Guthrie wins Albertsons Boise Open, secures spot on 2013 PGA Tour

By news services

Series: Tour

Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012 | 8:14 p.m.

BOISE, Idaho -- Luke Guthrie's homework might be late. The 22-year-old Tour rookie has been trying to balance a professional golf career while finishing his studies at the University of Illinois, where he is 13 credit hours shy of his business degree. Thanks to his effort Sunday, it looks like he's destined for a long and successful career in the golf business.

Guthrie fired a 6-under 65 in the final round of the Albertsons Boise Open to finish with a tournament-record 22-under total and win for the first time as a pro. The Quincy, Ill., native quickly erased a two-stroke deficit with a par-birdie-eagle start and then slowly pulled away from a packed leaderboard to win by four strokes.


The Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft is one of four events that have been on the Tour since its inception in 1990, and has raised $13 million for charity.

Richard H. Lee (66), Scott Gardiner (69), Steve Wheatcroft (69) and third-round leader Michael Putnam (71) shared second place at 18 under. Tyrone van Aswegen (70) was sixth, five shots back.

In addition to some nice crystal, Guthrie also picked up a check for $130,500, which pushed him to No. 4 on the money list and locked up a berth on the PGA Tour for 2013. Not bad for a guy who has two homework assignments due Monday morning.

"It was awesome," said Guthrie of his day. "I know it probably hasn't sunk in yet. I couldn't be more proud of how I played." Guthrie learned from earlier mistakes -- he was the 54-hole co-leader at the Cox Classic last month but tied for third -- and did his best to relax and enjoy the challenge.

"One of my main goals today was just to have fun," he said. "I kind of shot myself in the foot a few times just being too uptight and wanting it too bad and worrying about where this might put me on the money list. That's all kind of irrelevant once you tee it up."

Putnam was the man beat when the day began, having set 36- and 54-hole tournament records en route to a two-stroke bulge over five players. An early bogey by the leader opened the door for someone to step up and take command.

Guthrie jumped to the front with a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 third hole and did his best to play "aggressive-conservative golf" the rest of the way.

"Pick a conservative target but make sure you play aggressively to it," he said of his strategy. "I played smart. Attack the easy holes and hunker down and make solid pars."

Guthrie turned the front with a two-stroke lead and upped it to three with a short birdie putt at No. 10.

"I knew it was going to be a shootout today," said the winner. "It was so bunched at the top and if you're going out there trying to protect something you're not going to do too good."

Guthrie used the conservative approach to chalk up pars on the next four holes before getting aggressive on the 293-yard 15th hole. He bombed driver into a greenside bunker, blasted his second to within a few feet and canned the birdie putt, getting him to 21 under.

A two-putt birdie on the reachable par-5 16th increased his lead to four, gave him the tournament record and slammed the door on first place.

"I got to enjoy the walk up 18," he said. "I was just enjoying the moment and taking everything in."

Fourth-Round Notes:

--Luke Guthrie's 22-under-par total of 262 broke the tournament record of 21-under 263 set by Jon Mills in 2007 and matched by Hunter Haas in 2010.

--Guthrie's winning check for $130,500 pushed his season total to $283,463 and jumped him from No. 22 to No. 4 on the season money list with six events left on the 2012 schedule.

--Guthrie becomes the 14th first-time winner in 21 Tour events, and the seventh rookie winner in 21 Tour events. At the age of 22 years 7 months and 15 days, he becomes the second-youngest winner on the Tour this year. Ben Kohles was 22-5-5 when he won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational, defeating Guthrie in a playoff.

--Guthrie started had identical starts to his weekend rounds -- par/birdie/eagle. He played the par 4s in 13 under, the par 5s in 11 under and the par 3s in 2 over this week. He hit 11 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens and had 29 putts in the final round, and finished the week tied for 11th, tied for 11th and tied for eighth in those categories, respectively.

--Casey Wittenberg (tied for 10th), Luke List (tied for 13th) and Ben Kohles (tied for 19th) remain 1-2-3 on the money list.

--Rookie Shawn Stefani fired a career-low 8-under 63 in the final round to wind up 16 under and tied for seventh. Stefani's previous low this year was a 7-under 64 and came in the final round of the Midwest Classic, which he won by two strokes. Stefani earned $22,596 and moved from No. 15 to No. 13 on the money list. His year-to-date total of $195,311 should be enough to keep him in the top-25 on the money list and give him a spot on the PGA Tour next year.

--Former U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee closed his week with a 6-under 65 and wound up tied for 13th. Lee has made 11 of 22 cuts this year on the PGA Tour, his rookie year, and ranks No. 169 on the money list.

--J.J. Killeen, the 2011 Player of the Year, fired a 6-under 65 to finish at 14-under 270 and tied for 13th.

--University of Oregon men's golf coach Casey Martin fired a 1-over 72 and wound up tied for 55th. The last time Martin played and made a cut on the Tour was the 2006 Oregon Classic, which is played near Eugene, home to the University where Martin now coaches.

--The Tour moves to Texas next week for the WNB Golf Classic in Midland, Texas. The tournament will be held at Midland Country Club Sept. 17-23. Last year Danny Lee made a par on the first playoff hole to defeat fellow rookie Harris English for his first career title.