Anthony Melle rallied from a sizable deficit to capture the 36-hole division of the Estevan Oilfield Technical Society's (OTS) Oilmen's Golf Tournament for the first time.
Melle was trailing four-time champion Scott Dutton by six strokes with nine holes to play in the final round on June 1. But Melle birded holes 11, 12, 13, 17 and 18 to shoot a 33 on the back nine. Dutton had a 40 on his final nine holes.
Melle finished with a 1-over-par 73 to beat Dutton and Mike Ross by a stroke. Les Geisel was fourth with a 77.
“On 17, I was lined up to hit, and I heard a ball come across the water, and I stepped back,” said Melle. “I went to hit again, put the ball to within two feet … and then birdied 17.
“I knew Mike had me by one going into 18, and I was over (the water) in two, and so was Mike. He chipped on and three-putted; I hit a bad chip to within 25 feet, and drained the birdie putt.”
Melle estimated that he was likely 11-over-par for his two rounds on the front nine, and 7-under on the back.
“I drove the ball really well on the back nine,” said Melle. “I had short wedges to the green, and made my putts.”
The tournament features 18-hole and 36-hole tournaments. Golfers in the 18-hole tournament played their round on May 30 or 31. Those in the 36-hole tournament played a round on the 30th or 31st to determine their flight.
Their score on June 1 determined the 36-hole winner and the other results.
Conditions for the first two days of the tournament were ideal. But a steady rain on June 1 led to many higher scores.
“It was tricky conditions,” said Melle. “I couldn't square up the club face on the ball, and I was hitting a lot of balls right. On the back nine, actually on 11, I took my gloves off and started drying my grips up, and since then, I felt like I was playing pretty well.”
Flight winners in the 36-hole tournament were: Pat Murphy won the first flight with a 74; Kreston Martindale took the second flight with a 76; Dennis Gonas, third flight, 73; Wilson McKinnon, fourth, 83; Cole Dunville, fifth, 87; Don Cowan, sixth, 83; Albert Arndt, seventh, 91; Kohlan Fedyk, eighth, 88; Derek Ross, ninth, 96; Tom Blondeau, 10th, 97; and Bert Coleman, 11th, 95.
Gonas' score was as good as Melle's, but the 36-hole victor comes from the championship flight.
In the 18-hole tournament, Matt Lamb won the championship flight with a 72, beating Oscar Alverez by one stroke and Rob Peloquin by two.
The 18-hole flight winners were: Rob Sasylyniuk won the first flight with an 81; Dustin Stepp won the second with an 84; Jack Soloshy, third flight, 88; Jim Howard, fourth, 90; Dale Rinas, fifth, 91; Kirk Gies, sixth, 94; Gordon Mag, seventh, 96; Darcy Ward, eighth, 98; Steve Smith, ninth, 99; Keegan Schindel, 10th, 102; Cullen Trail, 11th, 103; Kelly Lydiard, 12th, 105; Trevor Goetz, 13th, 108; Glen English, 14th, 112; and Kevin Patton, 15th, 121.
A total of 339 golfers were entered in this year's tournament.