By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Michael Putnam is happy to be back on the golf course so quickly. This isn't exactly an ideal time of year for a PGA TOUR player to spend a lot of time in the Pacific Northwest. Putnam, who lives in Washington state, shot 4-under 67 on Thursday at the Frys.com Open
There was only one off week between the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship and the Frys.com Open, the first event of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season. Putnam won the Web.com Tour's Regular Season money title to regain his PGA TOUR playing privileges.
“Typcially you have two months off when you get your TOUR card (through the Web.com Tour), and for me that’s probably not too good because I live up in Washington and I take time off and then I’m trying to find (my game) at Sony or (the Humana),” Putnam said. “Now we get to go straight into the year.”
Putnam won his two Web.com Tour titles of 2013 in consecutive weeks in May. He had eight top-10s in 19 starts in the Regular Season to win the money title, which also earned him a spot in the 2014 THE PLAYERS Championship.
“I’m 30 now. I’m older, wiser, more calm. Life has sort of settled down. I have two kids,” Putnam said, when asked what has changed since his last full PGA TOUR season in 2011. “I proved myself on the Web.com Tour. I played a lot of good tournaments and I felt like my game could easily translate on the PG ATOUR with the year I had.”
Putnam played Thursday alongside fellow Web.com Tour grads John Peterson and Chesson Hadley. Peterson was the leading money winner in the Web.com Tour Finals, while Hadley won the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship and earned the most combined money in the Regular Season and Finals.
Peterson, who finished in the top five in his final five events of the 2013 Web.com Tour season, shot 68 on Thursday despite bogeys on his final two holes. He bogeyed his final hole, the reachable par-5 ninth, after hitting his second shot in the water. Hadley shot 72. Both Peterson and Hadley are making their debuts as PGA TOUR members.
Jim Herman matched Putnam for low Web.com Tour graduate on Thursday, shooting 4-under 67.