Less than a week after dropping his son off to college to start his collegiate golf career, Scott Gutschewski has put himself in position to earn a “graduation” of sorts from the Korn Ferry Tour to the PGA TOUR. The 44-year-old carded a 63 on moving day at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron to take a two-stroke lead into the final round at Hillcrest Country Club in Boise, Idaho.
The Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron is the first of three tournaments in the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals. The top-25 players in the Finals points standings at the conclusion of the three tournaments will earn PGA TOUR membership for the 2021-22 season.
A win, or potentially even just a top-five finish, would lock up a return to the PGA TOUR for Gutschewski. The University of Nebraska product last competed full-time on the PGA TOUR in 2011 and has since endured a decade of injuries and doubt as he tries to make it back to the highest level.
“I feel like everybody out here probably thinks about hanging it up every week or two,” laughed Gutschewski. “Every time you miss a cut and you’re on the road in the middle of nowhere, you think what am I doing here. But we do it for the good weeks. I do love playing. I love being out here and competing. It’s hard to be out here if you don’t want to be out here, almost impossible, to be successful. But I love it. There’s nothing better.”
On Monday, Gutschewski helped move his son, Luke, into Iowa State University where he will compete on the golf team. The elder Gutschewski flew to Boise on Tuesday morning to begin prep for the week.
“Monday – this has been a really emotional week – Monday we moved him into Ames. we moved him into Iowa State,” said Gutschewski. “He’s been there all week hanging out with the team and practicing and getting ready. I think they start qualifying next week for their fall season. My daughter is playing for her high school team. My 14-year-old started high school last Thursday. They were upset actually, they started school last Thursday so they couldn’t come out to Omaha the first two days [last week]. My 5-year-old is going to Kindergarten. It’s very busy. Just ask my wife.”
After rounds of 67-66 to start the week, Gutschewski carded seven birdies, a bogey and an eagle on Saturday for a 63. While he will be seeking his third career Korn Ferry Tour victory – and first since 2008 – Gutschewski will also have an eye towards the Finals points list as he attempts a return to the TOUR.
“I’ve had three nice days, it would be nice to have another nice day tomorrow,” said Gutschewski. “I think I can speak for everyone here, or that has played there, that you don’t want to leave it on the line at Victoria National [in two weeks]. It would be nice to be able to relax and have a nice calm week there. That’s not a place where you want to go having to play well. But we’re in a great spot and hopefully can go out and play well tomorrow.”
Gutschewski leads a trio of players at 15-under: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Kelly Kraft and Ben Taylor. For Aphibarnrat, the third-round 63 was his lowest career round in any PGA TOUR-sanctioned start, a stat which includes 85 starts on the PGA TOUR and four on the Korn Ferry Tour.
“I feel really comfortable with the way I’m swinging,” said Aphibarnrat. “It’s a lot of positive thinking and a lot of positive stuff that has carried on to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Ball-striking was in the top-10 at the 3M Open, putting was in the top-10 at the Wyndham. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. I just want to come out here and enjoy the golf game again.”
The final round will run from 8:35 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. off of the first tee on Sunday at Hillcrest Country Club.
Third-Round Course Statistics