Ryan Palmer Not Related to Arnold Palmer, but Fellow PGA Tour Pro Is

Ryan Palmer

Getty PGA Tour pro Ryan Palmer

You can’t have the last name “Palmer” and be a PGA Tour pro without at least receiving the question about being related to the great Arnold Palmer. The golf icon is known as one of the greatest to ever play the game and has an event with his name on it (Arnold Palmer Invitational), along with a drink named after him.

While the man known as “The King” passed at the age of 87 years old on September 25, 2016, he has a family which includes a wife and two daughters. He also has a grandson on the PGA Tour, but it is not Ryan Palmer. This would be Sam Saunders, who apparently spent plenty of time with his grandfather over the years.

Saunders, who’s currently 31 years old, has posted a few solid results throughout his career but has yet to break through and win his first event. He did post a second-place finish once, which came in 2015 at the Puerto Rico Open.

Sam Saunders Recalls Historic Moment With Arnold Palmer

Saunders was 16 at the time his grandfather played the 18th hole at Bay Hill, the location of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, for the final time. It came back in 2004 when Palmer was 74 years old, and as Golf.com revealed via AP’s Doug Ferguson, Saunders was his caddie for the event. He offered a memory of the scene on that day and the final hole, stating that “I remember the shot so well.”

The current PGA Tour pro spoke about the relationship he had with Palmer, per Golf.com, saying he’s “forever grateful” for it.

“We had that kind of relationship, even as a 16-year-old, which is pretty neat,” Saunders said. “I don’t think that a lot of 16-year-olds can be in that situation with their granddad, obviously, so I’m forever grateful for it.”

There’s no question the golf gene passed along from Palmer to his young grandson, and Saunders is still in the midst of fine-tuning his own game as he grows as a player.

Sam Saunders’ PGA Tour Results

Prior to the end of the 2019 Honda Classic, Saunders had made 63 cuts out of 133 total events in his career, per PGATour.com. He’s made more than $3.139 million in career winnings while posting a career-low round of 63. As previously mentioned, Saunders’ best result came in 2015 in the form of a second-place finish.

Palmer’s grandson had four top-10 finishes during the 2018 season, including a fifth-place result at the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, seventh at the Barracuda Championship and eighth at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Over the span of his career, Saunders had posted nine finishes inside of the top-10 and is coming off by far his best year.

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