Saunders captures 2nd NM Open title - Albuquerque Journal

Saunders captures 2nd NM Open title

Sam Saunders poses with the ceremonial check symbolic of his victory at the New Mexico Open on Tuesday at Ladera’s golf course. (Courtesy of the New Mexico Open)

(Click here for the full results.)

Sam Saunders, a former University of New Mexico golfer who will play on the Korn Ferry Tour starting in January, shot a bogey-free 9-under par 63 to capture his second New Mexico Open title Tuesday at Ladera Golf Course.

Saunders, the 2018 New Mexico Open champion, eagled No. 2 and birdied hole Nos. 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 15 and 17 to win by three strokes, going 16-under 128 for the two-round, two-day event. To the best of his knowledge, he led wire to wire.

He entered Tuesday’s final round with a one-shot lead after his 7-under 65 that included eight birdies and one bogey.

“It wasn’t too tight, but it was tight enough to make me a little nervous,” Saunders told the Journal. “It was fun. I enjoyed it.”

Saunders earned $5,000 for his victory.

“Not bad for two days of work,” he said.

Saunders will play in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Q-School final stage event Nov. 4-7 at The Landings Club in Savannah, Georgia. He gained exemption to that event and the Korn Ferry Tour after finishing eighth on the Forme Tour that ended this past weekend.

The Korn Ferry Tour’s schedule was released Monday and features 26 tournaments across four countries and 18 states.

Wil Collins, also a former Lobo and a mentor for Saunders, and Marty Sanchez of Santa Fe finished tied for second at 13-under. Sam Choi, a senior on the UNM men’s golf team and among a handful of amateurs in the field of 88, tied for third with Ryo Harada of Las Cruces at 12-under.

The New Mexico Open, which was to be held at Sandia Golf Club, was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In early 2021, Sandia and Sun Country Golf House had called off this year’s New Mexico Open because of the uncertainty derived from the virus, and with Sandia Resort and Casino being closed at that time, said Cory Armstrong, the Sun Country Golf House executive director.

But two months ago, Ladera Golf Course and Route 66 Casino connected with Sun Country to revive the New Mexico Open.

Home » From the newspaper » Saunders captures 2nd NM Open title


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Pint's baseball return brings former top pick to 'Topes
Featured Sports
From 2016 first round draft pick ... From 2016 first round draft pick to 2021 MLB retiree, Riley Pint is back in the game with the Isotopes and loving baseball again.
2
Pro boxing: Friends Lovato, Lindenmuth become foes on Saturday
Boxing/MMA
Fists will fly, promise both parties ... Fists will fly, promise both parties involved, when Amanda Lovato and Katherine Lindenmuth square of ...
3
"Incredible human being" -- Longtime coach, Cibola AD Schroer ...
Featured Sports
Phil Schroer was remembered Wednesday as ... Phil Schroer was remembered Wednesday as a man who loved his family, who loved his Indiana Hoosiers, ...
4
Newest Isotope Toglia has a blast in Triple-A debut
Featured Sports
The Albuquerque Isotopes on Tuesday welcomed ... The Albuquerque Isotopes on Tuesday welcomed the call-ups of two former Colorado Rockies first-round ...
5
Las Campanas' Lardon makes history by winning Sun Country ...
Featured Sports
ISLETA PUEBLO – Through ... ISLETA PUEBLO – Through six holes in Tuesday's final round of the Sun Country ...
6
Lobo safeties Reed, Combs expect big, busy 2022 seasons
College
Safeties have big responsibility in Lobos’ ... Safeties have big responsibility in Lobos’ 3-3-5 scheme
7
Isotopes drop 4th straight in El Paso; Bernard is ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES SATURDAY: At El Paso, 6:35 p.m., 610 ... 'TOPES SATURDAY: At El Paso, 6:35 p.m., 610 AM/ 95.9 FM PROBABLES: Isotopes RHP Karl Kauffman (2-0, 3.50) vs. Chihuahuas  TBD FRIDAY: Despite a promising start ...
8
United wants to feel at home ... at home
Featured Sports
Three games in six days with ... Three games in six days with a trip to the Big Apple thrown in just for grins is not that big an iss ...
9
Sports Speak Up: Reader wonders if Gonzales, Long can ...
Featured Sports
I WATCHED the entire over one ... I WATCHED the entire over one hour long recent press conference with UNM football coach Danny Gonzales. He had high praise for defensive coordinator ...