Club switch leads to Rex Hospital Open victory for GutschewskiJune 08, 2008
Mark Williams, PGA TOUR Staff
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Scott Gutschewski hit a horrible 3-iron at last week's Bank of America Open and he decided it had to go. The replacement hybrid club was his savior this week in winning The Rex Hospital Open at TPC Wakefield Plantation.
Inside the Numbers Gutschewski's Final Stats Category Total Rank Eagles 1 T1 Birdies 18 T10 Pars 48 T14 Bogeys 4 T69 Double Bogeys 1 T26 Other 0 N/A Driving Accuracy 73.2% T17 Driving Distance 304.1 yds. T47 Greens in Regulation 79.2% T10 Putts per Round 29.3 T10 Putts per GIR 1.754 18 Sand Saves 80.0% 7
Gutschewski, from Omaha, Neb., hit the hybrid in the front-left bunker on the par-5 final hole and got up and down for birdie to shoot 66 for a 14-under 270 overall score and a two-shot win over Esteban Toledo (69) and Chad Ginn (71).
"I caught a glimpse of the leaderboard on No. 17 when I lipped out a putt," said Gutschewski. "I figured I needed to get to 14 under. On the last I had the perfect yardage (248 yards) and hit the hybrid. I just put it in the bag last week."
Gutschewski stopped the trend of 54-hole leaders winning this event (2005-2007), coming from four strokes behind to overtake third-round co-leaders Matt Every (74) and Fran Quinn (77). The winning paycheck of $90,000 helped him jump from 35th to eighth on the money list.
"I'm very excited," said Gutschewski, a PGA TOUR member in 2005-07. "This is a huge step toward getting back to where I want to be."
Gutschewski played in only four Nationwide Tour events in 2007, but posted three top-15 finishes. On the PGA TOUR, he posted a season-best tie for 21st at the Stanford St. Jude Championship.
Quinn, a former high school ski instructor from Holden, Mass., went downhill, shooting 77, including a triple-bogey 8 at the par-5 13th hole and finished in a tie for 12th.
Sadly for Every, his round began with a double bogey, and it didn't get much better for the former "Big Break" contestant until a pair of birdies at Nos. 13-14. Another double bogey at the 15th hole destroyed any chance at victory. He shot 74 and tied for fourth with Greg Owen, the first-round leader, and Garth Mulroy, the South African who resides in Raleigh, N.C.
Chad Ginn, who posted a season-best 64 on Saturday, held the lead at 13 under after the ninth hole but bogeys at Nos. 10-11 stopped his challenge.
"I made a mental mistake on No. 10 and three-putted," said Ginn. "On the 11th hole I challenged the pin a little too much and paid the price."
Toledo bogeyed the first hole but collected three birdies over the front nine to pull within one stroke of the lead. Consecutive birdies on Nos. 12-13 moved him to 14 under and a two stroke lead, but he immediately gave shots back with bogeys at the next two holes. Toledo's tie for second was his best finish since the 2005 season when he won the Lake Erie Charity Classic and finished runner-up at the Oregon Classic.
Final-Round News & Notes: Gutschewski is the 14th different winner in as many tournaments this year, equaling the third-longest such streak to start a season in Tour history (1995, 2003). In 1996, the first 22 tournaments were won by different players and in 1998 the first 15 events were won by different players. ... Michael Boyd (66) had the only bogey-free final round. Boyd's 66 tied Gutschewski for low round of the day. ... The final round scoring average was 71.84, while the cumulative average for the week was 71.43. The par-3 third hole ranked as the toughest this week, yielding a 3.20 average. ... The Nationwide Tour will take a week off before heading to Tennessee for the Knoxville Open presented by Food City, the 15th of 30 events on the Nationwide Tour schedule. A year ago, Chez Reavie notched his first career win by three strokes over Kyle McCarthy in Knoxville.