Corey Prugh had a cold drink in one hand and his five-month-old daughter cradled in the other arm.
“Not a bad way to finish,” the Manito assistant pro said.
Prugh spent the previous 4½ hours navigating the Fairways with a stress-free 6-under 66 Saturday that bumped his lead in the Lilac City Invitational to two strokes entering Sunday’s final round.
Prugh is 19 under through 54 holes, two shots clear of long-hitting Brian Miller (67) and three in front of Jesse Schutte (68).
Kevin Tucker (66), from Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, and Andrew Vijarro (66), from Lost Tracks in Bend, Oregon, share fourth at 15 under.
Prugh, Miller and Schutte will play together for the second straight day when they tee off at 12:10 Sunday. The champion takes home $10,000.
Prugh rattled off birdies on 10, 11, 12 and 14 to fuel a 4-under 32 on the back nine. He essentially had tap-in birdies on 10, 12 and 14, to go with the 12-footer he drained on 11.
Prugh was inches, maybe centimeters, away from three more birdies on the back side. He lipped out on 15 and 16 and his 6-footer on 17 slid past the left edge.
“It’s kind of been that week,” said Prugh, who is pursuing his first Lilac title after top six finishes the last four years. “It’s weird to say having shot 19 under through three rounds. It could have been pretty darn good, but if you understand golf you know some of them go in and some of them don’t.
“You tend to play better when you don’t get upset when some of them don’t fall. That’s been a goal this week.”
Miller, the 2015 champion, has had numerous what-ifs as well, but he banged in a couple of 20-footers, had a nice up-and-down for birdie on the par-5 12th and an adventurous birdie on the par-5 14th.
Miller, who spent the winter at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, California, pulled his driving iron on No. 14 left behind a large mound that separates the fairway from the 15th tee box. His blind second shot found the fairway. His approach was 20 feet left of the cup and he dropped the putt.
“It was not fun,” a laughing Miller said of his eventful 3-under back nine. “I just didn’t hit the ball well, didn’t putt too well, but I hung in there.
“I kept leaving putts short all day long and all day (Friday). The greens are really slow and wet from what I’m used to seeing here. I probably had five putts that were right in the middle but a couple inches short.”
Schutte, of Florence, Oregon, stayed in the chase with a back-nine 32. He drove the 360-yard par-4 10th and two-putted for birdie. He took a bold line on the 160-yard 13th with the pin tucked near the right edge and made an 8-footer for birdie.
Schutte birdied No. 14 after dealing with a low-hanging branch on his second shot. He drive on No. 16 was heading out of bounds but caught a tree and dropped down. He hit his approach to two feet for another birdie.
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