January 25, 2010 (La Quinta, Calif.)–All this week at the Bob Hope Classic, PGA Tour rookie Alex Prugh (rhymes with new) gave tour veterans a run for their money. The 25-year-old resident of Las Vegas joins an elite list of tour newcomers like Rickie Fowler (another Las Vegas golfer), and Jamie Lovemark, who just aren’t behaving like rookies. Prugh, who plays and practices at the two TPC Las Vegas golf courses, ended the week in a tie for 5th and earned $200,000.–By Tom Collins.
Prugh, who moved to the Las Vegas area about two years ago, is well spoken and accommodating in interviews, even-keeled on the golf course, and possesses a swing forged in the fairways of the Nationwide Tour, where he earned his PGA Tour card after finishing 16th on the money list for 2009. The Bob Hope Classic is a veritable golfing marathon: four very different course layouts over five days, amateur playing partners, and this week wet weather conditions not seen in La Quinta in more than 30 years. But Prugh “just kept plugging along,” firing 64-66-65-70 in his first four rounds to tie for the lead with Bubba Watson. He followed that up with a 67 that wasn't quite good enough. He finished the tournament at 28-under par, two shots behind eventual champ Bill Haas.
Prugh’s final round started on unfamiliar ground, however, as he played the first seven holes at one-over par, digging himself a hole because he lost touch with the leaders. But after a monster drive on the par-4, 358-yard, 8th hole that finished pin high just left of the green, Prugh got into a groove once again, eagling the 11th and recording birdies on the final three holes. “It felt good to get the adrenaline flowing and birdie the last three holes," said Prugh. "I’d rate this whole week very high, and it feels great to be in the hunt. Sure, I wanted to have a putt at it on the last hole to win, but overall it was a great experience. Finishing in the top five is never a bad thing.”
Prugh was also very positive about Vegas, where he hangs out with longtime friend Andres Gonzales, among other Las Vegas golfers. “It’s a great place to live," said Prugh. "You’ve got golf all year round, and the facilities at the two TPC courses there are perfect … It’s also great that one of the TPC courses is a tour stop, so although I can’t really say I have a huge advantage over the field, knowing the course well certainly helps.” Alex Prugh’s next event will be the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Article provided special to GolfLasVegasNow.com by onsite reporter Tom Collins, senior writer for Universal Golf, which can be found at http://www.universalsportmags.com/. Collins is scheduled to cover nearly every PGA Tour event in 2010.
The Las Vegas Golf Region is the home to more than 50 golf courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf including Rees Jones, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and many more. There are also more than 30 pro golfers playing the major tours who have strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses, among them Prugh, who won on the Nationwide Tour last year. Several more, including Charley Hoffman, Chris Riley, Bill Lunde, and others, are scheduled to tee it up at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego January 28-31. The featured Las Vegas Golf Region course for this article is Wolf Creek Golf Club, which is actually located in Mesquite, Nev., a gaming town about 77 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Click now to view this fantasy golf course that is annually named to several "Best of" magazine lists.