Unfortunately the game of golf sometimes gets the wrap of being a slow game, with an average round taking approximately four hours to complete. In the professional ranks, these averages can be slightly higher, with longer courses and large amounts of prize money at stake.
With the issue of speed, it definitely wasn't the case for Sam Saunders, who, at the Club Car Championship, took just 1 hour 36 minutes to complete his final round.
Playing on the Korn Ferry Tour, the 34-year-old raced around his final 18 in six-over-par, signing for a 78 which was also the same score as his previous days play. Teeing off at 7.14am, the American was finished before 9 o'clock, with his round consisting of four birdies, six bogies and two doubles, as he finished dead last.
Saunders, who is the grandson of the legendary Arnold Palmer, was at one point nine holes ahead of the group behind him, with the American taking an average of 1 minute 15 seconds per shot over the 6,877-yard layout of The Landings Club - Deer Creek Course.
According to Saunders' caddie, Hunter O'Mahony, the official time was “1 hour 36 minutes,” with O’Mahony responding to the Fire Pit Collective’s Ryan French, who first spotted the round online.
So, was Saunders' round the quickest on Tour? Well, almost. That title still sits with Wesley Bryan who, at the 2017 BMW Championship, raced around Conway Farms in a ridiculous 1 hour 29 minutes.
Bryan was in fact tweeting Saunders as the round went on, with the American writing: “Nice try Sam,” as his countryman came up just short with his speed trial attempt.
Along with Bryan and Saunders, Joaquin Niemann has also dabbled in a little bit of speed golf, with the 23-year-old completing his final round of the Tour Championship in 1 hour 53 minutes.
Following Brooks Koepka's withdrawal on Saturday night, Niemann was forced to play the final round by himself and, just like Kevin Na in 2016, the Chilean decided to make some fun out of the day at a tournament where he was well out of contention. In the end, he would complete his round at East Lake in just under 2 hours.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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