University Place’s Michael Putnam has experienced all sorts of pressure-cooker moments in golf.
He lost in a playoff for the NCAA Division I men’s title in 2005. He’s earned U.S. Open berths through one-day sectional qualifying. And of the four times he went through the final six-round stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School, he earned his PGA Tour card once — in 2010.
But this week, he is in a position he’s never been in — one tournament for all the marbles.
After an up-and-down season on the PGA Tour, Putnam finished outside the top 125 on the money list. It forced him to compete in the four-tournament Web.com Tour playoffs, which concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship at PGA National’s Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
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With $14,610, Putnam sits 43rd – and needs a paycheck of more than $20,000 this week to finish inside the top 25 and retain his PGA Tour card next season.
Putnam estimates for him to safely get in, he needs a top-10 finish.
“This is my last chance. I have one week to keep the (PGA Tour) card,” Putnam said. “This is Q-school for me.”
Putnam said it was a midseason 10-tournament stretch during the summer where he missed seven cuts, and recorded a best finish of tied for 58th (Wells Fargo Championship) that put him in this do-or-die situation.
In the Web.com Tour playoffs, Putnam missed the cut at the Hotel Fitness Championship, tied for 30th at the Small Business Connection Championship and tied for 23rd at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
“I have experience on my side,” Putnam said. “I’ve played in tournaments like this more than most guys this year. It should be an edge, and it will help.”
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442
ROAD TO THE 2016 PGA TOUR
If $35,000 in the magic cutoff number in getting inside the top 25 in the Web.com Tour playoffs to earn a PGA Tour card next season, here is what the locals need to do this week at the Web.com Tour Championship in Florida.
No worse than 25th
No worse than 12th
No worse than eighth