March 24, 2009–Alex Prugh is one of Las Vegas golf's newest residents, and he is quickly making a mark on the Nationwide Tour. Prugh has been playing and practicing out of Las Vegas golf course TPC Las Vegas, former site of events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. Jack Sheehan, noted Las Vegas golf author and personality, played amateur golf with Prugh's father, Steve, in Oregon, and says that Prugh moved to Las Vegas about 18 months ago. Prugh fired a 30 on the back nine en route to a final-round 64 that included two eagles to win the recent Michael Hill New Zealand Open.
"If anything, this builds a lot of confidence for me," Prugh told PGATour.com following the win. "The last time I felt nerves like that might have been at the Pacific Coast Amateur in 2005 but there were no leader boards there and we were playing in front of 30 people, not the thousands we had out here. I definitely thought I'd be more nervous coming down the stretch." The win moved Prugh, a second-year pro, to the top of the Nationwide Tour money list through four events.
TPC Las Vegas pros and staff reported that Prugh has been playing and practicing at the course, and that he joins a list that includes Charley Hoffman, Bill Lunde, Chris Riley, Alex Cejka, Bob May, Dean Wilson, as Las Vegas pro golfer residents who play and practice at the course. TPC Las Vegas is a resort Las Vegas golf course that is dubbed the home of pro golf in Las Vegas. For many years, the course was the host of the Las Vegas Senior Classic in addition to Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, now called the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. TPC Las Vegas continues to host events surrounding the PGA Tour event that is played in October, but the official rounds are now played at the private TPC Summerlin. Click now to reserve your Las Vegas golf tee times at TPC Las Vegas where a $150 internet special for visiting Las Vegas golfers is available.
Prugh played in 20 events on the 2008 Nationwide Tour, earning $144,790, good for 46th on the money list. Along with moving to Las Vegas recently, Prugh has additional ties to Las Vegas' golf courses. He won an event on the Pepsi Tour that was played in Las Vegas in 2007. He also lists former UNLV golfer and mini-tour player Andres Gonzales as his golf hero. Plus he played in three events on the Butch Harmon Vegas Tour in 2008, earning about five grand.
And despite his first Nationwide Tour victory coming in New Zealand, Prugh, a native of Washington, felt very much at home. "Where I grew up in eastern Washington, near the Idaho border, it looked a lot like this place," said Prugh. "There were some lakes and some ski resorts in the area. I've felt more at home here than anyplace we've been on tour so far."
Prugh played college golf at the University of Washington. As a Husky, Prugh was part of a 2005 group that placed third at the NCAA Championship, the school's highest finish. In fact, three of Prugh's four years at the University of Washington (2004-07) ended in a top-10 finish nationally. Prugh led the Huskies in stroke average during the 2006 (71.7) and 2007 (72.2) seasons, and holds the record for lowest 18-hole round (60) in school history. Prugh's 15th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championship is the sixth-best in the history of Washington.
Sheehan thinks a star is being born. "Because Spokane has such poor weather, the city has had only one PGA Tour player do anything through the years, the late Rod Funseth," said Sheehan, himself a Spokane native who has co-authored two best-selling books with PGA Tour and Champions Tour star Peter Jacobson. "Alex will be the next … you can book it."