Saunders qualifies for U.S. Open with caddie's irons


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following rounds of 76-80 at the Memorial Sam Saunders figured he needed a change, so when he showed up for Monday’s U.S. Open sectional qualifier he looked to his caddie’s golf bag for answers.

Saunders switched to his caddie’s irons for the 36-hole qualifier and carded matching rounds of 66 for a share of medalist honors with Michael Putnam and earned a second start at the U.S. Open.

“[Caddie Travis McAlister] has the same irons I used to have, and I decided to use his instead of mine,” said Saunders, who went back to Callaway Apex irons after playing blades last week at Muirfield Village. “I also made a good swing adjustment over the weekend. I hit it well.”

Scores: U.S. Open sectional qualifying results

Saunders was paired with Putnam on Monday and the two combined to make the same number of eagles (two) as they did bogeys (three) in Round 2 at the Lakes Golf & Country Club.

“We had a great time out there today,” Saunders said. “We were sort of in the same situation today. We both had our families with us, we both missed the cut at the Memorial. We were staying in the same hotel. There was a good vibe out there for us.”