Sam Saunders took the first-round lead in the Genesis Open, a tournament his late grandfather Arnold Palmer won three times when it was known as the Los Angeles Open.
Saunders shot a seven-under par 64 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on Thursday. Saunders, who has had only three top-10 finishes in 78 career PGA Tour starts, had seven birdies and no bogeys.
Palmer, who died last September, won the Los Angeles Open in 1963, ’66 and ’67, though none of those victories came at Riviera. Palmer’s three wins came when the tournament was held at the municipal Rancho Park Golf Course.
Dustin Johnson and Monday qualifier J.T. Poston both shot five-under 66s. Phil Mickelson recorded a four-under 67.