Luke Guthrie is just a few credits away from getting his degree in business management at the University of Illinois.
And hes doing everything he can to finish those credits this semester.
Problem is, something keeps getting in the way: the money hes making playing professional golf.
Ive been preached academics No. 1 and sports second, Guthrie said. But now its starting to switch. Ive got a good opportunity here, so this is my priority out here right now.
It would be hard for even his business professors to argue with that logic. The two-time All-American turned pro in June. Since then, he has earned more than $280,000 in three PGA tournaments. Hes also made more than $150,000 in the five Web.com tournaments hes played this year.
He came into the Albertsons Boise Open in 22nd place on the Web.com Tours money list.
After shooting the best round of the day Saturday (62), he will enter Sundays final round in a tie for second place, two shots behind leader Michael Putnam.
So, its easy to see why Guthries priorities might be changing a little.
I want my degree, though, he said. Im trying to do that right now.
One way he could do that is by winning the Boise Open. That would secure his PGA Tour card for next season, allowing him to free up his schedule a little and turn his focus back to academics.
If things go really well the next couple of weeks then I can go take care of my business back at school, he said.
In the meantime, hes been trying to juggle golf and school. He has a few online classes, but he also has classes that require him to be on campus.
I had a quiz Monday in one of my classes and then flew out in the afternoon, he said.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Most golfers will tell you they enjoy coming to the Treasure Valley for the Boise Open. They enjoy the area, the weather and Hillcrest Country Club.
Glen Day has one more reason to enjoy coming here.
His sister, Danielle, lives in the area.
We had a ball last night, Day said after his round Saturday. They had some neighbors come over and we cooked steaks and had a little red wine. We had fun, and its a great break from being on the road all the time.
Its easy to see why Day, who sits at 11-under going into Sunday, enjoys spending time with his sisters family. After all, Danielle married one of his old golf buddies, Rob Huff.
Rob and I traveled together when we were playing golf back in 1990, or something, Day said. (Danielle) graduated from college then, and for her graduation, I brought her to Europe. I brought her over for three weeks: Monte Carlo, Paris and London. And Rob wasnt playing good at the time, so he missed all three of those cuts. I made three cuts and so Rob took Danielle around on the weekends.
Not a bad way to meet.
Yeah, Monte Carlo, Paris, London, its all downhill from there, Day joked.
Well, not all downhill. Rob and Danielle have settled in Eagle, and their son, Greyson, plays golf for Eagle High.
It was mostly because of timing that Sam Saunders made his pro debut at the Boise Open in 2009.
But Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, said he could have done a whole lot worse than Hillcrest.
I love this golf course, said Saunders, who will enter the final round at 11-under. Its a good test of golf. We play so many courses out on this tour that are long yardages, but theres no real test. You just bomb it around and theres no real shape to the holes. This course, I love because theres a little bit of rough and some trees. Youve got to shape the ball off the tee and hit it pretty straight.
Michael Putnams three-day total of 195 set a tournament total for lowest 54-hole score.
Five different golfers held the previous mark of 196: Rick Cramer (1996), Mario Tiziani (2006), Jim McGovern (2007), D.A. Points (2007) and Daniel Summerhays (2010).
None of those five went on to win the tournament.
Chris Langrill: 377-6424