Sam Saunders' T-4 finish at the Hotel Fitness Championship was even more impressive considering the 28-year-old spent time in the hospital last month for a skull fracture.
Saunders shot a final-round 69 in the first event of the Web.com Tour Finals, taking a big step toward retaining his PGA Tour card for next season. He reportedly fell from an electric scooter in late August, shortly after a T-14 finish at the Wyndham Championship, leading to an epidural hematoma and two nights in intensive care.
"I had a fractured skull, a brain bleed," Saunders told PGATour.com. "I had a severe concussion and all that stuff. I was unconscious for two minutes before the ambulance came. I spent a couple nights in the hospital."
Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, made his PGA Tour debut this past season. While he lost in a playoff at the Puerto Rico Open, that proved to be his lone top-10 finish in 28 starts and Saunders failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He has conditional status for next season based on his FedEx Cup standing, but he is hoping to secure full-time status this month via the four-event Finals, through which he earned his card last year.
Saunders only began taking full swings in the days leading up to last week's event, and he now plans to take this week off to rest before returning to action at the third postseason event, the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. Despite the quick turnaround, don't expect Saunders to be trying any daredevil moves in the future.
"It makes me not want to be stupid and think I'm invincible," he said. "Something like that certainly makes you think twice about jumping off a rock, or not wearing a helmet. It's just not worth it."