Sibling rivalry motivating younger Putnam at Tour finale

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Andrew Putnam shot 67 in the second round at Dye's Valley.
September 27, 2013
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Andrew Putnam admits that if his brother wasn’t already headed back to the PGA TOUR, he wouldn’t be too disappointed with a second year on the Tour.

Sibling rivalry, though, can serve as a big motivator.

“There’s definitely some motivation to be out there, since he’s going to be out there,” said Putnam, whose older brother Michael has a fully exempt card for next year after leading the money list during the regular season.

On Friday, Andrew’s 3-under 67 at the Tour Championship left him in position to make a run for the 25 cards to be handed out after Sunday’s completion. From a No. 70 ranking to start the week, he projected inside the top 25 by day’s end.

“He knows what’s at stake,” said Michael Putnam, who spent two years on the PGA TOUR and once shot a Sunday 63 at the Travelers Championship. “I think if he finishes 10th or better, he can get his card. I think he knows that and hopefully he’s going to do it.”

Said Andrew: “It depends on how everyone else plays, too, so it’s hard to tell. I think you’re going to need less money [to qualify] than we thought going into it. We were thinking a little over $40,000, but I think it’ll be a little less now.”

The Putnams have made the 2013 Tour season something of a family affair. In addition to Michael and Andrew, oldest brother Joel is Michael’s caddie. And Andrew uses a cousin, Greg Bodine, as his caddie.

“We room together most tournaments,” Andrew said of his cousin. Not so for his brothers, though.

“Joel usually gets kicked out because Michael has a family,” he added.

Andrew says he usually picks Michael’s brain early in the week about the course they’re playing, and they frequently play a practice round together. However, they’ve only been paired together twice this year – the first two rounds of the Chile Classic.

“I thought it would happen more than we did,” Andrew said.

Asked if the brothers had a standing wager for Low Putnam, Andrew said: “Thankfully, no. It’d be bad for me this year.”

Befitting his position atop the money list, Michael holds an 14-5-3 advantage in the brotherly head-to-head this year.

If it’s any consolation, Michael didn’t take his first family win until the fourth event of the season. “So I take credit for his success,” Andrew said. “I motivated him.”