January 24, 2010 (UPDATED JAN 25) –Alex Prugh moved to the Las Vegas golf region about two years ago, and was spotted recently by golf shop staff playing and practicing at Las Vegas resort golf course TPC Las Vegas during this off season in preparation for his rookie season on the PGA Tour. Prugh's practice is paying off because after three rounds of the PGA Tour's Bob Hope Classic, he was in the lead at 21-under, and surviving the somewhat familiar wet conditions. Prugh fired a 4th-round 70 and was tied for lead entering final round on Monday. LIVE RESULTS.
Not only has Prugh been spotted at TPC Las Vegas, he was also spotted last year at the UNLV Men's Golf event, the Southern Highlands Collegiate, checking in with friends still in the college ranks. Prugh is a 25-year old rookie on the PGA Tour this season who gained his official status via a 16th-place finish on the 2009 Nationwide Tour money list. He won the Michael Hill New Zealand Open on the tour in 2009, and had five other top 10 finishes during his breakout season. Editor's note: due to a technical issue, some of the following information was also included in an article from January 21, but we are repeating it due to the problem.
Prugh is one of several pro golfers with ties to Las Vegas who play and practice at TPC Las Vegas, one of more than 50 golf courses in the Las Vegas Golf Region. The course is referred to as the "Home of Pro Golf in Las Vegas." TPC Las Vegas is one of two PGA Tour-owned Las Vegas golf courses and is a past host of tournaments on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. TPC Las Vegas is a Las Vegas resort golf course open to all Las Vegas golfers, and is currently running a special promotion. Golfers paying a rate of $199, receive a free pair of Adidas golf shoes. Click now to visit the official website to reserve this special Las Vegas golf deal and type in the promo code TPCShoes.
Prugh is one of several rookies playing in the Hope who made the big tour after spending a successful season on the Nationwide Tour. But Prugh and some of the other rookies think that the jump from the minor league to the big leagues isn't much of a jump at all. "It's a big level tour," Prugh told the media about the Nationwide Tour. "Minus the fact that you have more grandstands and more people, I think the level of competition is pretty dang similar, minus those couple top guys. I think the Nationwide Tour is a great place to play. It's one of those things where I think the competition level is very similar. So I think you're very well prepared after coming out of there."
The following is some additional information about Prugh from his official PGA Tour bio. "Prugh had a 72.62 career stroke average at the University of Washington, which ranks fourth in Husky history. Was a two-time All-American, four-time all-region and three-time All-Pac-10 selection. Claimed his only collegiate title at the 2007 Oregon Duck Invitational. Lists playing in the U.S. Open as his biggest thrill in golf. Says golfer Andres Gonzales, a former Nationwide Tour player who was a high school rival in Washington, is his hero. Got his start in golf from his dad. With the exception of his mom, all family members play golf. His brother, Corey, played at the University of Washington. His sister, Hillary, played at Montana State University. and his dad, Steve, played at the University of Oregon. An avid skier. His family owns a ski cabin at Schweitzer in northern Idaho.
Gonzales, who is referenced in the bio information, is the main reason Prugh made the decision to move to the Las Vegas area. Gonzales is also a Las Vegas resident and is a former member of the UNLV golf team. Gonzales is still pursuing his own PGA Tour dream, and won an event on the Canadian Tour in 2009. "I'm there for the golf," Prugh said in 2009. "I grew up playing high school golf with Andres Gonzales, who played a little on the (Nationwide) Tour. I was going to go to Phoenix and probably move there, but I called Andres up, and he said come down. I had met a girl from Spokane who was living in Las Vegas, and I've never left because of her." At this time, we don't have any word on the current status of Prugh and the girl.
Prugh's father, Steve, also played amateur golf against noted Las Vegas author and golf historian Jack Sheehan, who was inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame in 2009. Comments from Sheehan, also a Spokane native, foreshadowed the breakout of Prugh in a rain-soaked PGA Tour event. "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 last year, 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."
The second-day of the Hope was completely washed out due to the bad weather, and Prugh spent the day text messaging and watching a movie. But the following day he managed the course and conditions, putting himself in a nice position to finish well in one of his first PGA Tour events. And then he followed up the second round with a third-round 65. The third round was played in much better conditions.
"Weather's definitely been a factor, obviously," Prugh told the media. "We didn't play yesterday. Today's round was kind of an interesting one. I just, fortunately, didn't have any bogeys. But I kind of started off the round with probably the most stressful up-and-downs I had to make for par. First hole being long, short sided in that bunker and I'm like, "Great." Matted down bunkers in the rain and I thought that I'll just slap this one out there and I made a great putt for par there. Fortunately I played the par-5s pretty well, making an eagle on 18 there. That was kind of the highlight of my round there, birdieing 17 and 18, playing those two holes in a total of five shots." Certain quotes and photo from PGATour.com and ASAPSports.com.