Golf: Barbasol leader Saunders aims to make grandfather Arnold Palmer proud

Sam Saunders hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the Barbasol Championship at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National Lake Course on July 16, 2015 in Auburn, Alabama.
Sam Saunders hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the Barbasol Championship at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National Lake Course on July 16, 2015 in Auburn, Alabama. PHOTO: AFP

AUBURN (AFP) - Sam Saunders, who is the grandson of two-time British Open winner Arnold Palmer, fired a career-low, seven-under 64 to take the lead after the opening round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Saunders is leading the inaugural Barbasol Championship while the world's best golfers are playing this week across the Atlantic in the British Open, which his grandfather won in 1961 and 1962.

Saunders, who is aiming for his first USPGA Tour win in 45 career starts, went bogey free to lead fellow American Jason Gore by one stroke on the Grand National's Lake Course.

It was 54 years ago this week that Palmer captured his first Open Championship.

"It is just the first round, but it's always nice to get off to a good start," Saunders said.

His best finish is a second-place tie this year in the Puerto Rico Open.