University Place golfer Andrew Putnam wins event, secures PGA card

Staff writerApril 27, 2014 


Andrew Putnam hits a shot during the first round of the Brasil Classic Presented by HSBC at the Sao Paulo Golf Club on April 4, 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Putnam is entering his second season on the Tour and hoping to improve on his 69th place finish in 2013.

SCOTT HALLERAN — Getty Images for HSBC

Some shadows loom larger than others.

Professional golfer Andrew Putnam has experienced that many times firsthand.

The 25-year-old from University Place sat in a players’ lounge for 2½ hours Sunday, waiting out high winds during the final round of the Tour’s WNB Golf Classic in Midland, Texas.

Putnam sat nervously, but was in a comfortable position with an eight-stroke lead.

The delay became permanent — tournament officials canceled the final round after wind gusts touched 55 mph — and the Life Christian Academy graduate was awarded his first professional tour victory.

His 20-under-par 196 total at Midland Country Club ended up being seven strokes better than runners-up Rod Pampling and Richard S. Johnson.

Putnam collected his largest paycheck as a professional — $108,000 — which sews up his PGA Tour card for the 2014-15 season.

“Pretty cool,” Putnam said, “and kind of weird.”

Everyone around professional golf knows this is Andrew Putnam, younger brother of reigning Tour player of the year Michael Putnam, who now is on the PGA Tour.

So when it was Andrew Putnam’s turn to hoist the crystal trophy for the first time, the excited tournament director “congratulated Michael Putnam for the win at the WNB Golf Classic.”

Andrew Putnam closed his eyes and grinned.

“He felt pretty bad,” Putnam said.

With $248,273, Putnam is second on the Tour money list behind two-time winner Carlos Ortiz ($318,858).

He will play in this week’s South Georgia Classic in Valdosta, Ga., then have a week off.

But first, he had to endure a wildly windy Sunday.

Tee times were moved up. Putnam birdied the fourth hole and was 1-under on his final round through seven holes when play was halted right around 10 a.m. (PDT).

Putnam retreated to the players’ lunch room. He watched golf.

And Putnam looked outside plenty to see what was going on.

“It was clear blue skies, but here we were wondering if we were going to play golf,” Putnam said. “It was pretty bizarre.”

A couple of portable toilets toppled over on the course. And the flag from the ninth-hole flagstick blew away twice.

“I had a feeling we weren’t going to (resume),” Putnam said.

This victory came in Putnam’s 32nd start on the Tour — much faster than his older brother, who won the 2010 Utah Championship in his 98th start.

“I had some top finishes in the beginning of the year,” Putnam said. “To get a win kind of completes the season.”

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