Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Inglis faces tough task trying to defend Rosauers Open Invitational title

Colin Inglis smiles after watching his shot on No. 18 en route to winning the Rosauers Open Invitational last year at Indian Canyon.  (The Spokesman-Review)

Colin Inglis has something to shoot for this week at the 35th Rosauers Open Invitational.

It’s been 27 years since Greg Whisman became the only player in tournament history to win consecutive championships in 1994-95. Corey Prugh, Jeff Coston, Derek Bayley, Michael Combs and Chris Mitchell own multiple Rosauers titles, but not in back-to-back years.

Prugh, the only four-time champion, won in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. Bayley, a Lakeland High and Washington State University graduate, won as an amateur in 2016 and 2018. Coston captured titles in 2006 and 2008 to go with his first crown in 1997. Combs won in 1996 and 2003 while Mitchell earned victories in 1989 and 1992.

That demonstrates just how difficult it is to repeat in a Rosauers field routinely packed with former champs, quality pros and accomplished amateurs. It’s no different this week as Inglis, an assistant pro at Shadow Hills Country Club in Junction City, Oregon, attempts to defend his title after shooting 19-under-par 194 for a four-shot victory last July at Indian Canyon.

The Rosauers begins Wednesday and Thursday with 62 teams in the Franz Bakery Pro-Am, followed by the 54-hole tournament, one of six majors in the PGA Pacific Northwest Section, Friday through Sunday.

The field includes former Rosauers champs Prugh, the golf coach at Community Colleges of Spokane, Coston, Scott Erdmann (2019), Brady Sharp (2017), David Phay (2012), former Eastern Washington Eagle Kyle Kelly (2010), former Idaho Vandal Ryan Benzel (2005) and Rob Gibbons (1991).

Other names to watch: Idaho Club director of instruction Jeff Gove, North Idaho College golf coach Russ Grove, Shane Prante, Derek Berg, amateurs Andrew Von Lossow and Reid Hatley and at least a handful of college players at regional schools. Spokane’s Von Lossow finished tied for third at the Oregon Open and recently qualified for next month’s U.S. Amateur.

In Pacific Northwest Section majors earlier this season, Coston lost in a playoff to amateur Graham Moody at the Northwest Open in May and Gove edged Prante in a playoff to claim the Oregon Open in June. Inglis, who played in the PGA Championship in May, finished in a four-way tie for fifth with Benzel at the Oregon Open.

“Colin has to be a consideration for sure,” Indian Canyon pro Doug Phares said. “Coston is amazing, Jeff Gove is really good, Corey Prugh, there’s so many great players. I can’t even tell you all the young guys that are good.”

Indian Canyon is in “almost perfect” condition, Phares said. “I’ve said it’s in the best shape ever, especially the last three years (with a new irrigation system) and Molly Cooper, who runs our section events and has done that for I don’t know how many years, came back halfway through marking the course and said, ‘You’re right.’ ”

The rough was mowed last Friday and won’t be cut again until Monday, so it figures to be fairly thick, particularly around the greens for the 54-hole tournament.

Phares said the winning score might be in the same range (19 under) as last year, which would require solid ball-striking and handling the speedy greens.

“We try to get the greens fast, but you can’t get them too fast or about five of them become unplayable,” Phares said. “They’ll be an 11 or 10.5 (on the Stimpmeter), not like tour speeds, but certainly fast.”