Guthrie holds two-shot lead heading into weekend

Quincy native Luke Guthrie
Posted: May. 11, 2019 1:10 am Updated: May. 11, 2019 1:14 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After wrapping up play in last weekend's Nashville Golf Open on the Tour, Luke Guthrie and his wife, Kaitlyn, made a six-hour drive to Bloomington, Ill., to visit his in-laws.

It wasn't long before they were back on the road for another six-hour tour.

The Quincy native learned late Monday morning he had a spot in the KC Golf Classic, taking place at Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas City, Mo. So they headed for I-70 and the trip across Missouri, making a pit stop in Quincy to visit his grandmother and fuel up at Gem City Pizzeria.

The feel of home must have created some good vibes.

Guthrie shot a 5-under 67 Friday to move to the top of the leaderboard, and he takes a two-stroke lead into the weekend. Guthrie is at 8-under 177 with Tim Wilkinson and Michael Gellerman sitting at 6-under 179.

He struggled with his driver, hitting just 8 of 14 fairways, but made solid recovery shots from the rough to allow him to at least make par. On the par-4 ninth, he was able to get up-and-down from the rough by making a 15-foot putt for par that allowed him to post a 1-under 35 on the front nine.

"I hit it really well (Thursday), but today I actually did not drive it well at all," Guthrie told reporters after his round. "I was in the rough all day long. But I got out of trouble when I had to, took advantage with some good iron shots and putted really well on the back nine."

An eagle on the par-5 13th jumpstarted a strong finish on the back nine. Guthrie used a 3-wood from about 270 yards to stick his second shot on the middle of the green. He rolled a putt that broke twice into the heart of the cup for the eagle.

He then birdied the par-4 15th and par-4 17th, getting a tree just off the edge of the fairway with his drive on the 17th and ricocheting into the fairway. It set up the birdie.

Through two rounds, Guthrie has made nine birdies and one eagle.