The venue has changed and the style of golf course is different, so it figures that the Rosauers Open Invitational leaderboard might see some new names.
The usual suspects – past champions Corey Prugh (2013, 2011, 2009), Kyle Kelly (2010), Jeff Coston (2008, 2006, 1997), Ryan Benzel (2005) – remain atop the list of favorites, but there will be unknowns for many with the tournament relocating from Indian Canyon to MeadowWood. The 54-hole event begins Friday, following a two-day pro-am. Proceeds benefit the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.
The move was prompted by winter damage to several of Indian Canyon’s greens. MeadowWood is longer and more open than the tree-lined Canyon, which has more severe greens.
“I think it opens the door to a larger set of people that can win it,” Indian Canyon pro Gary Lindeblad said. “Some of these guys hit it so far it’s a joke. It’ll be a huge advantage because they’ll have three par 5s that are easily reachable and on some of the par 4s, instead of hitting 7- or 8-irons they’ll be hitting sand wedges.”
For many of the 154 players, the familiarity of Indian Canyon will be replaced with a quick learning curve at the 6,874-yard MeadowWood.
“It’ll be really new (for players from outside the region),” MeadowWood pro Bob Scott said. “MeadowWood is probably a hair more user-friendly, but every hole is pretty straightforward, with the exception of maybe No. 3 where you can’t see the fairway bunker.”
Five of last year’s top six finishers return. Prugh finished at 14-under 199 and won by one shot. He set the tournament record at 21-under in 2009. The Rosauers was held at MeadowWood in 1991 and Rob Gibbons, who is in this year’s field, took first by shooting 18-under 198.
Lindeblad projected 14-under as the winning score. Scott opted for 16-17 under.