By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- While Brian Gay outlasted Charles Howell III in a playoff to win the Humana Challenge, Luke Guthrie was headed down the highway.
San Diego beckoned.
So did the opportunity to keep his birdie barrage going.
Guthrie, the Quincy native playing his rookie season on the PGA Tour, finished off a top-30 finish Sunday by posting a 6-under 66 at the PGA West's Palmer Private course.
It allowed him to move up another 16 spots on the leaderboard, tying for 27th at 18-under overall.
Guthrie played the final 36 holes in 14-under, making 15 birdies and his first cut of the season. He jumped 79 spots on the leaderboard over the final two days.
When it was suggested he could keep the good vibes going this week in the Farmers Insurance Open near San Diego, Guthrie concurred.
"Yes, sir," he said.
Meanwhile, at the top of the leaderboard, Gay found the extra distance he was looking for without sacrificing control.
That was clear when he cracked a 300-yard drive down the center of the fairway to set up a birdie on the first playoff hole.
A few minutes later, he split the fairway with a 297-yarder and made another birdie to hold off Howell for his fourth PGA Tour title.
"I'm still in a little bit of shock," Gay said. "It kind of happened so fast there at the end the way things went down. Last year was a struggle. It was a long year, a lot of work. I just wanted to come out this year kind of refocused, recharged, and believing in myself."
Gay won on the par-4 10th, putting his 9-iron second shot 5 1/2 feet below the hole. Howell drove into the right rough, hit into the back bunker, blasted out to 15 feet and two-putted for bogey.
Champions Tour: Quincy native D.A. Weibring put together back-to-back rounds of 1-over 73 on the weekend and finished tied for 32nd in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, which is the Champions Tour season opener.
Back-to-back bogeys on the front nine cost Weibring a chance to move up the leaderboard. Meanwhile, John Cook caught David Frost on the final hole of regulation, then beat him with a birdie on the second playoff hole to win the tournament.
Cook closed with a 5-under-67 at Hualalai Golf Club to catch Frost at 17-under 199. Cook drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th green. Frost shot 69, not able to match Cook's birdie on the 54th hole.