When you’re hot, you’re hot

Prugh fires 63 after 62 in pro-am

It wasn’t like the 8-under-par 63 that Corey Prugh posted during Friday’s opening round of the $135,000 Rosauers Open golf tournament came out of the blue.

The 28-year-old assistant at Manito Country Club shot a 9-under 62 during Thursday’s final day of the pro-am event that precedes the 54-hole tournament proper.

“So my confidence was pretty high coming in,” said Prugh, a former standout at Ferris High and the University of Washington, who used an eagle and seven birdies to take the first-round lead in the Pacific Northwest PGA’s richest sectional event.

“I guess you could say my season has been marred by small, little errors, so far. But, physically, my game has never felt better.”

Prugh’s first-round total was one stroke better than the 64 turned in by Tim Feenstra, an assistant pro at Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle, and two clear of the 65s hung up by Wenatchee amateur Nick Ellis, a junior-to-be at Washington State University, and professionals Mike Schoner, from Lakeview Golf & Country Club in Soap Lake, and Chris Griffin, from Tacoma.

Defending champion Jeff Coston, the only three-time winner of the event, shot 67 and will head into today’s second round tied for eighth with a group of five others that includes The Creek at Qualchan’s head pro Mark Gardner.

Fifty-seven golfers took advantage of near-perfect conditions and finished under par on the 6,255-yard Indian Canyon layout, which is playing to a par of 71. But none could match the effort of Prugh, whose only bogey came on the 403-yard, par-4 fifth hole where his approach shot trickled over the back of the green.

“That was kind of a bummer, because I thought I flagged my approach,” Prugh said. “And from behind that green, it’s not easy to get up and down.”

Prugh, who started on the back nine, birdied the 10th, 12th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes before making an eagle-3 on the short, 469-yard par-5 second, where he knocked a pitching wedge to within 12 feet on his second shot and then drained the putt.

He made several other birdie putts from that same range, with his longest coming from about 20 feet.

“Today I putted pretty well,” said Prugh, whose best finish in the Rosauers came in 2005 when he tied for fourth. “I didn’t have anything scary. They were all makeable putts. I was able to keep it in play off the tee, too, and did some good things when I had the right scoring clubs in my hands.

“I really didn’t make any huge mistakes in any part of my game.”

Feenstra, 26, also made a lot of putts, using birdies at 2, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 15 and 18 to offset his lone bogey on the 441-yard, par-4 16th, where he pulled his approach shot left of the green and failed to get up and down.

“I putted really well today, but to make a lot of birdies, you have to putt well,” Feenstra said. “I really didn’t make any bombs out there – the longest was probably only 15 feet.”

Coston, who runs his own golf academy at Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club in Blaine, Wash., didn’t feel like he made many mistakes and seemed satisfied with his position.

“I didn’t do anything crazy good, so maybe I’ll do something crazy good tomorrow,” Coston said.

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