It’s No Fluke — Putnam Keeps Winning


Surprising Shawn Putnam in now 2-for-2 in major pro events this year after powering past Fabio Petroni, 10-6, in the finals of the Brunswick Pro Players Championship, held March 17-20 in Valley Forge, Pa.

After scratching on his first break shot, Putnam fell into a 4-2 hole against Italy’s Petroni. But the vastly improved shooter from Youngstown, Ohio, went on a 6-1 run to take control of the match, 8-5. Putnam received almost no open shots after his thunderous breaks, but he created spectacular run-outs with an array of ballsy jump shots, combos and pinpoint-accurate kicks. Any hope Petroni had for a comeback ended in the 16th rack, when he broke dry for the fourth time in the match.

Early in the year, 33-year-old Putnam reengineered his game by trying more reliable run-out patterns, using center-ball hits instead of extreme English, and staying calm while shooting. He then won the North American Open Tour event in February in Pittsburgh — his first major pro victory — and followed up with his decisive Pro Players win.

“The whole thing is about keeping your heart rate constant — the same heart rate when you’re playing as when you’re sitting down, so you don’t have to get adrenaline going as you’re playing and then sit down and cool down,” Putnam said of his newfound Zen strategy.

With his $10,000 in winnings, Putnam planned to buy a 1996 Cadillac Seville he had test-driven recently. “Now it’s really getting bought; I don’t care what he wants for it,” he said.

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