You expect PGA Tour rookies to throw a 64 up on the board every now and then. What you don't expect is for them to follow that with a 66 and a 65 to sit at the top of the leaderboard after three days. And yet, Alex Prugh is doing exactly that at the Bob Hope Classic.
Despite the often-rotten weather and abundance of casual water, the birdies are flying thick enough to blot out the sun. Prugh sits at -21, a stroke ahead of bomber Bubba Watson, and with two rounds yet to play, he's got an outside chance to match Joe Durant's PGA record of 324 strokes for a 90-hole tournament, set in 2001 at the Hope. (Prugh sits at 195.)
So, um ... who the heck is this kid?
Prugh is a 25-year-old Tour rookie who played his college golf at the University of Washington, which explains his comfort with playing in soggy conditions. Plus, he's playing like a guy who's pretty comfortable in his own skin, regardless of which Tour he's on. When asked what differentiates the PGA fromits minor leagues, he responded thus:
"It's still golf. I mean I'm going to give credit to the Nationwide Tour. We don't have as big a fan base and whatnot, but the level of competition, I think, is just as good." Yeah, um ... maybe at the Hope. But hey, the guy's leading the field, so we'll cut him some slack.
Play resumes Sunday, and we'll have to see whether Prugh can hold onto his one-shot lead, or whether Bubba Watson -- or one of the other hopefuls a few strokes back -- can mount a charge. Assuming no weather delays, that means the tourney will finish on Monday for the first time since 1980.