Tacoma’s Andrew Putnam, a rookie on the Web.com Tour, matched the course record with a 9-under 62 Thursday and moved into the lead after the opening round of the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, N.C.. Putnam, 24, was nearly flawless during his tour of the TPC Wakefield Plantation course, hitting every green in regulation and 12 out of 14 fairways.
Raleigh native Chesson Hadley had owned the clubhouse for most of the day after posting an 8-under 63 in the morning.
Seven players – including two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen – share third place with 6-under 65s.
“I felt it in me but you have to have the putts drop for a round like this,” said Putnam, a Life Chrisitan High School graduate who one-putted six times and had 30 total putts. “I had a lot of looks at birdie and managed to roll a few in.”
Putnam also took advantage of the par-5s, playing the three holes at TPC in 5-under.
“It makes things pretty easy playing those par-5s like that,” he said.
Putnam, No. 44 on the money list, outplayed his older brother Michael, a two-time winner this year and the leading money winner who shot a 3-under 68.
“I don’t know if you’d call it a friendly rivalry, it’s brotherly,” said Andrew, who is six years younger than Michael. “Deep down, we like to beat each other. You always want to beat your friends and family members but we’re rooting for each other, too.”
Hoffman shoots 61
Charley Hoffman missed the course record by a stroke, shooting a 9-under 61 to take the lead after the first round of the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.
Just a year ago he blew a two-stroke advantage on the event’s final two holes.
In his latest round, Hoffman hit a 126-yard approach shot within three feet of the pin to help him birdie No. 18 and separate himself by a stroke from Hunter Mahan, who posted an early 62. Bubba Watson was two strokes back.
Hoffman said he thought he might have a chance to go even lower, and was flirting with 59 after making eagle on 10 and 12, and going to 8-under par with a birdie on 16. His 28 on the back nine was the lowest 9-hole score on Tour this year.
Els goes low
Ernie Els shot a 9-under 63, making an eagle and seven birdies, to take the clubhouse lead in the opening round of the BMW International Open in Munich.
The South African, who won the British Open in 2002 and 2012 and the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997, almost had a second eagle on the last hole that would have equaled a course record.
He settled for a birdie that gave him the overall lead.