There are always final-round fireworks at the Rosauers Open Invitational, but a couple of names at the top of the leaderboard got a head start in Saturday’s second round.
David Brown went low with a 7-under-par 64 to take a one-shot lead over amateur Derek Bayley, who went even lower with a sizzling 62 at Indian Canyon, and 2017 Pacific Northwest PGA section player of the year Russell Grove (68).
Those three will tee off in the final group Sunday at 11:30 a.m., but they’ll have to keep an eye on the leaderboard with 10 more players within four strokes of the lead, including past champions Corey Prugh, Jeff Coston and Tim Feenstra.
Brown, assistant pro and membership director at Arrowhead Golf Club in Molalla, Oregon, is at 9-under 133. He solved the Canyon with six birdies and an eagle from tap-in range to offset a lone bogey.
“I hit a lot of shots close that left me just tap-ins,” Brown said. “I didn’t hit it as great as you would think, but I think I got something worked out on the range (after his round). Hopefully, the putter stays hot because it was hot (Saturday).”
Brown, 40, is looking for his first sectional win in his third season.
Bayley, who recently finished his collegiate career at Washington State, became just the second amateur to win the Rosauers when he torched MeadowWood with a 59-63 on the weekend for an eight-stroke victory two years ago.
Bayley, who started his round on the back, birdied Nos. 15, 17 and 18 to turn in 4 under. He had an eventful last nine with three birdies, two eagles and a double bogey.
Bayley closed in style by holing out from 113 yards on the par-4 ninth.
“I was staring it down,” Bayley said. “My mom was behind the green and started clapping and telling me it went in. It was a pretty cool way to finish a round.”
Bayley eagled No. 2 with a 20-foot putt. He made double bogey on No. 5 for the second straight day. The severe slopes on the fifth green have been giving a lot of players problems.
Grove, who lost in a playoff last year after being assessed a postround, two-shot penalty, had a share of the lead after a two-putt birdie on the par-5 second, his 11th hole.
He had good looks at birdie on the next four holes and No. 9 but couldn’t get a putt to drop.
“A couple of them just burned the edges,” said Grove, head golf coach at North Idaho College. “I feel like I have to hit it a little closer.”
Grove dropped one shot behind with a bogey on No. 7. He pulled out driver on the 287-yard par 4 but hit a tree left of the green with his ball coming to rest in a hole. He missed an 8-footer for par.
“I’m definitely not happy with how I played, but I guess you have to look at the positive and I’m right there,” Grove said.
Five players are two shots back at 7-under 135. Prugh, the event’s only four-time champion, and Spokane amateur Andrew Von Lossow are at 136. The foursome at 137 includes University of Idaho golf coach David Nuhn, three-time champ Coston and Feenstra, who shot a 61 at MeadowWood to win the 2014 Rosauers.
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