Rangers spring break: Joe Saunders and his golf course of dreams

Posted Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Course of dreams

Veteran left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders is stoked about a season with the Rangers. Saunders is, of course, happy that Texas signed him last week after a season with Seattle. But he has another, nonbaseball reason to be excited about coming to Arlington: Our area’s golf courses.

Saunders has a 4 handicap and is likely the best golfer in the Rangers’ clubhouse. He and pitcher Cory Burns, who has an 8 handicap, work out together in the Phoenix area during the off-season.

Saunders is pumped about playing two of our area’s most iconic courses — Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth and the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving. Saunders wants to add them to the impressive list of courses he’s played during his near-decade-long career with the Angels, Diamondbacks and Mariners. He also hopes to hit Champions in Houston. “Those are on my list,” he said.

He also has plans to play Augusta next off-season. At the moment, here are his three favorite courses in America:

1. Oakland Hills, Bloomfield, Mich. — “It’s hard. The greens are super ridiculous fast and undulating. It’s an unbelievable course. You hit it in the rough and you can barely find it there.”

2. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey County, Calif. — “For sheer picturesque [reasons], it would have to be Pebble Beach. Just for the sheer beauty factor.”

3. Pine Valley Golf Club, Camden County, New Jersey — “It’s one of the top courses in the country.”

Word from Wash

“If Prince wants to go play 162 and he’s kicking [butt], he can play 162. But if I decide he needs a break, then I’m going to give him a break. Playing in that heat in Texas, we’ll see. We try to see what we can do to get them fresh going down the stretch. If that means talking him into taking a day and getting [a beating] behind it, I’ll survive, I’ll get up. I’ve been getting up all my life, so if he knocks me [down], I’ll get up. If [all] that means I can get a lot out of him down the stretch giving him two days off in a 162-game schedule.”

— Manager Ron Washington on possibly having to force first baseman Prince Fielder, who has only missed 13 regular-season games in his eight full seasons in the big leagues, to take a day or two off. Fielder has missed just one game the last five seasons.

Injury updpate

OF Shin-Soo Choo (mild triceps tendinitis): Day-to-day, designated hitter in Thursday’s game.

OF Alex Rios (strained intercostal): Played Thursday in first spring game since March 4, will be evaluated afterward.

C Geovany Soto (foot surgery): Played in first spring game, will be evaluated afterward.

2B Jurickson Profar (teeth, right shoulder tendinitis): To miss 3-5 days after having four wisdom teeth pulled Thursday; had been throwing from 120 feet.

RHP Matt Harrison (lower back stiffness): Throwing live batting practice Friday.

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