LONGMEADOW, Mass. -- Sam Saunders won three of the first six holes and defeated Ben Blundell 6-and-5 Wednesday in the first round of match play at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
Saunders, the grandson of golfing great Arnold Palmer, finished two rounds of stroke play with a 36-hole total of 7-under-par 133.
'I had a good round going,' Saunders said. 'I wanted to keep playing. I'm driving the ball straight enough and I have the strength that the rough isn't that difficult for me.'
Saunders will face Kevin Tway in Thursday's second round. Tway, son of PGA Tour player Bob Tway, defeated Brett Spencer 3-and-2 on Wednesday.
Among the 32 winners were defending champion Sihwan Kim and last year's runner-up David Chung. Kim needed a par on the first extra hole in his win over Jacob Low, while Chung won four straight holes to close out his first match against Nick Taylor, 4-and-3.
'My tee shots were going everywhere,' said Kim. 'I tried to pull myself together and did a good job of it.'
Other winners at Longmeadow Country Club were George and Wesley Bryan, three-time qualifier Juan Pablo Candela, and John Popeck. Philip Francis, one of the top juniors in the country, also survived a 19-hole marathon against Kevin Lim.
The Junior Amateur, for golfers age 17 and younger, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association. The championship continues through Saturday, with a 36-hole match play final determining the winner.