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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rosauers Open: Indian Canyon enjoys rebirth

The Rosauers Open Invitational is back at Indian Canyon, and Indian Canyon is getting back to being, well, Indian Canyon.

The tournament was moved to MeadowWood a year ago when several of Indian Canyon’s greens struggled to recover from winter ice damage. The Rosauers, one of four majors in the PGA’s Pacific Northwest Section, has been held at Indian Canyon every year since its inception in 1988, except for last year and 1991.

“It was a tragedy we had to move it but there really wasn’t any choice,” Indian Canyon pro Gary Lindeblad said. “The maintenance crew has done a phenomenal job of bringing the course back where it should be.

“The greens are probably the best I’ve seen them in 25-30 years and the rest of the course, it’s really good. The thing is, it had gone so far downhill there is so much to do and they’re picking away at it, with the priorities being greens, bunkers, tees and fairways.”

The two-day pro-am begins today, followed by the 54-hole tournament Friday-Sunday.

The greens will be “cut down as far as we can,” Lindeblad said. “It’s only been the last couple months they’ve been really healthy. Fred (Marchant, new superintendent) has been working with the PGA to establish a certain speed that’s significantly faster than we’ve had in the past.”

Tim Feenstra, assistant pro at Seattle’s Broadmoor Golf Club, took last year’s title with a sizzling 11-under 61 in the final round at MeadowWood. Feenstra is back to defend his title but there’s a long list of contenders, including past champions Corey Prugh (2013, 2011, 2009), David Phay (2012), Kyle Kelly (2010), Jeff Coston (2008, 2006, 1997), Ryan Benzel (2005), Casey McCoy (2001), Rob Gibbons (1991) and Lindeblad (1990).

“It seems like guys play it really well or mediocre. The guys that seem to play well seem to be in the top 10 nearly every time,” Lindeblad said. “Depending on the pins, there are sides of the fairways where it’s hard to get close to the hole or sides of the greens where it can be tough to get up and down. (The course favors) guys that pay attention and have a strategy on every hole.”

Prugh set the tournament record with a 21-under 192 in 2009, the first of his three consecutive wins on odd-numbered years. He tied for sixth at the Lilac City Invitational last week at The Fairways.

Cody Upham, in 2006, is the only amateur Rosauers champion but amateurs are regulars on the leaderboard. There are 60 in the field, including a number of accomplished collegiate players and several high school standouts.

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