The New York Times' Karen Crouse catches up with Sam Saunders, who had a dreadful fall when he lost both of his grandfathers while also having to withdraw from the Web.com Tour Playoffs to care for his ill child, Ace.
But Saunders is back playing the Web.com Tour and able to reflect with great strength about what must be such a tough topic: his unexpected last call with grandfather Arnold Palmer.
He was caring for Ace on Sept. 25 when Kelly reminded him to check in with Palmer, who was in a hospital in Pittsburgh preparing for surgery.
Saunders knew his grandfather would appreciate hearing from him. Since the death in 2003 of Mark McCormack — Palmer’s friend and business manager, who slipped into a coma after going into cardiac arrest while having minor surgery at a dermatologist’s office — Palmer had stubbornly resisted any medical procedure that required anesthesia, including hip replacement.
“For a guy who seemed so tough, he was scared of that,” Saunders said.
Palmer answered on the first ring, and their brief conversation sounded no alarms with Saunders, who said he was caught completely off guard when his father called a few hours later to relay the news that Palmer, 87, had died.