Report by Anand Datla
September 22, 2014: You ought to be a serious golfing junkie if you know a certain Sam Saunders. The 27 year old professional is in his fourth season as a golfer, surviving mainly around the fringes. But Saunders is no ordinary golfer, he is a man of serious pedigree. The man from Orlando is after all the grandson of Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golfers to have wielded his club. Saunders though is a fledgling golfer struggling for survival, but after a good run on the Web.com tour, his battle may be at an end. Saunders finished T7 at the Web.com Tour Finals to earn his card for the PGA Tour next season.
There were 50 cards on offer this past Sunday – with half of them being awarded to the top earners on the tour and the other half going the way of the 25 best performers in the four week long finals series. Three top 20 finishes and a top 10 in Ponte Vedra Beach assured Saunders full status on the PGA Tour for 2015. Saunders finished his season with a 3-under 67 at TPC Sawgrass to seal his status for the next season.
With several multi-year exemptions on offer for good performances on the main Tour next year, Saunders will look for a solid first season to secure his place among the best golfers in the world. He is no stranger to the PGA Tour – having started in twenty events on sponsor exemptions, he made eight cuts in his short career. Saunders best effort came three years ago at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am where he finished inside the top twenty.
Here is the full list of 50 men who earned PGA Tour cards for 2015 – Adam Hadwin, Derek Fathauer, Carlos Ortiz, Bud Cauley, Justin Thomas, Colt Knost, John Peterson, Andrew Putnam, Richard Sterne, Jason Gore, Zac Blair, Tony Finau, Sam Saunders, Zack Sucher, Jim Herman, Blayne Barber, Lingmerth, Alex Cejka, Tom Hoge, Steven Alker, Greg Owen, Andres Gonzales, Tom Gillis, Jon Curran, Whee Kim, Cameron Percy, Scott Pinckney, Daniel Berger, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Jonathan Randolph, Sean O’Hair, Max Homa, Heath Slocum, Mark Hubbard, J.J. Henry, Steve Wheatcroft, Nick Taylor, Kyle Reifers, Hudson Swafford, Ryan Armour, Alex Prugh, Byron Smith, Oscar Fraustro, Bill Lunde, Sung Joon Park, Roger Sloan, Chad Collins, Fabian Gomez, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Eric Axley.