Palmers Grandson Named Amateur of the Month


Sam Saunders, a 17-year-old high school junior who punctuated a streak of 13 competitive rounds under par in winning the Florida schoolboy golf title, has been named November National Amateur of the Month by the Southern Golf Association.
The monthly award is chosen by the SGA's 12-man selection panel of national golf officials, journalists and college coaches.
Honorable mention went to Georgia Tech senior Nicholas Thompson, who bested an elite college field in the Western Refining All-America Classic in El Paso. Thompson, from Coral Springs, Fla., posted a 9-under 204 before gaining his first collegiate title in a playoff over high-ranked Matthew Rosenfield of Texas.
Playing for Orlando Trinity Prep, Saunders won the Florida FHSAA Class 1A state title by five strokes, firing 68-68 for an 8-under-par 136 total in the finals played in early November. Saunders, grandson of golfing great Arnold Palmer, won the men's club championship at Palmer's Bay Hill Club in Orlando while just 15.
Although the youngest player in the SGA's 2004 Southern Amateur at the demanding Honors Course near Chattanooga this past summer, Saunders made the cut and beat the score Tiger Woods had posted to win an NCAA championship on the same course.
Saunders is paired with Palmer in the Home Depot Father/Son Challenge to be aired on NBC-TV this weekend.