Encircled by patrons up and down the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale — the rowdiest setting for golf on the PGA Tour — University Place’s Michael Putnam felt the glare from one particular set of eyes in the gallery Friday.
Putnam has made no bones about being a Seattle Seahawks fan. He mentioned the Super Bowl in a television interview at last week’s Humana Challenge to kick off the tour’s “Western swing.”
And not only did he have “12th Man” towels made up for fellow local PGA Tour players Ryan Moore, Troy Kelly, Andres Gonzales and brother Andrew Putnam for this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, he had his caddie, Joel, wear a Seahawks jersey during the second round Friday.
The 16th-hole grandstands “were packed full,” said Putnam, who is attending the Super Bowl game with his father, Dan, at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday.
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“I saw three 12th Man flags hanging over the rail. I would say 100-to-1, Seahawks fans outnumbered Patriots fans.”
As Putnam made his way to the 16th green, he noticed a fan draped over the front rail, sternly staring at him.
Not thinking much of it, the Life Christian Academy product chipped on the green, made a par-saving putt and headed for the next tee.
Putnam took one final quick look at all the craziness going on in the grandstands — and saw the same man, his eyes still glued to Putnam, make a gesture.
He unzipped his coat and pointed to the Patriots jersey he was wearing.
“I laughed,” the 6-foot-4 Putnam said, “because there were 100 Seahawks fans all around him, chanting, “Go Hawks!”
The local products have certainly noticed, and, at times, catered to the crazed Seahawks gathering. Kelly wore a lime green shirt with a Seahawks logo on it Friday, but missed the cut.
Moore said he will likely wear a navy blue-and-green cap this weekend.
“I tell you what, there are a lot of Seahawks fans out there,” Moore said. “It has been fun — almost like playing in front of a home crowd.”
Canadian Nick Taylor, the University of Washington product who won the Sanderson Farms Championship for his first PGA Tour victory, said he will don a Russell Wilson jersey for the 16th hole Saturday.
Putnam will also bring along Seahawks garb.
“I’ve got a Marshawn Lynch jersey,” Putnam said, “so I’m going ‘Beast Mode’ on that 16th (hole) crowd.”