ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Michael Putnam was near the bottom of the leaderboard when he finished his third round at The McGladrey Classic.
He still had plenty to smile about.
Putnam was named the Web.com Tour Player of the Year on Saturday after finishing as the leading money winner this past season with $450,184 and two wins.
The 30-year-old Tacoma, Wa., native narrowly missed his PGA Tour card at q-school last December and entered this season on the Web.com Tour with one goal: To get it back.
It didn’t take long for him to do so.
Putnam won in back-to-back weeks in late May and early June at the Mexico Championship and the Mid-Atlantic Championship, locking up his status for the new 2013-14 wrap-around season on the PGA Tour.
He wasn’t done yet, though.
“From that point on it kind of changed my goal to be No. 1 on the Tour (money list),” Putnam said. “With that comes a lot of perks. Hopefully I play enough good golf out here (on the PGA Tour), that I won’t need those.”
Among those perks is a spot in The Players Chamionship in May at TPC Sawgrass.
In the meantime, he’ll at least be able to set his schedule and play where he wants. That includes the West Coast Swing, where the Pepperdine graduate said he’s looking forward to.
In addition to his two wins, Putnam tied for second at the South Georgia Classic and third at the Albertsons Boise Open.
He ended the season with nine top 10s and missed just four cuts.
“On behalf of the PGA Tour, I would like to congratulate Michael on an outstanding year on the Web.com Tour,” said PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem. “He excelled throughout the season and is a deserving honoree. We wish him all the best on the PGA Tour. I also congratulate Chesson (Hadley), Ben (Martin) and John (Peterson) on their terrific seasons and welcome them to the PGA Tour.”
Hadley, Martin and Peterson were the others competitors nominated for the award.
“I am honored to be voted Player of the Year by my fellow players,” added Putnam. “I truly believe this past season on the Web.com Tour has prepared me for success on the PGA Tour. The Web.com Tour is an excellent tour that has incredibly talented golfers who are also really good guys. It features great tournaments, sponsors, volunteers and Tour staff, all of whom I’d like to thank for what they did to help me and the rest of the players week-in and week-out this year.”
Said Web.com Tour President Bill Calfee: “Michael Putnam has been a wonderful representative for the Web.com Tour, not only with his golf clubs but with the media, tournament sponsors, the fans and everyone else he came in touch with. Michael returns to the PGA Tour following a season on the Web.com Tour that not only included a pair of wins and 15 weeks atop the money list but highly consistent play virtually every week he competed. We wish him well on the PGA Tour and look forward to following his progress.”
As the Web.com Tour’s 2013 leading money winner, Putnam, who spent 2007 and 2011 on the Tour, is fully exempt in 2013-14.
On the season, Putnam was second in greens in regulation, third in scoring average and sixth in the all-around category.