Pair Sharing the Lead


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Steve Gutschewski fired an 8-under 64 Saturday to grab a share of the lead after three rounds at the Envirocare Utah Classic. Gutschewski and Jeff Freeman, who carded a 6-under 66, are atop the leaderboard at 16-under-par 200.
Bobby Gage is alone in third place at 15-under-par 201 with Zach Johnson one stroke further back at minus-14. Mark Hensby and Roger Tambellini share fifth place at 13-under-par 203.
Gutschewski received a sponsor's exemption five weeks ago and has been playing ever since, thanks to five straight top-25 finishes. He also had to finish his second round early Saturday. While closing his second round, Gutschewski birdied the 18th to close at eight-under par heading to the third round.
'If you're not making putts out here, you're getting passed,' said Gutschewski. 'I was real lucky that I didn't have to finish Friday night. The greens were a little bit softer Saturday morning and that's the only way I could get to that pin on 18.'
In the third round, he burst out of the gates at Willow Creek Country Club. He birdied the par-five first and followed with an eagle on the par-five third, as he holed a bunker shot to move to 11-under.
As he headed for the turn, Gutschewski caught fire again. He birdied the sixth and followed with another at the seventh. He then birdied the ninth to make the turn at 6-under 29 for the front side.
Heading to the house on the back nine, Gutschewski again took advantage of the par-5s as he birdied the par-5 12th to get to minus-15. He notched his final birdie of the day at the par-3 15th.
'It'll be fun and interesting,' Gutschewski said of Sunday. 'It could go really good or it could go really bad. Either way, I should learn about myself tomorrow.'
Freeman, who shared the first-round lead and trailed by one entering round three, opened with birdies on Nos. 2 and 4, but could not birdie the two opening par-5s, the first and third.
Around the turn, Freeman birdied the 10th and 17th, both par-5s to move to 9-under on the par-5s this week. He also carded birdies at the 15th and 18th to grab a share of the lead.
'I'm playing smart, playing good,' said Freeman. 'I need to drive it a little better on Sunday. My tempo is a little fast right now but if I can slow it down, I'll be fine.'
Scott Gump and Bo Van Pelt share seventh place at 12-under-par 204. Roland Thatcher, who held the lead entering the third round, managed just an even-par 72. He is tied with Jimmy Walker (69) at 11-under-par 205.

Related Links:
  • Envirocare Utah Classic Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - Envirocare Utah Classic