By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Luke Guthrie is thinking progressively.
Thursday, as his first professional round came to a close, the Quincy native stumbled. A mistake hitting out of the bunker on the 18th hole left him with a double bogey and knocked him off the leaderboard at the FedEx St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind.
Friday, Guthrie got off to a torrid start with two birdies on the first four holes, but he gave away those strokes with back-to-back bogeys to close the opening nine. That included hitting his tee shot into the water on No. 18.
Saturday, he had climbed the leaderboard into the top 15 and needed to avoid disaster at No. 18. His tee shot missed the mark again, but he made the most of it by salvaging a par that kept him at 3-under and tied for 11th with a 207 total.
So Guthrie has a good idea how Sunday's final round should end.
"I'm thinking birdie," he said.
That would make sense. It would also reaffirm the fact he's overcome the 18th hole demons.
"I didn't hit my best tee shot again, but it ended up being my best one of the tournament there," said Guthrie, whose tee shot Saturday carried to the right of the fairway bunkers. "I made a good shot from there, and I had a good two-putt from the front of the green. I was happy to par that one."
The birdie at No. 17 made him feel pretty good, too, especially after taking bogey there on Friday.
"Those two holes have kept me out of the lead area," Guthrie said. "So it was good to put a little offense on them and get back at them."
He'd be happy with a little more payback.
"Hopefully, Sunday, I'll be able to birdie the last two," Guthrie said. "That would be a strong finish."