Zaba brings home elusive Men’s Lobstick title

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Tyler Zaba pumps his fist after making the winning putt on the 16th hole of the Men's Lobstick championship flight final on Friday afternoon.

After losing in a four-hole playoff to Prince Albert’s Danny Klughart in the 2013 championship flight final, Regina’s Tyler Zaba wasn’t sure if he’d get another chance to win the Men’s Lobstick tournament.

He was able to do just that on Friday at the Waskesiu Golf Course as he drained a birdie putt on the par-three 16th hole to beat Saskatoon’s Brad Phelps in the final.

“I’ve been coming here for 16 years and that loss to Danny is something that I still think about,” Zaba said. “It means a lot to finally get the trophy.”

Tyler is also the second Zaba brother to win the event, as his younger sibling Andrew captured the tournament title in 2009 and 2011.

“It really means a lot to have my family up here for this,” Zaba said through tears. “My kids have been coming up here since they were babies and my parents have always been up here…it’s very special.”

After defeating Kelly Timmerman, Shawn Strelau and Jason Galon to reach the championship round, Zaba continued his strong play on Friday with several great putts to keep the lead over Phelps for most of the match.

“I didn’t play too many holes this week and I think I only got to 17 once, which was nice,” Zaba smiled.

“I thought I played pretty well for most of the week and I didn’t make too many mistakes. I made a lot of putts, which is really important around here with the way that these greens are.”

Friday’s showing capped off a strong month for Phelps at Waskeisu, as he was the runner-up to Medicine Hat’s Warren Gnam in the Senior Lobstick event on Sept. 3 and made his first ever appearance in the Men’s Lobstick final.

“I started to play some really good golf over the last month or so and I felt like I played about as well as I could during the last two weeks up here,” said Phelps, who reached the final after earning victories over Scott Jenkins, Trevor Bloom and Shaun Dunphy.

“You’d always like to win both tournaments, but Warren was unbelievable in the final round and he made a birdie on the 18th hole, which is how you want to lose. I had the chance to play with Tyler in three rounds this week and he was phenomenal each time. He putts the ball as well as anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Gnam backed up his Senior Lobstick crown by winning the championship flight consolation final on Friday over Chris Reid of Meadow Lake.

The other flight winners are as follows:

  • First Flight: Andrew Zaba over Jeff Whitfield
  • First Flight Consolation: Tanner Olsen over Ken Gordon
  • Second Flight: Darryl Czuy over Doug Braaten
  • Second Flight Consolation: Martin Ring over Derek Chantler
  • Third Flight: John Foster over Brian Topp
  • Third Flight Consolation: Brad Griffin over Max Coben
  • Fourth Flight: Ian Harnett over CJ Gavlas
  • Fourth Flight Consolation: Ryan Timmerman over Luke Strueby
  • Fifth Flight: Ron Harris over Bentley Coben
  • Fifth Flight Consolation: Tanner Schultz over Ben Leier
  • Sixth Flight: Ron Berezowski over John Ross
  • Sixth Flight Consolation: Regan Emmons over Pat Boehm