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Savoie beats Blackwell, 2-up

Details to follow

Savoie 1-up thru 16 at IJM

Savoie rolls in 40 footer to halve 16 with birdies.-- BD

IJM Final All Square Thru 12

James Blackwell has won last two holes to draw even for first time since No. 1 --BD

Savoie 2-up at Turn at IJM

Joey Savoie is two holes up on James Blackwell after 9 in the IJM title match at East Aurora. Blackwell made a 50-footer to win No. 8.

Blackwell Rallying

James Blackwell has won the last two holes and is 1 down to Joey Savoie through six.

Bob DiCesare

Savoie Up 3 on Blackwell

Joey Savoie, the reigning Quebec junior and juvenile champion, leads James Blackwell 3-up through four holes of the title match at the International Junior Masters. Savoie nearly double-eagled No. 3 and birdied No. 4.

--Bob DiCesare

Blackwell Survives

James Blackwell advaced to this afternoon's final of the International Junior Masters with a 1-up victory over Colombian David Marin. Marin won No. 17 but missed a 3-foot birdie putt on 18 that would have forced sudden death. Blackwell faces Joey Savoie of Quebec, who routed Matt VanNiekerk 7 and 5 in the other semifinal. Jacob Kreuz of Amherst has advanced to the championshp consolation final.

-- Bob DiCesare

IJM Update

We're all square through 13 in the Blackwell-Marin semifinal. Blackwell went 1-up when Marin missed from 2 feet on 11, but then missed a 2-footer himself that would have won 11. Marin won 12 with an 8-foot birdie putt to square the match and kept it even by making a 6-footer for par on 13.

-- Bob DiCesare

Junior Masters Update

James Blackwell of North Tonawanda is all square with David Marin of Colombia in their semifinal match at the 60th International Junior Masters at East Aurora CC.

-- Bob DiCesare

Blackwell holds off upset at IJM

It took all 18 holes, but James Blackwell held off an upset and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the International Junior Masters Thursday afternoon.

Blackwell, the top-seeded player at the tournament from North Tonawanda, conceded holes 14 and 15 to Eduardo Rivera of Colombia to bring the match even and only advanced by winning 18.

“To be completely honest with you, he probably deserved to win,” Blackwell said after the round. “His short game is absolutely phenomenal. For the age he is, to have a short game like that is amazing.”

Blackwell had a shot to take the lead on 17 after Rivera’s tee shot landed on the fairway -- one hole over. But with the threat of Rivera’s putting in the back of his mind, Blackwell took a gamble and went for a difficult putt, missing it long. Rivera sunk his putt to save par and split the hole.

“If it was somebody else, I probably wouldn’t have gone that aggressive at the pin,” Blackwell said. “I knew I had to make a birdie to win that hole.”

With the match tied on 18, Rivera’s tee shot went into the right rough, and he only made it worse by hitting his second shot into a water hazard. Blackwell’s first shot took a favorable bounce on the fairway before he hit a beautiful approach with a 9-iron from 160 yards out that landed within feet of the cup.

Rivera gave an attempt at chipping in from his drop before conceding the match.

The next round will begin around 2 p.m.

---Nick Veronica

Twitter: @NickVeronica


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.