Andrew Putnam scored 15 points on Saturday at Montreux Golf & Country Club and will take a three-point lead into tomorrow’s 18-hole finale at the Barracuda Championship.
On his opening nine, Putnam mixed a bogey with four birdies to turn with seven points. Going home, the 29-year old from Pepperdine scored eight more points by the way of birdies on Nos. 12, 13, 17 and 18 to reach a three-day total of 38 points.
“I putted the ball really well, made a ton of putts. My long game wasn’t quite as sharp, but it was tough out there with the wind. It was gusty and hard to keep on balance,” said Putnam.
“In this format, birdies are key, and it’s almost hard to get aggressive when the wind is gusting all over the place.
“The last few holes you’re just hitting and hoping the wind stays consistent and you don’t catch any crazy gusts.”
Alone in second at +35 was Sam Saunders, who was pointless through 12 holes, but racked up 12 points down the stretch, highlighted by eagles on the two par 5s (Nos. 13 and 18).
“That’s what this tournament is all about. That’s what this format allows you to do,” said Saunders.
“I was having a slow day, but that front nine played tough. Andrew made it look easy, and it was kind of one of those moments where I had to put my blinders on and not worry about what he was doing and know that I had some birdie opportunities on that back nine.
“It would have been reasonable to think that I could reel off four or five birdies without much trouble on that back nine, and to make it two eagles — works a little better in this format.”
Chad Campbell entered the day with just 10 points through 36 holes but after a tournament-best 22 points on Saturday, which included nine birdies and one eagle, the 44-year old rocketed 42 spots up leaderboard to solo third.
Alone in fourth was Shane Lowry who scored eight points to reach +30, one clear of John Oda (13) and J.J. Spaun (10).
Ollie Schniederjans (1) and Aaron Baddeley (0) were on the top of the leaderboard through 36 holes, but on Saturday the two combined for one point to drop to T7.
TOP 5 LEADERS
1. Andrew Putnam +38 (6-17-15)
2. Sam Saunders +35 (10-13-12)
3. Chad Campbell +32 (6-4-22)
4. Shane Lowry +30 (10-12-8)
5. John Oda +29 (7-9-13)
5. J.J. Spaun +29 (7-12-10)
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EXIT QUESTION FOR PUTNAM
There’s a lot of guys at the top of the leaderboard looking for that first TOUR win. How hungry do you think guys are going to be tomorrow, not just you but everybody else?
ANDREW PUTNAM: Yeah, a win on the PGA TOUR is life changing, so I think we’re all going to be hungry to get after it.
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