Local golfers gear up for 10th annual Rose Cup

By: Jeffrey Weidel, Special to The Press-Tribune
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Although area courses just got drenched with a steady rain, literally putting up the stop sign for many fair-weather players, what looms later this week for these 48 Roseville golfers has kept them actively hitting balls on the range and getting in a few slushy rounds trying to hone their game. A crystal trophy currently resides in the Woodcreek Golf Club pro shop, which means three other area courses are hoping that location is altered by early Saturday evening. The coveted trophy goes to the annual winner of the Rose Cup, a four-team Ryder Cup-like competition that begins Friday with 18 holes at Sierra View Country Club and concludes the next day at Diamond Oaks Golf Course. The handsome trophy means a year's bragging rights for one of the four Roseville courses (Timber Creek, Woodcreek, Diamond Oaks, Sierra View). And this year's winner will have the satisfaction of harboring the trophy for the 10th anniversary of this friendly golfing civil war. There are no player wives, girlfriends or flag-waving fans in the gallery, and don't look for the Rose Cup among the local TV listings. Yet it remains something special to the four dozen players who participate. "Absolutely, it was nice winning the first Rose Cup and it would be great to win this year's because it's the 10th one," said Sierra View head pro Jim Salazar, who was trying to sharpen his game over the weekend with a pair of rounds in less-than ideal weather. "Our players still look forward to it every year." The Rose Cup idea was conceived by Rob Frederick, the only head pro Woodcreek has known. While working at Black Hawk Country Club in Danville, Frederick observed how popular the three-team Diablo Cup was and wanted to get a similar tradition started in Roseville. After huddling with Salazar and other golf pros from Diamond Oaks (Ed Vasconcellos) and Timber Creek (Jim Carra), a format was worked out and the tournament got off the ground in 1999. "I thought it was a great idea for this area and was glad we were able to make it happen," Frederick said. "It's a friendly competition, I know it's one our Woodcreek golfers are excited about every year." There's a definite contrast in the four teams, ranging from the Sun City seniors who represent Timber Creek, to the country clubbers from Sierra View, to the more upscale muni Woodcreek players, to the "average joes" at Diamond Oaks, who actually have enjoyed the most success, winning four times. Gerry Lavasseur, who has played three times for Sierra View, offered his view on the Rose Cup two years ago after his team won. “I am a home-bred Diamond Oaks boy, I see those guys all the time," Lavasseur said. "It’s become a friendly rivalry with Diamond Oaks and all the Rose Cup teams. Winning this means a lot to us. This tournament is the greatest golf event in this area.” Woodcreek would definitely like to keep the trophy and pull even to Diamond Oaks with four victories, while age-challenged Timber Creek would love to pull an upset and win its first title. "For us, a course like Sierra View is tough due to its length, but we have a great team this year, so who knows what might happen," Timber Creek pro Mark Gouger said. " Yet the odds this year favor Diamond Oaks, where Saturday's match play will decide two-thirds of the overall points. Two-man play is the opening round format. Play starts each day at 11:45 a.m. "We've won the last two times it was (Saturday) at Diamond Oaks, so obviously we like that home field advantage," Diamond Oaks pro Scott Prenez said. "Woodcreek is holding the cup right now, which is a bitter pill to swallow for Diamond Oaks because we're the 'other' muni in town. Hopefully that comfort level of playing at home will serve us well." Jeffrey Weidel is the former sports editor of the Press-Tribune. He can be reached at Diamond Oaks Scott Prenez (pro) Pamas Bhatti Jim Smith Boyd Robertson Steve Parino Joe Santone Don Pangburn Tim Hill Eric Hinge Neil Thomas Russell Tabbert Steve Hitchcock Timber Creek Mark Gouger (pro) Chet Pabis Ed Lick Hank Derner Martin Wolf Chuck Krause Darryl Rasmussen Bill Mathews Fernando Rodriguez Jim Erskine Rodger Page Tom Shively Woodcreek Rob Frederick (pro) John Lacey Larry Bucey Brian Smith Cecil Autry Bill Gaylor Keith Erickson Scott Senteney Phil Ratty John Murnane Brian Arthur Chris Gaeckle Sierra View Jim Salazar (pro) Tim Bloom Phil Bonotto Bill Conner Tom Friery Vern Mitzel Wendell Phillips Rich Schiffers Delow Shively Dae Steinharrt Ed York