Schuckman: Guthrie enjoying solid start to rookie campaign - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Schuckman: Guthrie enjoying solid start to rookie campaign

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Luke Guthrie wasn't home long before the itch to get back on the golf course intensified.

One day. Maybe two at the most.

"I need to clean up the game," Guthrie said. "And I will. I'm anxious to do that."

First, he wanted to relax.

"It's nice to just sit," Guthrie said. "I don't do that much."

For six straight weeks, Guthrie has been hard at work at his new job with hardly a day off.

The Quincy native played in the first six full-field PGA Tour events -- two events were limited fields based on 2012 success or the world rankings -- and made the cut four times.

Each cut he made was followed by a top-30 finish, and Guthrie finds himself sitting 43rd in the FedEx Cup standings.

Not bad for a tour rookie.

"I protected my number pretty well," Guthrie said.

That will open more doors.

Every six weeks, the PGA Tour reshuffles the pecking order for graduates of the Web.com Tour and Q-School. After a tournament has been filled with past winners and the top 125 players on the previous year's money mist, the graduates fill the rest of slots in order according to their ranking.

Guthrie began the year No. 3, currently sits at No. 10 and should have no issues getting into tournaments for the foreseeable future.

That includes this week, where he will tee it up Thursday at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where he'll find some familiarity with the course.

"I've never looked forward to Bermuda grass in my life," Guthrie said. "But I do now."

The West Coast swing features courses with Poa annua greens, the type of grass Guthrie admitted he hadn't putted on much.

"The stats confirmed what I thought," Guthrie said. "It's been solid, but I haven't played well, certainly not as well as I can.

"That's the positive thing I'm taking away from the first six weeks. My game is going to get better."

The experience has been pretty phenomenal already. Guthrie played two legendary courses in Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach and admitted Pebble Beach "lives up to the expectations."

Guthrie and his brother, Zach, who is also his caddie, soaked in every moment they could, using social media to share pictures from the course and some of the most spectacular views anywhere.

"Some of the shots you play are breathtaking," Guthrie said.

He handled that the way he has handled everything. He didn't get distracted.

Guthrie made the cut and finished tied for 26th at the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am before tying for 21st at the Northern Trust Open the following week.

The chance to relax followed.

"I've had a lot of 5-footers for par ... that can be stressful," Guthrie said. "It kind of wears on you."

Life on the road can, too. Guthrie said living in hotels and traveling each week hasn't been too taxing, and he's discovered golf truly is his job.

It's more than just a five-hour round.

"You learn how much golf takes up your day," Guthrie said.

That's not a complaint. That's reality. And there's no job Guthrie would rather have.

"There's not really anything I don't like about it," Guthrie said. "I'm ready to get back out there."

 

-- mschuckman@whig.com/221-3366

 

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