Putnam Bros. both in field at PGA event

todd.milles@thenewstribune.comApril 2, 2014 

Next-day, nonstop flights from Sea-Tac Airport to Houston start at $1,000, but that won’t deter University Place’s Dan Putnam from running off to another priceless moment of his sons’ golf-playing careers.

They add a chapter to that story this week: Michael and Andrew Putnam will tee off in the same PGA Tour tournament for the first time together.

As last season’s Web.com Tour regular-season earnings champion, Michael, 30, earned a full-time gig on the PGA Tour this season. He was slated to be in the field at this week’s Shell Houston Open.

But Andrew, 25, a full-timer on the Web.com Tour, decided to try to get into the same field this week through a Monday qualifier — and nabbed one of the four spots in a

sudden-death playoff.

So off goes Dan today to the Golf Club of Houston. And he will get to watch both of his sons play since Michael tees off in the morning Thursday and Andrew plays in the afternoon.

“For them, I don’t know if it is that big a deal since they played on the Web.com Tour together (last year),” Dan said. “But it is something special. It is Andrew’s first PGA Tour event as a professional. And I was there for Michael’s first one, too” in 2005.

Andrew’s sudden entry left PGA Tour officials scrambling to research the last time brothers played a PGA Tour-sanctioned event together. That was in 2011 when Italy’s Edoardo and Francesco Molinari played in The Players Championship.

“I don’t feel like this is abnormal — we felt like this is what it will be like the next 10 years,” Michael said. “The cool thing is this is Andrew’s first PGA Tour event, and it is cool I will be there to share it with him.”

Andrew is off to a blistering start this season on the Web.com Tour, ranking fifth in money ($134,375) and recording three top-10 finishes, including a solo runner-up at the season-opening Colombia Championship.

After four tournaments in South America, Andrew wasn’t sure he was going to play last week at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. When he did commit to that tournament, he decided he would also try to qualify for this week’s Shell Houston Open.

So he flew directly from Panama to Houston, rented a car and drove to the Web.com Tour stop last week — then drove back Sunday night to get ready for the 18-hole qualifier at Cypresswood Golf Club.

“I usually try to avoid Monday (qualifiers) because I hate them,” Andrew said. “They are way too hard and way too frustrating … and I’ve tried to avoid them at all costs because I have not had luck with them.”

After a practice round Monday, Andrew visited Michael’s family — wife, Kristina, and son, Jantzen — for lunch.

“Played Frisbee with Jantzen for three hours,” Andrew said. “It was actually kind of nice hanging out with a 3-year-old.”

Andrew rallied late on the back nine holes of his afternoon round to get into the playoff, and earned a spot with a par on the second extra hole.

“I don’t really look at this as, ‘Wow, I get to play with Michael on the PGA Tour,’” Andrew said. “I am looking forward (to) being around some of the bigger names. I mean, I had breakfast next to (Luke) Donald, (Martin) Kaymer and Angel Cabrera. That is a lot more exciting. I already feel comfortable playing golf with my brother.”

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@thenewstribune.com @ManyHatsMilles

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