Michael Putnam can't remember playing golf when he was as sick as he was during Friday's second round at the Cox Classic.
“If I would have had to play for 30 more minutes, there is no way I would have made it,'' he said Saturday. “They gave me an IV on the floor of the scoring trailer. I basically passed out in there.”
Somehow Putnam fashioned a 5-under 66 while fighting the effects of a stomach bug, then came back Saturday with a 6-under-par 65 to be at 15 under and two strokes off the lead entering the final round of the $800,000 Web.com Tour event at Champions Run.
“Two bananas, yogurt and a piece of toast is all I've had to eat in the past 36 hours,'' Putnam said. “And six bottles of Gatorade on the course today.”
The pro from Washington state in all likelihood is going to be No. 1 on the money list when the Web.com Tour's regular season concludes Sunday. He holds a lead of more than $37,000 over No. 2 Ben Martin, who's 12 strokes behind him after three rounds.
“I can't control what he does. I can control only what I do,'' Putnam said.
He said he knew he was getting sick Friday when he made the turn but wasn't about to withdraw.
“I began recouping my energy out there today, but no way was I feeling my strongest,'' the Pepperdine graduate said. “Now I'm ready to take a nap.”
His Saturday round included seven birdies and a bogey. The 4 on the par-3 16th dropped him from a share of the lead, which belongs to Matt Bettencourt and Bronson La'Cassie at 17 under going into Sunday's final.
“Obviously I think it's going to take another 6 or 7 under to win,'' Putnam said. “Seventeen-under, that's some good playing.
“It always seems to take 20 under or more no matter what the wind is.”