Gutschewski Leads Vets Struggle

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PGA Tour (75x100)LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Scott Gutschewski fired a 5-under-par 67 on Wednesday to take the first-round lead at the PGA TOUR Q-School.
 
Play is split over the Stadium Course at PGA West and the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course. Players rotate among the two courses through all six rounds as this marathon determines a golfer's fate for the 2007 season.
 
Anyone in the top-30 plus ties after Monday's final round will receive their PGA TOUR cards for next season. The next 50 will earn full privileges on the Nationwide Tour in 2007.
 
Jeff Gallagher and Ryan Howison are tied for second place at 4-under-par 68. John Mallinger, Bob Heintz, Andrew Johnson and Steve Allan are knotted in fourth place at minus-3.
 
To make matters worse in one of golf's most pressure-packed events, there were 30-mile-per-hour winds on Wednesday and temperatures were unseasonably low for the area.
 
Gutschewski started on the back nine at the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Wednesday. He flew out of the gate with three consecutive birdies, but cooled the rest of the way with just pars.
 
His approach at the par-4 second landed over the hole, but the ball spun back to 8 feet. Gutschewski holed the birdie putt, then made it two in a row with a birdie at three.
 
Gutschewski recorded his first bogey of the round at the par-4 fifth, but reclaimed the lost stroke with a birdie at the par-5 seventh. That gave him sole possession of the lead after one round.
 
'I chipped and putted well today,' said Gutschewski, who played 19 events on the PGA TOUR in 2006, but posted only two top-10s and made only seven cuts. 'I made the putts.'
 
Both Gallagher and Howison also played the Nicklaus Course in round one and both tallied five birdies and a bogey in the round.
 
Craig Lile, Paul Gow, Michael Boyd, Chris Thompson and Kenneth Staton share eighth place at 2-under-par 70.
 
As is the case with most Q-Schools, some of the top stories of the week revolve around the bigger-named players who will have to fight to stay on tour next year.
 
Lee Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open champion, who has not visited the finals of Q-School since 1989, shot a 1-over-par 73 and is part of a group tied for 44th place.
 
Duffy Waldorf, a former winner on the PGA TOUR, struggled to a 3-over-par 75 and shares 74th, with among others, 2000 PGA Championship runner-up Bob May and former U.S. Amateur Champion, Ricky Barnes.
 
Two years ago, Chris Riley teamed with Tiger Woods in a fourballs match at the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills. On Wednesday, he shot an eye-opening, 11-over-par 83 and is tied for 159th in the 163-player field.
 
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