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No pressure on money champion Putnam at Finals

Michael Putnam
Getty Images

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Michael Putnam is the ultimate free wheeler in the Tour Championship this week.

While the pressure is up on most of the field trying to secure PGA Tour cards in the last event of the Tour Finals, Putnam is playing for some nice frosting on his cake.

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As the leading money winner in the Tour’s regular season, Putnam is guaranteed fully exempt status on the PGA Tour, the highest priority ranking among Tour players and a spot in The Players Championship.

Putnam, who opened with a 2-under-par 68 Thursday, was asked after the round why he has chosen to play all four of the events in the Tour Finals.

“I want to win golf tournaments,” Putnam said. “I didn’t want to take six weeks off and get stale. I was playing well coming into these playoffs, and I want to keep it going for the start of the PGA Tour season. I wasn’t about to take time off after my 22nd event. This is my 26th total. I’m 30 years old. I can play half the year.”

Putnam has kept his momentum going in the Finals. He has T-7, T-14 and T-17 finishes in the first three. He plans to play the 2013-14 season-opening Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., in two weeks.