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OPELIKA, Ala. – Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer's grandson, shot a 7-under 64 in warm conditions Thursday to take the first-round lead in the inaugural Barbasol Championship.
Saunders saved par with a 15-foot putt on the par-3 eighth hole and closed with a birdie on the par-4 ninth to cap his bogey-free round on Grand National's Lake Course. The 27-year-old former Clemson player is winless in 45 career starts on the PGA Tour, with a career best tie for second this year in the Puerto Rico Open.
Jason Gore was a stroke back at 65. He birdied four of his last five holes.
Stanford junior Maverick McNealy, the Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the Division I player of the year, was tied for third at 66 along with Martin Flores, Will Wilcox, Carlos Ortiz and Carlos Sainz Jr.