High hopes for four area PGA players

Staff reportJanuary 15, 2014 

The outlook has never been brighter.

Like last season, the South Sound will have four golfers on the PGA Tour in 2014 - Puyallup's Ryan Moore, Gig Harbor's Kyle Stanley, University Place's Michael Putnam and Tacoma's Troy Kelly.

The "western swing" - the mainland start to the PGA Tour season - begins Thursday with the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif. Putnam and Stanley will be in the field.

Collectively, the four earned nearly $3.5 million last season - and that is with Putnam playing on the Web.com Tour, and Kelly seeing his season cut short after 10 tournaments because of a knee injury.

Only Moore has qualified for all the major championships, including the Masters in April. He did that by winning the CIMB Classic in late October, and tying Fircrest's Ken Still for most career PGA Tour victories (three) by a Pierce County product.

Stanley took a step backward after his remarkable 2012 season in which he earned his first PGA Tour victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and earned $2.35 million for the year. He made just 12 cuts last season, but did notch a pair of third-place showings at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the Memorial Tournament.

Putnam became king of the Web.com Tour, winning twice and earning that tour's player of the year honors. He is exempt for every PGA Tour tournament but World Golf Championship events and majors this season.

Kelly is slated to return to the PGA Tour sometime this spring. He will have 14 major medical-exemption starts to try to earn nearly $600,000 to keep his Tour card.

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