SANDY, Utah (AP) — Former Pepperdine player Michael Putnam won the Utah Championship on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 4-under 67 for a three-stroke victory over Jhonnatan Vegas and Bradley Iles.
The 27-year-old Putnam, a 6-foot-4 former high school basketball star in Washington, finished at 18-under 266 on the Willow Creek Country Club course.
Putnam earned $99,000 to jump from 47th to 15th on the money list with $191,747, with the top 25 at the end of the season earning 2011 PGA Tour cards.
“I never played on the mini-tours and came right out here after college,” Putnam said. “This is a tough place to win. I thought it might have come quicker than this but it’s special that it came now.”
He birdied four of the final four holes on the back nine to take the lead for good.
“I had a lot of wins in college, but I just haven’t been able to get it done out here,” Putnam said. “I’ve put myself in contention four or five times this year and I think it really helped me get over the hump. I learned a lot from all those bad rounds I played when I was in contention.”
Vegas finished with a 67, and Iles shot a 71.