Struggle hitting fairways costs Guthrie Tour golfer Luke Guthrie
Posted: May. 12, 2019 12:01 am Updated: May. 12, 2019 12:11 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A strong start and a stumbling finish leaves Luke Guthrie with some work to do in order to challenge for the championship of the Tour's KC Golf Classic.

The overnight leader after 36 holes, Guthrie began Saturday's third round with birdies on two of his first three holes and eventually got to 11-under on two separate occasions. The inability to find the fairway on the back nine proved costly as he went 3-over to finish at 8-under 208 and tied for third at Blue Hills Country Club.

Guthrie will head into Sunday's final round looking to chase down Nelson Ledesma, who shot a 7-under 65 and is alone in the lead at 11-under. Kyle Reifers is in second at 9-under and Guthrie is in a three-way tie for third.

Guthrie made a birdie on the par-5 first hole and followed with birdies on the par-4 third and the par-5 sixth. Nos. 3 and 6 were the only fairways he hit on the opening stretch.

An errant tee shot on the par-4 seventh led to a bogey, but he got the stroke back with a birdie on the par-4 ninth despite missing the fairway again.

A bogey on the par-4 10th was followed by six straight pars. On the par-4 17th, Guthrie missed the fairway and then three-putted for a double bogey that knocked him down the leaderboard. Despite finding the fairway on the par-5 18th, Guthrie settled for par.

Guthrie has hit just 50 percent of the fairways through three rounds after connecting on just 5 of 14 fairways Saturday.

Guthrie is scheduled to tee off at 9:01 a.m. Sunday as the tournament will go with threesomes for the final round in hopes of beating the rain.