and PGA Tour for the next two years, with his best PGA Tour finish being a T-15 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Saunders played his first full season on the Tour last season.

In 2012, Saunders finished 50th on the money list, falling 25 spots shy of earning his PGA Tour card for 2013. He posted his second-best finish of the year at the BMW Charity Pro-Am last season, finishing T-5. His co-runner-up finish at the Utah Championship was his best effort of the year.

Ryan Ballengee is a Washington, D.C.-based golf writer. His work has appeared on multiple digital outlets, including NBC Sports and Golf Channel. Follow him on Twitter @RyanBallengee.

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