Saunders making his mark with BGA
He shares the name of a basketball legend, is a big fan of pro golfer Webb Simpson and harbours ambitions of becoming a successful businessman one day.
Bermuda meet Jordan Saunders, one of the most promising players making a name for themselves on the local junior golf scene.
The Berkeley Institute student offered another reminder of his potential when he fired an impressive 65 in challenging conditions at the par-three Turtle Hills Golf Club during last weekend's opening event of the 2013-14 Bermuda Junior Golf Association season.
Saunders placed third playing in the White Tees group for the first time despite a niggling injury.
“I was playing with a slight injury because I went down on a pedal bike,” he explained. “But I played pretty decent in the circumstances. It was pretty windy out there and a lot of cloud cover for most of the round.”
Saunders, who turns 17 next month, got off to a flying start before coming slightly off the rails just before making the turn.
“I had a shake-up with my swing and lost a lot of strokes,” he said.
The junior golfer eventually regained his footing on the back nine to come in 11 shots over par, good enough to earn him a top-three finish.
“I shot three over on the back so I had a pretty decent back nine,” he added. “Overall, I could've played better. But I was particularly happy with my back nine.”
Saunders, who is in his final year of school at Berkeley, was Bermuda Junior Association's most improved player last year and judging by last weekend's showing appears to have picked up where he left off from the previous campaign.
The teenager, who is coached at Belmont Hills by cousin Dwayne Gibson, intends to play in all of the major junior tournaments and if all goes accordingly put some silverware in the trophy cabinet.
“I always enter tournaments hoping I will win,” Saunders said. “I haven't won one yet but hopefully this year will be a good return for me and I take some trophies home.”
The honour roll student hopes to further enhance his education and golf skills in college after he graduates from high school.
“I would like to graduate on the honour roll because I've been on the honours roll all three years so far at Berkeley,” he said. “Hopefully I can keep that up and go to a school in North Carolina.
“I'm looking at Wake Forest and Duke University and hopefully I can go and study business management as a major and maybe minor in sports management and hopefully make it onto the golf team.”
Saunders is a big fan of US pro golfer and Wake Forest alumni Simpson because of his strong Christian beliefs.
“He is a Christian golfer and he doesn't hide it,” he said. “Every time he wins or even plays bad he acknowledges God and he's not ashamed. I admire that about him and he is a good golfer as well.”
Saunders also admires top local amateur Jarryd Dillas.
“When I first starting playing there was a tournament at Tucker's Point and I got paired up with Jarryd Dillas for 18 holes and we actually won the event,” he recalled. “He gave me quite few pointers on how to be a better golfer.”