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Ex-champs taking aim at Rosauers

Corey Prugh credits his record-setting win in last year’s Rosauers Open Invitational golf tournament to meticulous preparation.

And the 29-year-old former standout at the University of Washington, who now works as an assistant professional at Manito Country Club, doesn’t plan to alter his approach this week as he attempts to defend his title in the $135,000 event that starts its five-day run at Indian Canyon Golf Course this morning with the first round of the 36-hole Vanessa Behan Pro-Am.

The 54-hole tournament proper, which is worth $11,000 to the winner, begins on Friday.

“Looking back, I feel like I was just really, really prepared,” Prugh said, when asked about the key to his performance in last year’s Rosauers, where he put together rounds of 63-63-66 to finish at 21-under-par 192 on the 6,255-yard, par-71 Canyon layout, breaking the previous tourney record of 193 held by Scott Johnson (2004) and Ryan Benzel (2005).

“Even though it’s the Canyon, and I play there a lot, I spent a lot of time preparing myself for how I was going to play the golf course and manage my game. I think that allowed me to stay pretty calm and just play golf. And it allowed me to putt really well, too.”

Prugh finished the 2009 Rosauers four strokes ahead of his nearest competitor, Brian Nosler, and five ahead of third-place finisher Chris Griffin.

Nosler and Griffin are both back this year, along with past champions Jeff Coston, Ryan Benzel, Casey McCory, Chris Mitchell, Rob Gibbons and host professional Gary Lindeblad. Coston, who runs his own golf academy out of Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club in Blaine, is the only three-time Rosauers winner, and he won the prestigious Washington Open at Glendale Country Club in Bellevue earlier this spring.

“It’s going to be another strong field,” said Prugh, who finished third in the Washington Open and teamed with his father, Steve, to win the Pacific Northwest Pro-Assists Championship at Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver in mid-March. “But I feel like I’m playing pretty well right now and I’m looking forward to getting a chance to defend my title.

“I haven’t been that successful in defending anything before, but for the first time I’m defending on the same course I won on the year before. And I really like the course.”

Prugh plans to play in both days of the pro-am event, something he’s done in the past.

“It’s obviously a great event for a good cause,” he said. “I’ve played with some of the title sponsors the last few years, and I’ve developed some good relationships with those guys, which is great.

“But I use it for more preparation, as well, by trying some different theories out on certain holes – you know, like ‘I didn’t play this hole that well last time, so how can I change that up?’

“You can never be too prepared.”


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