March 28, 2006
Tucson, Ariz. -
Washington junior men's golfers Alex Prugh and Erik Olson finished the National Invitational with a flourish Tuesday, finishing the event as co-runners up with three other golfers, just one stroke behind medalist Jay Choi of New Mexico. The 24th-ranked Huskies finished 11th at 8-over 872 after shooting 2-over 290 in round three. UCLA won the team competition at 14-under 850.
Prugh, who entered the final round in ninth place, shot 2-under 70 in sporadic rain to finish at 5-under 211. Olson, who started the day a stroke behind his teammate in 14th, carded a 3-under 69 to match Prugh and record a season-low tournament total, one stroke off his career low of 210.
"It was great to see (Olson and Prugh) both have such a good tournament," said Washington head coach Matt Thurmond. "To have two guys finish in second place is pretty awesome for us. Both guys have been up and down a little bit this year. To see them come together and play like they did bodes really well for our team."
Prugh recorded five birdies and three bogies on the afternoon, while Olson shot three birdies without going over par on a single hole. For the tournament Olson recorded seven birdies and just two bogies: one each in the first and second rounds. The Renton, Wash., native shot 1-under 71 in each of the first two rounds and appeared headed that way again in round three before he birdied the par-4 sixth hole and the par-5 eighth, his 15th and 17th holes of the round.
"That's remarkable, just awesome," said Thurmond of Olson's paucity of bogeys. "He just hit the driver straight and had a couple of key par saves throughout the tournament. He was solid all the way."
Prugh birdied holes 11 and 12 at the start of the final round before bogeying 13 and 14. He rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole. The Spokane, Wash., native then birdied the fourth hole, bogeyed the seventh and birded the eighth to enter the clubhouse 2-under. Prugh recorded six birdies and two bogeys in his round one effort, a 4-under 68, before shooting 1-over 73 in round two. This is the second time this season he has finished as a runner-up, as he placed second at the Gopher Invitational, Sept. 17-18.
"Alex was resilient," said Thurmond. "He didn't make all of his putts, but any time he had a bogey or a mistake he followed it with a birdie, and that's what makes a for a good round."
Freshman John Wise held down third position for the Huskies, placing 43rd at 4-over 220 after shooting a final-round 3-over 75. Senior James Lepp placed 76th at 14-over 230 after carding a 4-over 76 on the afternoon, while freshman Kellen Eakin shot 6-over 76 today and took 82nd at 19-over 235. Wise and Eakin made their Washington varsity debuts at the tournament.
The Huskies return to action April 1-2 at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational in Evans, Ga.
Omni Tucson National Golf Club
Par-72, 7,094 yards
1. UCLA 277-285-288-850
2. Arizona State 278-286-293-857
3. Minnesota 285-292-284-861
4. TCU 287-285-291-863
5. USC 289-292-283-864
6. Tulsa 288-286-291-865
7. Arizona 281-291-295-867
8. New Mexico 282-295-293-870
9. Arizona (B) 293-284-294-871
9. UNLV 292-292-287-871
11. Washington 289-293-290-872
12. Kent State 289-294-290-873
13. Arkansas 297-286-295-878
14. Fresno State 289-297-295-881
15. Pepperdine 295-292-297-884
1. Jay Choi, New Mexico 69-70-71-210
2. Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State 67-71-73-211
2. Erik Flores, UCLA 65-74-72-211
2. Niklas Lemke, Arizona State 69-70-72-211
2. Erik Olson, Washington 71-71-69-211
2. Alex Prugh, Washington 68-73-70-211
7. Jason Anthony, Fresno State 67-73-72-212
7. Franklin Corpening, TCU 71-70-71-212
7. Andres Gonzales, UNLV 71-69-72-212
7. Taylor Wood, USC 72-73-67-212
2. Erik Olson 71-71-69-211
2. Alex Prugh 68-73-70-211
43. John Wise 73-72-75-220
76. James Lepp 77-77-76-230
82. Kellen Eakin 79-78-78-235