© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
The 2014 Conexus Men's Lobstick golf tournament came to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday at the Waskesiu Lake Golf Course with Greg Swenson of Prince Albert edging Saskatoon's Shaun Dunphy on the 18th hole of the match-play final. Shown in the photo at the awards ceremony are Waskesiu head professional Tyler Baker, far left, presenting the runner-up trophy to Dunphy while club superintendent Peter Anholt, far right, gives Swenson the championship trophy.
Prince Albert’s Greg Swenson had some unfinished business to take care of and it took until the last possible minute for him to win his first Conexus Men’s Lobstick championship on Saturday at the Waskesiu Lake Golf Course.
The Cooke Municipal Golf Course member was in his second Championship Flight final in three years and after falling to Cadmus Delorme from Regina two years ago, he desperately wanted to claim the prestigious title.
But, playing against a red-hot Shaun Dunphy from Saskatoon, who had dispatched of defending champion Danny Klughart from Prince Albert and low qualifier Colin Coben from Delisle during the gruelling Friday playoff rounds, he knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
“I knew how well Shaun had been playing so I had to play my best,” said a visibly relieved Swenson after claiming the championship. “I thought I was going to have to be under-par on the back-nine to win.”
“I just had to keep hitting greens and start making some birdies,” added Swenson.
Trailing by one at the turn, Swenson evened the match by winning the par-4 10th hole, but Dunphy sunk a 60-foot approach shot for eagle on the next hole to reclaim a one-hole lead.
When Dunphy sunk a six-foot birdie putt on the shortish par-4 15th, Swenson was down two holes with three to play. That didn’t seem to rattle Swenson, however, as he birdied the 16th, got his par on the 17th after Dunphy had to settle for a bogey and then the unexpected happened.
Having played a combined eight-under-par through 17 holes both golfers safely hit the 18th fairway with their tee shots. Swenson’s approach shot landed on the green and was about 15 feet from the pin when Dunphy sailed his second shot far wide of the green and into some tree trouble.
“I was right in between clubs,” explained Dunphy. “Greg was on the green about 15 feet away so I was playing to win. I hit my gap wedge, but should have played my pitching wedge.”
Dunphy needed two shots to get out of trouble and onto the green and when his lengthy bogey attempt stopped on the lip of the hole he conceited the match with Swenson not even having to make a final putt.
“Greg’s a great player and I couldn’t have lost to a better guy,” said Dunphy. “It stings to be two up with three to go.”
“It’s not the way you want to win, but I’ll take it,” added Swenson, who has also been runner-up at two Men’s Northern Amateur tournaments in addition to winning a May Day Masters in 2012.
In comparison to a year ago when the final had to be delayed almost a month due to heavy rains, the 240-plus golfers were greeted with great weather all week and it showed on the scorecards.
Club professional Tyler Baker said at the closing ceremonies that an unprecedented four aces were recorded during the week, which was a credit to both the level of golf and condition of the course. Making hole-in-ones during the event were: Colin Coben from Delisle on No. 16 and Jim Zwarych and John Ross from Saskatoon on No. 2. Prince Albert’s Tom Wormworth also aced No. 2 in his seventh-flight final on Saturday morning.
Following is a complete list of all flight results.
Championship Flight – Greg Swenson, Prince Albert over Shaun Dunphy, Saskatoon
Championship Flight consolation – Brad Phelps, Saskatoon over Dan Morin, Regina
First Flight – Andy Zaba, Deer Valley over Russell Robson, Saskatoon
First Flight consolation – Brennan Thomas, Saskatoon over Travis Robson, Saskatoon
Second Flight – Jock Kriegler, Saskatoon over Brian Matkowski, Saskatoon
Second Flight consolation – Ken Gordon, Prince Albert over Glen Despins, Regina
Third Flight – Michael Davidson, St. John’s Newfoundland over Merv Thurmeier, Red Deer
Third Flight consolation – Mark Kulbida, Saskatoon over Nik Kinzel-Cadrin, Saskatoon
Fourth Flight – Darrell Bethune, Saskatoon over Brad Hritzuk, Saskatoon
Fourth Flight consolation – Howard Fullford, Saskatoon over Ted LaPlante, Saskatoon
Fifth Flight – Gary Gaudet, Saskatoon over Kelly Miller, Prince Albert
Fifth Flight consolation – Ian Harris, Prince Albert over Don Thorpe, Prince Albert
Sixth Flight – Ed Howes, Waskesiu over Ben Hodson, Saskatoon
Sixth Flight consolation – Graeme Bittner, Saskatoon over Greg Elliot, Saskatoon
Seventh Flight – Tom Wormworth, Prince Albert over Dale Huber, Saskatoon
Seventh Flight consolation – TJ Zwarych, Saskatoon over Bryant Hayden, Saskatoon
Eighth Flight – Aaron Baker, Humboldt over Ron Thomas, Saskatoon
Eighth Flight consolation – Drew Wilby, Regina over Nathan Stevens, Fort McMurray
Ninth Flight – Shane Haubrich, Regina over Randy Uhlick, Moose Jaw
Ninth Flight consolation – Scott Deutscher, Regina over Ryan Scott, Calgary