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January 27, 2011

Alex Prugh


THE MODERATOR: Alex Prugh, round of 67 today. You finished top 5 last year in your rookie season. If you want to go over the round today, and give us your thoughts going into tomorrow?
ALEX PRUGH: Today's round is pretty simple. I only had to scramble for par a couple of times. Fortunately hit some fairways, but the holes I needed to hit the fairway with the long par-4s, I hit.
When it came down to it, I birdied my last four holes which, if you make some long putts, and that's about the round. Finally birdied one of the par-5s on the last hole, which was fortunate.
The course is playing a lot different this year with how firm it is compared to last. I just remember last year you could throw darts in with 5-irons and 4-irons and such, now you have to actually bounce those in. But little harder to get it closer.
But I'm feeling good about my game. Whenever you start rolling the putter pretty well, it feels good. So it makes that cup look a lot bigger.

Q. Can you talk specifically about some of those shots you hit coming in with the four consecutive birdies, maybe the couple of long putt there's?
ALEX PRUGH : Well, on 15 I, just my drive started off good and just had this tailing draw to it and ended up bouncing into the left rough and had a terrible lie. Fortunately it was one of those shorter holes where I could at least hack out a gap wedge.
The roughs out there are brutal. Got it on the green and probably 30, 35 feet. You know, it's just a feel putt. Just trying to get the speed right, and at the very last second I think that left lip just reached out and grabbed the ball and it toppled over left. So that was kind of a bonus.
Hit a great drive on 16. Had 57 yards in, and just hit this perfect little wedge shot in there to about four feet, so that was my one close shot, I guess. 17 I knew I had to be below the hole. I remember the putt. The pins kind of middle, middle-left pin.
I remember I was long, left of it last year, and I had to make about a 10-footer coming back because it was lightning fast, so I did whatever I could to keep it short right and made about a 25-footer just straight up the hill. I knew I could be aggressive with that putt and nowhere else on the green.
Actually the last hole of the day, par-5, made all pars on all the other par-5s of the day. Little disappointed about that. Hit a good drive, but I was in the rough and had to 6-iron in.
Walking to the range this morning, I'm like, wow, the one place you can't be is that front bunker. Sure enough I hit it in the front bunker, why not. But I took my medicine, hit a bunker shot out there to 10 feet or so and made that coming in.

Q. We've heard a lot of comments about the rough being up on the North side and how that's affecting scores. You notice that today too? Were you able to stay out of there?
ALEX PRUGH : It definitely was long. Part of the reason I did make pars on my first three par-5s was hit it in the rough right off those tees. I literally, number 1, hit gap wedge out. Number 9 hit a 7-iron out. And hit about an 8-iron out on 13 or 14. So I mean, it just was trying to get it out sideways almost. There is no chance of advancing it.
Fortunately the long holes where you had to hit the good drive, I hit good drives and found the fairway to when you still had those longer irons in on those par-4s. At the times I missed the fairways were fortunately times that I could where I'd at least have a wedge in or par-5 where I could lay up.

Q. You played well here last year. I seem to recall you played pretty well at the Hope also.
ALEX PRUGH : I did last year.

Q. Did you play a lot down here in college? Do you just feel comfortable playing in Southern California?
ALEX PRUGH : Honestly, not a ton. It just ironically seems to -- maybe it's one of those you get a little more west coast cheer out here for us. There are a couple of Washington Huskies in the crowd today. You get a yeah, Go Spokane or Go Huskies. That little boost right there puts a little smile on your face and puts you in a better mood immediately.
I didn't honestly play a whole lot down in San Diego. I played a couple of college tournaments here and there. I played Junior World at the South course, but that was once and that was ten years ago. The course has changed a little bit since then (laughing). It's nice being closer to home and easier travel.

Q. Would you say that the rough on the North is as difficult as any you guys see on the regular TOUR?
ALEX PRUGH : Definitely would agree with that. There's not a whole lot of times. There are a couple of handful of other tournaments that it seems like there's that much rough and it's this difficult. I'm a little shocked to see it this early. But at the same time, I think it's fun. It puts a premium on hitting a good tee shot.
I swear the fairways are about ten yards wide out on the North course, which makes it that much more difficult. I remember making the turn. Spencer Levin hit right in front of me. Hit this perfect little BB out there, 3-whatever. And I'm like that's a good visual, and I go pipe one down there a couple yards past him. And then Chris Riley hits a perfect one.
We look back and I'm like, guys, this fairways 10 yards wide and we just busted it 310 off this tee, something's wrong here. But we had a good visual. Yeah, this rough, especially early in the year it's pretty penal.

Q. Are you good with that? Because they've had so many low scores here through the years and there was such a disparity between the two courses. Are you good with them kind of doing as much as they possibly can, or does it feel a little tricked up?
ALEX PRUGH : It's not really that tricked up. I mean, there are a couple of holes. First off, I think they did a great job with the golf course. They've made some of the holes harder, and it's just like, oh, it just went from 460 to 490 on a couple of tee boxes. Well, just find that fairway that much more.
But I think they've done a great job with the golf course. It's narrow, it's tough. And fortunately, I had the flat stick rolling today, so I played well.

Q. How much do you know about the leader, Sunghoon Kang?
ALEX PRUGH : I couldn't even tell you who is leading. That's the first I knew. I haven't looked at any leaderboards, honestly.

Q. Do you know who he is? Would you recognize hill on sight?
ALEX PRUGH : No (laughing). I have my close-knit group of friends out here.

End of FastScripts

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