Benzel Coasts to Finish Line at Rosauers
By Jordan Bury
Seattle Golf Club’s Ryan Benzel has been preparing to win a section major. In 2004 he had four top-ten finishes in four of the five section’s majors. This year he has finished fifth at the Al C. Giusti Memorial, tied third at the Oregon Open and tied for second at the Washington Open. Ryan picked an opportune time to claim his first major with the PGA’s largest section’s purse at stake of $135,000. He blazed out of the gates with an opening round 7-under par 64 and didn’t look back. This Ritzville, WA native lead this 54-hole event from start to finish.
After two days, Benzel had some of the Pacific Northwest Sections best professionals nipping at his heels within strokes of his lead. Benzel sat at a two round total of 130, with Chris Griffin, amateur Joel Dahmen, and Bob Rannow finished at 131. Several other notable players were in the clubhouse at 132 – 133 including: Jeff Coston, Doug Kauffman, and Brian Coury.
With Sunday’s final round pairing of Benzel, Chris Griffin of Tacoma C&GC, and Bob Rannow of Sandpines, the champion title was open for any player to capture. Rannow started the first four holes at 3-under par. Benzel was unshaken and exceeded Rannow by going 5-under par on the first four holes.
After passing the leaderboard on the 16th hole he undoubtedly saw his lead and share of the purse with only three holes left down the stretch. He showed his experience and stamina by finishing par, birdie, birdie. With a front nine 29 and a 34 on the back, he signed his final round scorecard for a 63. Last year Scott Johnson broke the Rosauers Open Invitational 54-hole scoring record at 193, and now Ryan Benzel can attach his name to this accomplishment.
Local amateur Alex Prugh from Manito G & CC and son of PGA Professional Steve Prugh, also came on Sunday with a final round 63. After two days, Alex was tied for 17th with a 66 – 70 – 136. He brought the course to its knees on Sunday to fire a 54-hole total 199 and captured the low amateur title for this year’s Rosauers Open Invitational.
Congratulations are due to many of the Pacific Northwest Section Professionls and Amateurs for their unbelievable display of their golf games. Superintendent Don Nelson and his crew also deserve a thank you for the work they did to get the course in shape for this event. The Pacific Northwest Section PGA would also like to thank the Spokane community, host professional Gary Lindeblad, tournament coordinator Roger Gores, and Mike Shirts of Rosauers Supermarkets for yet another successful year.
This years Rosauers Open generated over $111,000 for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. This is an extremely commendable charity that liberates children who are victims of domestic abuse in the Spokane area. Since 1988 the tournament has raised over $1.36 million for the nursery.