Andrew Putnam secures PGA card

Staff writerApril 28, 2014 

Zurich Classic winner Seung-Yul Noh hits out of the sand during the final round Sunday at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La.

BILL HABER/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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 21/2 hours Sunday, waiting out high winds during the final round of the Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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 Web.com 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.”

SOUTH KOREA’S NOH EARNS FIRST PGA WIN

Seung-Yul Noh shot a 1-under 71 to win the Zurich Classic in Avondale, La., by two strokes for his first PGA Tour victory.

While Noh, the leader through three rounds, never fell out of first, he made his first three bogeys of the tournament.

The 22-year-old South Korean wore yellow and black ribbons on his hat to honor the more than 300 dead or missing in a ferry accident in waters off his home country.

Noh’s best finish in 77 previous PGA Tour starts was a tie for fourth at the 2012 AT&T National.

He finished at 19-under 269 and earned $1,224,000.

Andrew Svoboda (69) and Robert Streb (70) tied for second.

KO WINS LPGA EVENT

Lydia Ko birdied the final hole for her third LPGA Tour victory and first as a professional, holding off Stacy Lewis in the inaugural Swinging Skirts Classic in Daly City, Calif.

The poised 17-year-old made a 5-foot birdie putt moments before Lewis knocked in a birdie of her own to end the tournament one stroke back.

Ko (3-under 69) finished with a 12-under 276 total at Lake Merced and took home $270,000.

LEVY ROLLS IN CHINA

France’s Alexander Levy won the China Open in Shenzhen for his first European Tour title, beating England’s Tommy Fleetwood by four strokes.

Levy, 23, closed with a 3-under 69 at Genzon Golf Club to finish at 19-under 269.

Fleetwood shot a 68.

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