Sam Saunders hopes for a repeat victory at New Mexico Open

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sam Saunders’ golf game has been just like the summer: hot.

He’s been playing well since the month of June started, snagging wins at the Colorado Open and Utah Open. Saunders is hoping to add a second consecutive New Mexico Open title to his resume next week.

He knows all eyes will be on him, coming in as the defending champion.

“It’s a little bit interesting situation because you have a little more eyes on you and all that kind of stuff,” said Saunders. “I think I’m sort of getting used to the situation, and I played really well this summer, so I have high expectations for myself.”

The New Mexico Open has a new location this year. The tournament will be played at Paradise Hills Golf Course. The course has been setup to give players a challenge.

“We’ve done a few things,” said Sun Country Executive Director Dana Lehner. “We’ve made a couple of par fives into par fours and we’ve narrowed the fairways, and we’ve grown up the rough really, really thick. They have phenomenal greens out here and the speed should be really quality.”

That’s okay with Saunders. The Paradise Hills Golf Course has always been good to the former Lobo and La Cueva high school star.

“I’ve always played well here growing up,” said Saunders. “I have a really good memory of shooting my lowest round at the time. I think I shot 66 out here when I was a sophomore in high school. That sort of gave me a ton of confidence going forward.”

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