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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA’s Prouty leading at Ping tournament

    After nearly two full rounds, senior golfer Brian Prouty leads the individual portion of the Ping-Arizona Intercollegiate at Arizona National Golf Club.

    Prouty shot a 62 in the opening round yesterday, helping Arizona to a third-place finish after one day.

    “”It’s the best feeling I’ve had in a long, long time,”” Prouty said. “”To come out hot and play as well as I did today and to really play one of the best tournament rounds of my entire life is really a great feeling. I’m really stoked about it.””

    Play was suspended after 6 p.m. due to darkness, with one hole to go in the second round and the Wildcats in second place at 13-under-par.

    Prouty leads the overall individual field with a 12-under 62. His day was a career low and was also the Arizona record for both low and aggregate score in relation to par. The previous record was held by Chris Nallen with 9-under in 2003 at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate.

    “”We had an interesting day,”” UA head coach Rick LaRose said. “”We didn’t do that well as a team today, but Brian pulled us along.””

    This is Prouty’s first tournament in more than five months. He had wrist surgery in September to repair torn cartilage and wasn’t cleared to play for another three months after that.

    The last time he competed for Arizona was in August in the U.S. Amateurs Tournament.

    “”I came out, got lucky and started hot,”” Prouty said. “”Things just felt good. I was hitting the ball well, and it was going in the hole for me real quick. I took advantage of it and kept going with it.””

    Other participants for Arizona included redshirt senior Nathan Tyler, who finished with a 1-under par score , senior Josh Esler, who was even, and junior Travis Esway, who was plus 2. All three are currently in the top 25.

    “”We had some pretty good scores today,”” LaRose said. “”Josh Esler did not play as well as he could have today and (sophomore) Ben Fox had a horrible day. It was probably his worst day as a college athlete.””

    Four golfers are also in the field as individuals, and senior Ben Marsh and sophomore Nick Park are right in the hunt with a 2- and 1-under par, respectively, in the first round.

    “”We’re very pleased,”” LaRose said.

    With the Wildcats trailing No. 15 Nevada-Las Vegas by four strokes and No. 23 Brigham Young by three, Prouty has his squad within striking distance of the leaders.

    “”I want to keep playing the way I have been,”” Prouty said. “”If a couple of my teammates can come out and play the way I know they can, then hopefully we’ll be able to pull this thing out (today).””

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