(Reuters) - Andrew Putnam grabbed his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday by winning the Barracuda Championship in Reno.
Entering the day with a three-point lead at the event, which is played under the modified Stableford format, Putnam birdied two of his first four holes and scored nine points on the day to take him to 47, four clear of runner-up Chad Campbell.
The format awards eight points for an albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, and subtracts a point for bogey and three for double-bogeys or worse.
“Coming into this week I felt I had a good chance to possibly win,” Putnam told reporters. “I’ve been playing really well. (I’m) happy to get the win. This was an incredible week.”
Putnam, playing in his second full season on the PGA Tour, had a pair of birdies on the back-nine to put the tournament away.
The 29-year-old had a chance to claim his first win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June when he held a share of the 54-hole lead with world number one Dustin Johnson but eventually finished six shots behind.
“I feel like there’s a lot to learn on the Tour. There’s a lot of growth that needs to happen, and I feel like I’ve just learned how to believe in myself a little more,” Putnam said. “That’s just been the main thing that’s helped me this year.”
Campbell had a chance to make a run at Putnam but missed a five-foot eagle putt on the 13th hole that killed his momentum. “That hurt,” Campbell said. “Anytime you get a chance to make an eagle you make up so much ground out here. I hit a great shot. Not to capitalise on that really hurt.”
Sam Saunders started the day in second place but made all pars and two bogeys on his opening nine to fade away.
John Oda and J.J. Spaun finished in a tie for third at 37 points with Ollie Schniederjans rounding out the top five on 36.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford