Gut Check at Price Cutter

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Scott Gutschewski fired a 9-under-par 63 Thursday to grab the first-round lead at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. Gutschewski stands one shot clear of Sean Murphy and Stephen Gangluff.
 
Joe Ogilvie, a two-time winner this season, posted a 7-under-par 65 Thursday. He shares fourth place with Kevin Pendley and Doug LaBelle II.
 
Gutschewski got his day rolling at Highland Springs Country Club on the back nine. At the par-5 11th, his second, Gutschewski rolled in a 40-footer for eagle for a quick start. He followed that by dropping an 8-iron within four feet for birdie at the next.
 
Gutschewski, playing in just his second Nationwide Tour event, missed a six-foot par-save at the par-4 14th to fall back to minus-2. He responded quickly by draining back-to-back birdies from the 15th. He capped his first nine with a birdie at the 18th from 18 feet out.
 
Around the turn, he chipped to within five feet to setup birdie at the first. The Omaha resident then dropped a 5-iron 20 feet from the cup at the par-3 fourth for birdie. He followed that with a four-foot birdie putt at the next. Gutschewski grabbed the overnight lead when he sank a five-footer at the ninth to move to minus-9.
 
'They were bouncing the right way for me today,' said Gutschewski, who got in this tournament thanks to his top-25 finish after a sponsor's invite to the Omaha Classic last week. 'The best-case scenario would be to win and be exempt for the next year. The worst-case scenario would be to finish in the top-25 and keep playing next week.'
 
Gutschewski has come out of nowhere the last two weeks.
 
'I've been playing on the Tight Lies Tour this year after playing on the Canadian Tour last year,' Gutschewski said. 'I just want to keep giving myself opportunities. It is not do or die for me out here.'
 
Murphy exploded out of the gate on the front nine. He rolled in four-foot putts at the first and third, while sinking a 12-footer on No. 2 all for birdie. He made it four straight when he drained at 18-footer at the fourth before completing a remarkable run with another 18-foot birdie putt at the fifth.
 
He dropped a pitching-wedge within 15 feet for birdie at the seventh. Around the turn, he eagled at the par-5 11th to move to minus-8. He dropped his first shot at the par-4 13th, but recovered for a share of second with a birdie at the last.
 
'I got off to a great start,' said Murphy. 'It was a good day. After the eagle on No. 11, I was thinking about a 59 or 60, but lost my momentum with the bogey on 14.'
 
Gangluff started on the back nine and promptly drained a four-footer for birdie there for a fast start. He then converted a 10-footer for birdie at the 12th before running home a 40-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
 
He three-putted for bogey at the 17th, but came right back with a chip-in birdie on No. 18. Around the turn, he birdied the first to get to 4 under.
 
Gangluff made a five-foot birdie at the fifth, then knocked a 4-iron to 15 feet to setup an eagle at the eighth. He dropped a wedge to three feet at the ninth for birdie and a share of second place.
 
'I putted well, hit it well and chipped in, so it was a good day,' said Gangluff. 'I wish I could have kept going. I have been playing real solid the last few weeks.'
 
Franklin Langham and Rich Barcelo each posted rounds of 6-under-par 66. They share seventh place with Chris Tidland, Trevor Dodds, Jeev Milkha Singh, Craig Bowden, Tom Carter, Jimmy Green, Jeff Hart and Roland Thatcher.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Price Cutter Charity Championship
  • Price Cutter Charity Championship Leaderboard