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PUERTO RICO OPEN


March 8, 2015


Sam Saunders


RIO GRANDE, PUERTO RICO

Q.  It's a pleasure to be sitting here alongside a very happy Sam Saunders.  Congratulations, first of all, for a solid 68 on Sunday, putting yourself in contention.  How was it for you out there?  Is had to be a blast.
SAM SAUNDERS:  It was really fun.  Very happy with the way I played.  Stayed very patient and just really hit one shot at a time and didn't get ahead of myself.  I mean obviously I was nervous coming down the stretch there, but I'm still very pleased with the way I finished.

Q.  Take us through the 18th.  That was a crazy finish.  Good drop there.  That third shot out of the bunker, that was a tough shot?
SAM SAUNDERS:¬† It was a very tough shot.¬† If my second shot had just missed the bunker, I might have had a putt for eagle, but it was up in the front of the bunker and there was a lot of sand there, and I just‑‑ I didn't want to chunk it, you know.¬† It was a difficult shot, but I really felt like I could pull it off and I didn't want to chicken out and just chunk it short of the green and then be forced with the downwind up‑and‑down.¬† And I knew if I hit it into the bleachers over the green catching a little thin, I was going to get a free drop.
I didn't expect to hit it over the bleachers and still get a free drop.¬† That was fortunate, but it all worked out and I'm glad that I tried to go for it, and you know, I think being aggressive there allowed me to stay confident enough to get up‑and‑down to make that par.

Q.  Your grandfather, Arnold Palmer called in and contributed to the show.  He wasn't able to see what you were doing, but he was commentating and telling us what he thinks about your game, and kind of to rely on the fundamentals down the stretch.  How often do you talk to him and how much do you lean on him for support?
SAM SAUNDERS:  You know, we talk a good bit still.  Maybe every other week.  He's been very good lately because I've been struggling lately, and he's always been pretty hard on me, but he's been pretty understanding and it's tough.  It's tough out here.  I missed a bunch of cuts in a row, and you kind of get that monkey on your back and it gets into your head.  And he instead of being hard on me this time, it was the first time he was ever just supportive.  He said, hey, I understand.  Just keep doing what you're doing.  Most importantly that's what I did.  Through this stretch I didn't make a bunch of changes.  I didn't search for something new.  I didn't try to reinvent the wheel.  I knew my game was good, I knew it was close, and his support and telling me to just stick with what I'm doing allowed me to do that, and now it's playing off.

Q.  Well, it was a pleasure to watch.  Congratulations.  Regardless of how it ends up, it's going to be a personal best finish for Sam Saunders.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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