By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Luke Guthrie is in the money.
Next, he wants to be in the mix.
Making a few more birdie putts will afford him that opportunity.
A torrid start and a tepid finish resulted in the Quincy native shooting a 1-over par 71 in Friday's second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind. That leaves him tied for 34th at even-par 140 and with a tee time for the weekend. He is seven strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy.
"It's cool thinking about the fact I'm going to have a paycheck come Sunday," said Guthrie, who made the cut in his PGA Tour debut and will tee off at 8:52 a.m. Saturday in a pairing with Australian golfer Mathew Goggin, who is at 1-over par 141.
Guthrie had hoped for a later tee time, and he'll aim for that on Sunday.
"I wanted to be able to mix it up this weekend with the final groups," Guthrie said. "So I want to play well and get up toward the lead groups. I want to get that experience and build on everything."
Starting the second round on the 10th tee, Guthrie was on his way up the leaderboard after back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes, moving to 3-under overall and into a tie for 11th. However, his drive on the 17th rolled through the fairway and changed his direction.
His second shot caught a little bit of wind and skipped through the green. He chipped to within 4 feet of the pin, but a fast, wiggly par putt didn't fall.
"I thought it was going to fall left," Guthrie said. "It fell right."
His tee shot on the 18th made matters worse. He pulled it right into the water, was forced to take a drop and had to scramble to salvage a bogey on the par 4.
"It was a pretty good save," Guthrie said.
He headed to the front nine at 1-under overall and ready for holes he birdied in Thursday's opening round, but there were no birdies to be had.
Guthrie strung together eight straight pars despite hitting six greens in regulation and having two birdie putts inside 8 feet. He couldn't get a putt to fall.
"For the most part, I hit awesome putts," Guthrie said. "For whatever reason, they were just kind of finding the edges and not falling like they did Thursday. If I keep doing what I'm doing, they'll fall at some point."
He closed the round with a bogey on the par-4 ninth, dropping him from a tie for 22nd to a tie for 34th and forcing him to tee off earlier than he had hoped.
"I'm a little disappointed with how I played today, honestly," Guthrie said. "I played some sloppy golf around the turn, and I didn't get many putts to fall. When those putts drop (Saturday), it's going to be good."
That's when he believes he can make a run up the leaderboard the way McIlroy and others did Friday. J.B. Holmes fired a 6-under 64 and Kevin Stadler posted a 5-under 65 to move into a tie for second, a stroke behind McIlroy, who is at 7-under overall.
"Make a few more putts and have a few more breaks go my way and I have a nice 66 on the board," Guthrie said.
If he does that, he'll have a later tee time Sunday and the chance to get to go really low.
"It's going to take two solid rounds," Guthrie said. "But it's doable."