Puerto Rico Open

Sam Saunders plays golf in the giant shadow of his grandfather — Arnold Palmer

Sam Saunders plays golf in the giant shadow of his grandfather — Arnold Palmer

On a sun-splashed day this week, Sam Saunders strode to the first tee at Riviera Country Club, looking for all the world like the other 142 professional golfers preparing for the PGA Tour’s only regular stop in Los Angeles.

He drove his first ball 300 yards from the course’s signature tee box 75 feet above the hole. It was perfectly placed down the left-center of the fairway, drawing approval from his playing partners, all amateurs, in the tournament’s Monday morning Collegiate Showcase.

His partners didn’t talk about it, but they knew that Saunders, a journeyman pro on the Tour, has golf royalty in his blood: His grandfather was none other than Arnold Palmer, three-time...

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