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Alex Prugh Q&A
Release: 03/29/2006
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March 29, 2006

Washington men's golfer Alex Prugh had a great trip to the Arizona desert last weekend, finishing in a tie for second with teammate Erik Olson at the National Invitational in Tucson. Prugh carded a 5-under 211 and recorded his third top-10 finish of the season. took a moment to talk with the junior about the trip, his teammates and his goals for the remainder of the season.

Here's what Alex had to say: You had an impressive performance last weekend, finishing a stroke off the lead. You had a great first round, shooting 4-under 68, but fell back a little bit in the second round (shooting 1-over 73) before finishing strong with a 70. Tell us a little bit about it.

Alex Prugh: "In the first round I was hitting the ball really well, but I didn't make a whole lot of putts. I could've been a few more shots under-par. I tried to bring that momentum into the next round but it didn't really happen - I didn't give myself many opportunities. Then the third round was kind of a typical round. I made a couple of birdies early, but made a couple of bogeys right after that. I also made a bogey and birdie down the stretch. I personally didn't think I was going to finish as high as second with how well the field was playing." Coach Thurmond mentioned after the round that almost every time you bogeyed you followed it with a birdie, and he said that's the sign of a good player. Were you conscious of the fact that you were following your bogeys with birdies?

Prugh: "After looking at all my stats after the round I noticed that I had made a bunch of birdies after bogeys. I guess I just gave myself pep talks and whatnot, and re-geared my mindset to get those strokes back." Did you have any idea that Erik was making the charge that he did to end up tied with you for second place?

Prugh: "No, actually I had no idea, even though I was playing right behind him. I saw him make some putts throughout the round and I never saw him in bad places. I knew he was playing pretty well, but for the most part I didn't have any clue what he was shooting." You had two freshmen (Kellen Eakin and John Wise) with you in Arizona, playing in their first varsity tournament. What was it like having them along on the trip?

Prugh: "They definitely brought really good, positive attitudes to the event. They were really excited and it was good to get those young guys some experience." Your brother (Corey Prugh) played at the UW and your dad is a golf professional. Tell us a little bit about golf and the role it played in your life as you grew up.

Prugh: "Since my dad is a head professional at a course, he's been my coach my whole life. My whole family - except for my mom - we all started playing golf when we were about four or five. So golf obviously has been a pretty big part of our lives. Coming to college, with my brother already at UW - that was a big influence because we're pretty close friends. He was a big influence on me coming to Washington." We hear that Corey is currently playing on the Gateway Tour. How is he doing?

Prugh: "It's his first season, so he has to get his feet wet. He's made some cuts and he's missed some. He actually made a cut today, so he's making his way." You've had a great season overall, leading the team in five tournaments. Do you feel like you've been on a little bit of a roll this year, or been more consistent?

Prugh: "Yeah, I do feel like I've been more consistent. I had a pretty good summer last year, winning a couple of tournaments (the 2005 Pacific Coast Amateur and the Washington State Amateur), so I realized that I can play with anybody and that I should be at the top of the leader board every time. So I've been going into every tournament with that mindset. I try not to think about what other people are doing. If I play my own game I know I can finish in the top 10 every time." Does it give you confidence knowing that you play alongside Erik Olson, the 2005 Pac-10 Champion, and James Lepp, the 2005 NCAA Champion, and knowing that you can play at their level?

Prugh: "Yes, it does. I play next to Erik and James all the time, and I see the level of game that they have, and I feel I am right there with them. We feed off of each other. Basically it has helped me realize that I can win tournaments and play at that level." You finished fifth at the Fall Preview at Crosswater, where the NCAA Championships are going to be played. Do you like that course?

Prugh: "I do like that course. I've played there a bunch of times, starting when it first opened. The summer after my freshman year I had some success there at a U.S. Open qualifier. I ended up losing in a playoff that would have sent me to the U.S. Open. It's just one of those courses I feel comfortable playing. It's a big course, but for the most part I've been a good ball-striker, so it kind of fits my game. " What are your goals for the rest of the season?

Prugh: "We have five tournaments left and I'd like to win at least one of them. Obviously I want to help our team defend the Pac-10 Championship and make it to the NCAA Championships for the eighth-straight year. And hopefully I'll get a chance to play for the NCAA title at Crosswater." We've heard you're an avid tennis player. How's your game on the hard court?

Prugh: "I'm more of a recreational tennis player, really. My girlfriend and I go out and play maybe once a week. We just go and hit the ball around. But I'd say my game is improving." Have you played against any of the other guys on the team?

Prugh: "My freshman year we had a couple of guys who played tennis. Now, maybe our coaches play for fun, but the rest of the guys are mostly into basketball."

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