Former University of Washington golfer Alex Prugh is doing his part to uphold Northwest pride on the Web.com Tour. And he has plenty of company.
Prugh made a 3-foot eagle putt at No. 18 to finish off a bogey-free 8-under-par 63. That gave him a two-shot lead over Mike Lavery after Thursday’s first round the Air Capital Classic at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kan.
The Spokane native, who graduated from UW in 2007, had six birdies and 11 pars when he addressed his approach shot to the par-5 18th from 195 yards. His 6-iron shot stopped 3 feet from the hole.
“The wind was a little weird,” Prugh said. “We seemed to have a lot of crosswinds, and we were getting a few gusts here and there. But I figured out early that it wasn’t enough wind to affect the ball a lot.”
Fellow Northwest pro Michael Putnam, who leads the Web.com Tour in earnings after winning two straight tournaments, shot a 2-over 73 and is tied for 103rd. If Putnam, from University Place, wins another Web.com event this year he will be promoted to the PGA Tour.
Olympia’s Andres Gonzales, a current PGA Tour member who didn’t qualify for this week’s U.S. Open, matched Putnam’s 2-over 73.
Andrew Putnam, Michael’s brother and a rookie on the Web.com Tour, is tied for 60th after a 71.
Prugh is 24th in Web.com Tour earnings. The top 25 at the end of this season will advance to the PGA Tour in 2014.
67 LEADS IN FRANCE
South Africa’s Tjaart Van der Walt shot a 4-under 67 in windy conditions to take a one-stroke lead in the European Tour’s Najeti Hotels Open in Saint-Omer, France.
France’s Victor Riu was second after a birdie-birdie-eagle finish at Saint-Omer Golf Club.
England’s Daniel Brooks opened with a 69, and Australia’s Daniel Gaunt and France’s Olivier Rozner shot 70.