Mylan Classic notebook: Two-time winner aims for PGA promotion

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Michael Putnam thought he had won the Boise Open last week in Idaho.

He thought he had punched his ticket to the PGA Tour, earning a battlefield promotion by winning his third Web.com Tour event of the season.

He thought wrong.

Putnam walked off the course with a two-stroke lead Sunday after shooting an eight-under 63 in the final round. But his performance wasn't enough, as Kevin Tway and Spencer Levin passed him later in the day.

Putnam's next shot at a third win comes at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, where the Mylan Classic begins today.

"I thought I won. I was leading by two when I finished," he said Wednesday at Southpointe after the Pro-Amateur event. "I'm glad I'm here this week, but I'd rather be in Reno or wherever I'd be."

Playing in the Reno-Tahoe Open -- an event with a $3 million purse -- sounds like a good gig, but for now, Putnam needs one more win on the Web.com Tour.

"I think 12-15 under maybe [will win it]," he said. "I'd like to shoot 3 under everyday and take my chances, which would be 12 under. I'd be pretty happy with that."

The winner a year ago, Robert Streb, finished18 under, but Putnam believes soft course conditions this year will make for slightly higher scores.

"I've been playing good," Putnam said when asked how he feels about his game.

Actually, he has been great.

He leads the Web.com Tour money list with $430,684 earned though 16 events. The purse at the Mylan Classic is $675,000, and the winner will take home $121,500.

"I finished third last week and had the week off before that. I've been playing good all year. So I'm ready to come out here and try to win this week," he added.

Thinking about a potential win this weekend, Putnam, a Tacoma, Wash., native, added one more thing: "I'd really love to have a Seahawk win in Steeler country."

All-American qualifiers

Twelve players qualified for the Mylan Classic through the All-American format, which had been a staple of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational since 2007.

The format grants entry to the U.S. Amateur champion, the current NCAA champion, the Jack Nicklaus Award winner (college player of the year) and first-team All-Americans. Remaining invitations go to U.S. Walker Cup members, second-team All-Americans and the Division II player of the year.

Some golfers, such as former Auburn Tigers and Walker Cup member Blayne Barber, have turned pro. Several players who entered the NCHI as All-American qualifiers have had success in the event.

Three players -- Ben Kohles in 2012, Harris English in 2011 and Daniel Summerhays in 2007 -- won the event, while three others took second, such as Rickie Fowler in 2009.

The qualifiers this year are: first-team All-Americans Daniel Berger (Florida State), James Erkenbeck (New Mexico), Julien Brun (Texas Christian), Greg Eason (Central Florida) and Max Homa (California); second-team All-Americans Albin Choi (North Carolina State), Brinson Paolini (Duke) and Joel Stalter (California); Division II Player of the Year Alex Carpenter (Abilene Christian) and U.S. Walker Cup members Barber, Nathan Smith (Allegheny College) and Kelly Kraft (Southern Methodist).

Lovemark & Co. take Pro-Am

Jamie Lovemark's group shot the lowest score in the Pro-Am event Wednesday, carding a 52. Several groups shot 53.

golf

Nick Veronica: nveronica@post-gazette.com or Twitter @NickVeronica.


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