By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
LA QUINTA, Calif. — A big start and a big finish got Luke Guthrie back where he wanted to be.
That's playing on Sunday when it matters most.
The Quincy native opened the third round of the Humana Challenge with three consecutive birdies, closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th and vaulted up the leaderboard after shooting an 8-under 64 at the PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private course.
Guthrie now sits tied for 43rd at 12-under overall after moving 63 spots up the leaderboard.
How much further can he go? That depends on how many more birdies fall.
Guthrie took advantage of the par-5s Saturday, making birdie on all five. His final birdie came on the 18th when he landed his second shot 25 feet from the pin.
He slid his putt just wide of the cup and easily made a 3-footer coming back to finish off his lowest round in comparison to par on the PGA Tour.
Guthrie made the turn at 5-under and took a bogey on the par-4 10th, leaving him below the projected cutline. However, he bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 11th and added three more birdies on the way home.
He still remains 10 strokes behind leader Scott Stallings, but Guthrie is just three strokes out of the top 15 with 18 holes remaining.
He will tee off at 11:10 a.m. on the PGA West's Palmer course with Greg Owen and Geoff Ogilvy.