Luke Guthrie turned some heads this weekend during his PGA Tour debut.|
The John Deere Classic took notice.
After finishing in a tie for 19th place at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn., on Sunday, Guthrie received word from JDC officials that he received a sponsor's exemption to participate in the tournament next month. That means Guthrie, a Quincy native and two-time Western Big 6 Conference champion, will get a spot in next month's JDC.
"I'm looking forward to going home, practicing and trying to get better," Guthrie told the Quincy Herald-Whig on Sunday afternoon. "I want to be ready for my next shot and try to get on that leaderboard come Sunday again."
If Guthrie performs next month the way he did this weekend, the JDC got a steal. Guthrie carded a 3-under to tie four other golfers -- including JDC veteran John Daly -- for 19th place, six shots behind Dustin Johnson. Two weeks after competing in the NCAA Championships as a University of Illinois senior, the 2008 Quincy Senior High School graduate got a $67,782 check.
Once he completed the final round at TPC Southwind, Guthrie checked his cell phone and received an email saying he received the sponsor's exemption. The JDC runs July 12-15 at TPC Deere Run, a course designed by Quincy native D.A. Weibring.
"I'm really pumped to go up there and see what I've got," Guthrie said.
In his Tour debut, Guthrie had a 292.4-yard driving average, 53.6 percent driving accuracy and reached 62.5 percent of the greens in regulation. He carded 11 birdies, eight bogeys and one eagle. The lone eagle came on the par-5 16th hole on Sunday where he chipped a shot from the bunker into the hole.
Besides being a two-time Big 6 individual winner, Guthrie won two individual state titles in his junior and senior seasons at Quincy, becoming the seventh golfer in state history to do so. He parlayed that into a scholarship from Illinois, where he had a decorated career.
Guthrie won the last two Big Ten Conference crowns, the first Illini to do that since current three-time defending JDC winner Steve Stricker accomplished that feat in 1988-89. He recently earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor and left Illinois holding the school's single-season stroke average record (71.19) and career stroke average (72.08).
Moline, IL Details
|(More Print Ads)|