Planet Golf — 31 May 2014 by GW staff and news services
Martin, Guthrie challenge each other

DUBLIN, Ohio — Ben Martin and Luke Guthrie talked about everything under the sun on Saturday at Muirfield Village. Except for how well they were playing, that is.

“I think we both knew the situation,” Guthrie said with a smile. “(It was like) let’s not bring it up, let’s keep this good thing going.”

And those two good things — Martin (pictured) signed for a 65 and Guthrie a 66 — set the tone for the third round of the Memorial Tournament on a warm, sun-kissed day that was perfect for scoring.

Martin and Guthrie started the third round at even par but promptly got things going with a pair of birdies at the third hole. Martin ended up with seven, including four straight starting at the 10th hole, while Guthrie made nine, but also had three bogeys.

“We were just kkind of in a groove, making birdies, seeing a lot of good shots and feeding off each other,” Guthrie said. “It was fun. I haven’t played too many good rounds of golf lately. But I could feel it coming (after Friday’s 69).

“Golf was definitely fun the last few days.”

Martin wouldn’t go so far as to say he wouldn’t have shot a 65 if he hadn’t been playing with Guthrie. But he knew it helped.

“It would have been tougher, especially at a course (like this),” Martin said. “You can slip up around here pretty easy and made a bogey or a double. So it was nice to see more birdies going in along with mine.”

One of Guthrie’s bogeys came on the 18th hole so the two won’t be playing together on Sunday for what would have been the fourth straight day. Of course, had Martin not made a nasty triple at the same hole on Friday the twosome wouldn’t have teed it up together in the third round, either.

He didn’t dwell on the stumbling finish, though.

“I try to look at the big picture,” Martin said. “I played 36 holes and I played 34 or so of them really well. It’s tough to give that many back on one hole but I felt like I was hitting it well. I practiced putting a little yesterday afternoon. I felt like I was getting the greens better. So I was fortunate and thankful to be playing the weekend.”

Guthrie felt similarly, particularly after the way he’s been playing of late. In his last six starts, the former Illini standout had missed three cuts and hadn’t finished higher than 64th in the three where he played the weekend.

Guthrie, who grew up playing on bent grass with bluegrass rough, is comfortable in the Columbus area, though.

He won a college tournament on Ohio State’s Scarlet Course and lost in a playoff there at the 2012 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. He also played in college events at Muirfield Village and Sciota Country Club.

“I haven’t seen the ball go in a lot in the last couple months,” Guthrie said. “I finally got on golf courses and grass that I know and yesterday they started going in. I could feel the positive things happening and today started actually playing golf again.”

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