Sports

The King and his grandson: Sam Saunders earns his way back to Bay Hill

  • Arnold Palmer, left, poses for photos with his grandson, Sam Saunders, before a news conference during the pro-am for the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 18, 2015.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Arnold Palmer, left, poses for photos with his grandson, Sam Saunders, before a news conference during the pro-am for the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 18, 2015.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (The Associated Press)

  • Arnold Palmer answers a question from a reporter at a news conference during the pro-am for the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 18, 2015.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Arnold Palmer answers a question from a reporter at a news conference during the pro-am for the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 18, 2015.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (The Associated Press)

Arnold Palmer's grandson is playing at Bay Hill again this year, only now Sam Saunders can say that he earned his way.

The 27-year-old grandson of "The King" is a PGA Tour member, coming off a playoff loss two weeks ago in the Puerto Rico Open.

Palmer says it's not easy being the grandson of the winner of seven majors. He's watched Saunders go through rough times. More than anything, Palmer says he is proud that his grandson treats people well. That's what made Palmer so popular among the fans for so many years.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational begins Thursday. Rory McIlroy is playing for the first time in his last stop before the Masters.