SUNRIVER, Ore. (AP) — Corey Prugh had six straight birdies and shot an 8-under 63 in light rain Sunday for a share of the first-round lead with Rod Perry in the PGA Professional National Championship.
Prugh, a PGA assistant professional at Manito in Spokane, Wash., and Perry, the PGA head professional at Crane Lakes in Port Orange, Fla., broke the course record on Sunriver Resort’s Meadows course.
Prugh birdied Nos. 13-18 on his opening nine and had two more birdies on the front nine in his bogey-free round.
“The greens were perfect,” Prugh said. “Hats off to the grounds crew at both places. It’s just perfect. It’s easy. The greens aren’t too tricky to read and they’re rolling at a perfect speed.”
Perry, the 2012 PGA Professional Player of the Year, also had eight birdies in a bogey-free round. The 6,944-yard Meadows had a scoring average of 72.9, while the 7,479-yard Crosswater Club course was at 76.1.
“I knew I was on the lesser of the evils today, playing the Meadows,” Perry said. “So, I knew I needed to get off to a good start, knowing that tomorrow was going to be more challenging and playing in the afternoon (at Crosswater), the wind was going to blow more and also playing the more difficult golf course.”
Jeff Sorenson, a PGA teaching professional at Columbia in Minneapolis, was a stroke back. He also opened at the Meadows.
“It was real important to get a low score here before heading over to Crosswater tomorrow because it plays completely different,” Sorenson said. “Anything in the 60s out there is a great round, I think. Even 70 is a great round.”
Three-time champion Mike Small, 2007 winner Chip Sullivan, 2004 champion Bob Sowards and Mark Sheftic had the best scores at Crosswater Club — the site of the final two rounds — at 3-under 69.
The 47-year-old Small, the golf coach at the University of Illinois, won the event in 2005, 2009 and 2010. He had five birdies and two bogeys.
“I made some errors today and hit some wayward shots at times, but held it together for the most part,” Small said. I was able to make some key putts in spots, which really helped.”
The top 20 finishers will earn spots in the PGA Championship in August at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.