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Meehan: Alex Prugh, Joel Dahmen show steady progress on tours

Professional golfers from left, Jason Gore, Andres Gonzales, Alex Prugh and Joel Dahmen offered pointers during last year’s Showcase in Coeur d’Alene. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Professional golfers from left, Jason Gore, Andres Gonzales, Alex Prugh and Joel Dahmen offered pointers during last year’s Showcase in Coeur d’Alene. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Alex Prugh and Joel Dahmen have been playing some of their best golf recently, so it figures both are in the mix at the Tour’s Utah Championship.

Prugh, the former Ferris Saxon and Washington Husky, is splitting time between the PGA and, which makes it challenging to achieve solid footing on either tour. His three best finishes on the PGA Tour have been in his last three events: tied for 32nd at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, tied for 29th at the Barracuda Championship and tied for 35th at the Barbasol Championship.

Prugh shot a 5-under-par 66 Thursday in Utah. He carded a 69 Friday and stands tied for fifth.

Dahmen, who has two top fives in his last four tournaments, is three strokes behind Prugh after rounds of 68 and 70.

Prugh is No. 202 on the PGA’s FedEx Cup points list. Those in the top 125 advance to at least the first of four tournaments that determine the Cup champion. He’s 78th on the money list. The top 75 qualify for the Web finals in September. Players 126-200 on the FedEx Cup rankings also are eligible for the Web finals.

“With his (PGA) status, the guy in his exact spot last year got into 18 tournaments,” said Prugh’s father, Steve. “Alex will get into 12 or 13 tournaments this year. He’s chosen to play every one he can, regardless of whether there’s a Web tournament, because if you have one good week it can change your position completely.”

Prugh wasn’t able to get into some U.S.-based Web events earlier this season. That changed after he played well in Web tourneys in Panama, Colombia and Brazil, which bolstered his status.

“He’s made six cuts in a row, either Web or PGA,” said Steve, who watched his son play at the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada, earlier this month. “He’s playing beautifully. He’s dedicated to what he’s doing and hopefully it’ll work out.”

Dahmen has made big strides in his second season on the Tour. The Clarkston native stands 16th on the money list with $142,079. The Top 25 earn PGA Tour cards.

He’s made 11 of 15 cuts and posted eight top 25s. He recently had 13 consecutive under-par rounds.

“I’ve always been a pretty good ball-striker, so I’ve worked hard on my short game and putting and it’s paid off,” Dahmen said. “I’m still not great at either, but I’m average. When I make putts, I play well.”

Here’s an update on other players with ties to the region:

Champions Tour

Kirk Triplett, the former Pullman resident who was born in Moses Lake, is putting together another outstanding season on the Champions Tour.

Triplett has earned nearly $770,000 and ranks sixth on the Charles Schwab Cup standings. That’s nothing new. Triplett has been in the Schwab Cup’s top 20 the previous four seasons, including a sixth-place finish in 2014 when he won two tournaments. He’s made $5.2 million in five years.

Triplett has made the cut in all 14 of his tournaments. He won the American Family Insurance Championship last month, firing a closing-round 65 for his fifth Champions victory. He finished tied for third at the Regions Tradition, one of five top 10s and eight top 25s.

Mackenzie Tour-Canada

Chris Williams, the former Moscow Bear and Washington Husky, has made two of six cuts on the Canadian circuit. His season-low round (66) and season-high (76) came two weeks ago when he missed the cut in the Players Cup.

Williams, the former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, made 19 cuts in 21 events in 2014-15.

Symetra Tour

Former Washington State Cougar Kim Welch has played in one 2016 event, missing the cut at a February tournament, according to the Symetra website. The former Big Break winner played in five LPGA tournaments in 2014 and 10 in 2013.

Former Idaho Vandal Kayla Mortellaro, who played on the LPGA Tour in 2013-14, hasn’t returned to pro golf after having thumb surgery. She hasn’t ruled out another run at the tour but doesn’t have the funding at present. Mortellaro works for NBC Sports Radio in Phoenix.

Ex-Vandal Renee Skidmore is an LPGA Teaching Professional at The Golf Club of Purchase in New York. The former Big Break contestant recently took second at the Lincoln Met Open in New Jersey. Her focus is on teaching and competing in PGA Metropolitan Section events.

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