Two in a row for Putnam

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Sports,Golf,Kevin Dunleavy

Second straight victory on the Web.com Tour

On the Web.com Tour caddies of the top 25 players wear yellow bibs with a number on the back to signify where their employer is ranked on the money list. This week in the Mid-Atlantic Championship, Joel Putnam, caddie for his brother Michael, wore an appropriate No. 1.

Firing a 2-under-par 68 on Sunday at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Michael Putnam added to his riches, capturing his second straight Web.com Tour victory and a check for $108,000. Putnam, who celebrated his 30th birthday Saturday, finished with a 7-under-par 273, two shots better than former Georgia Tech star Chesson Hadley.

Putnam, who won the Mexico Championship by two strokes last week, is the eighth player in Web.com history to win on consecutive weeks. Both Luke Guthrie and Ben Kohles accomplished the feat last year.

Putnam (71-64-70-68 - 273), who opened the final round tied with Chad Collins, made three birdies on the first six holes to grab a comfortable lead, which he maintained with few complications.

When Hadley rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 17 to pull to within two strokes, Putnam, on the overlooking 16th hole, took note as he played it perfectly, bombing his drive down the middle, sticking a wedge to within four feet and tapping-in the birdie putt to get his lead back to three and set the scene for a stress-free finish.

As he walked off the 17th tee he joked with a photographer that he liked his purple golf shirt.

Putnam's four days at Avenel weren't always happy-go-lucky. In the first round, he opened with bogeys on three of the first five holes. In the third round, he incurred penalty strokes for unplayable lies on two of the first seven holes.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Putnam was especially proud of his work on the course which ranked the second toughest on the Web.com Tour last year and where only five players shot better than 1-under-par this week.

"With this golf course, the firmness of it, it's a [PGA] Tour golf course," Putnam said. "It's a good deal. I think it will prepare me well for next year."

Putnam is assured of advancing to the PGA Tour next year with hopes of sticking longer than his promotions in 2007 and 2011, the first coming at age 23, following a successful rookie year on the Web.com after graduation from Pepperdine.

Putnam had much to celebrate this week and plenty of company. In addition to 32-year-old brother Joel, 24-year-old brother Andrew Putnam is a Web.com rookie, who finished tied for 27th. The Putnams stayed in the home of a friend who lives off nearby Congressional Country Club.

The next stop for Putnam is seven miles away as he plays a U.S. Open qualifier Monday at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville. Then he is off to Hawaii to join his wife, who was in mid-flight Sunday with Putnam unable to let her know he had won.

"She'll probably want a room upgrade or something," Putnam joked.

With his previous promotions to the PGA Tour, Putnam knows all about upgrades.

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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