The 36th Rosauers Open Invitational field is essentially a who’s who in the Pacific Northwest PGA Section accompanied by a talented group of amateurs.
In other words, it’s business as usual at a tournament that offers the section’s largest purse ($110,000) and is one of section’s coveted major championships. The pro-am is set for Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the 54-hole tourney Friday through Sunday at Indian Canyon Golf Course.
Past Rosauers winners, including Daniel Campbell (2022) and Colin Inglis (2021), provide a good starting point for projecting tournament favorites. The 2020 tournament was canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Campbell has had a strong calendar year since taking the Rosauers title last July with a birdie-birdie finish that included a terrific up-and-down to a tricky back left pin location on the drivable par-4 17th. He won by two shots over Tyler Carlson and 2019 champ Scott Erdmann.
Campbell, an assistant pro at Bellingham Golf and Country Club, won the Northwest Open in May. He teamed with James Fife to win the PNW PGA Pro-Assistant Championship in March by one stroke over Kalispel Golf and Country Club’s Nick McCaslin and Amy Eneroth.
Inglis, who shot 66-62-66 for a four-shot win at the 2021 Rosauers, and North Idaho College coach Russell Grove both qualified for the PGA Championship in May with top 20 finishes at the PGA Professional Championship. Grove won sectional player of the year honors in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Erdmann is battling a leg injury but he’s playing this week.
Community Colleges of Spokane coach Corey Prugh is the only four-time Rosauers champion with titles in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. Jeff Coston, who won in 1997, 2006 and 2008, tied for fourth last year. The field also includes David Phay (2012), former Eastern Washington Eagle standout Kyle Kelly (2010), former Idaho Vandal Ryan Benzel (2005) and Rob Gibbons (1991).
Indian Canyon pro Doug Phares listed several past champions as contenders and also mentioned Shane Prante, an instructor at The Home Course in DuPont, Washington, who is frequently on leaderboards at sectional events, and some accomplished amateurs from the region, including Washington State University’s Nate Plaster and Spokane’s Andrew Von Lossow.
Plaster, a Gonzaga Prep graduate, tied for second behind Campbell at the Northwest Open. Von Lossow advanced to the round of 32 at the 2022 U.S. Amateur.
“There’s a lot of good pros,” Phares said. “You look at some the amateurs and they’re always in there (at the Rosauers). It’s really cool to see, those guys really work on their games and they have the time to do it.”
Phares, who played Indian Canyon on Friday, said the course looks “really good.”
“We’re in year 3, 3½ with the irrigation system and the course has settled into a good condition,” Phares said. “It plays differently than it did five years ago for sure. The turf is a lot better and maybe makes it play a little longer than when it wasn’t receiving as much water. The greens are a lot more consistent.
“It was a little dinged up with snow being on it for so long (last winter), but that’s all disappeared.”
The tournament raised $100,000 last year for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, moving the event’s 35-year contribution to $3.2 million.