Kelly Returns to Spokane to win 23rd Rosauers Open Invitational
By Patrick Murphy
Great weather and warm temperatures were the forecast for the week at Indian Canyon GC and Mother Nature did not fail in delivering on that promise. For the 23rd year, this year’s Rosauers Open Invitational opened with the Vanessa Behan Pro-Am on Wednesday. On Friday, the real fun began for the players who were seeking the top spot at this year’s Rosauers Open and the first place prize of $11,000.
Kyle Kelly of Tamarisk CC opened up the week with a nine-under 62 to lead the field by two shots. Kelly, who was playing on a sponsor’s invitation, is originally from Spokane. Following closely behind Kelly was 2009 Rosauers Open Champion and Spokane native Corey Prugh of Manito G&CC. Prugh’s 64 was good enough for solo second and put him in the perfect position to make a move and win his second title in as many years.
Friday brought great scores as names moved up the leader board, each striving to get within striking distance for the final round. 2010 Oregon Open Champion Derek Berg of Glendale CC led the way on day two after firing a seven-under 64 to get within five strokes of Kelly. Kelly’s second round score of 67 was enough to extend his lead to four over Corey Prugh. The defending champion’s two-under 69 kept him in solo second place but he would begin the final round four shots behind.
After the cut, the final day began with 93 professionals and amateurs playing the Canyon. The final group consisted of leader Kyle Kelly, Corey Prugh, and amateur Derek Berg. But there was no guarantee that the winner would come out of the final group as scores can go low quickly at the Canyon. Brandon Kearney of Bend G&CC showed that as his final round 64 jumped him high on the leaderboard as the leaders still had two holes to play. Sitting at fourteen under par, Kelly stepped up on the par-4 16th and blasted a driver down the middle which resulted in a birdie. This birdie proved to be the deciding factor as Kearney birdied the last two holes to finish at fourteen-under and one shot out of a playoff. Kelly made pars on the last two holes and finished his round in front of a large crowd filled with friends and family.
“Winning the Rosauers Open has been a dream of mine since I started playing at the club professional level. Being from Spokane and growing up watching guys like Gary Lindeblad, Mark Gardner, Chris Mitchell and others compete in this tournament has always made it a special one for me. The feeling of finally putting my name on the Rosauers trophy is really beyond description, and I could not be more excited to have my name along some of the others who have won the event. I have not won any majors in the Southern Cal Section, so this is my first "Major" win and I'm really glad it came in my hometown,” said Kelly following play on Sunday.
The real winner of this year’s event is the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery which raised $130,000 from the week long event. This event has raised over $2 million dollars for the charity since the event started twenty-three years ago. Thank you to the sponsors that make this event one of the richest in the country and PGA Professional Gary Lindeblad and his staff at Indian Canyon for their dedication to the Pacific Northwest Section PGA professional.