Citizen Staff Writer
It wasn’t just his first professional victory, it was notice that Brian Prouty has “game.”
The former Salpointe Catholic High School and University of Arizona athlete shot a 17-under-par 199 for three rounds to win the Gateway Classic Desert Summer Series No. 7 by five strokes Friday.
The win wasn’t any kind of monkey off the back. It was just part of the process for the second-year pro who has already paid his adversity dues.
He’s been hampered by surgery on both wrists since he managed a sparkling senior year in 2007 at UA that included second-team All-Pac-10 Conference status and a 62 in a PING Invitational.
He matched that 62 in the second round Thursday for the 10-under course record at Raven Golf Club at Verrado in Buckeye.
“It was basically that second round,” said Prouty of his record-setter that included eight birdies and an eagle-3. “On the No. 10 hole to start the day, I hit a six-iron on (the green) and (made) a 15-foot putt and never stopped.”
Friday’s round was play-it-cool time and he endured with a 2-under 70 as nobody challenged his five-stroke lead.
Matt Rosen, a St. Gregory College Prep graduate, fired a 66 in round three to finish in a tie for sixth. Nathan Tyler (Sahuaro, UA) was 11th.
Prouty now has four top-10 finishes in the Gateway Spring Series, including a second place to former Palo Verde High golfer Ben Kern two weeks ago at Chandler’s Lone Tree Club. That event had four Tucsonans – including Nathan Tyler and Jacob Rogers – in the top 10.
Prouty struggled in the Gateway Winter Series this year after his second wrist surgery but managed 16th place in the championship.
He takes over the money lead on the Tour with $34,525, thanks to the $16,000 payday Friday. “I feel I’m knocking on the door,” he said. “I have tried a few Monday qualifiers for the Nationwide (Tour) and will keep at it, then go back to (PGA) Tour School. It makes me feel good that I still (have) the game.”