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4 Locals Top 32 at IJM

Four local players -- James Blackwell, Josh Stauffer, Jacob Kreuz and Andrew Romano -- will tee off in this afternoon's championship bracket at the International Junior Masters at East Aurora CC. Blackwell placed first (139), Stauffer second (143), Kreuz T3 (145) and Andrew Romano T19 (153). Blackwell and Kreuz are making their second straight appearance in the final 32.

-- Bob DiCesare

Blackwell Medals, Stauffer Sets Record

James Blackwell (3-under 139) is the medalist and Josh Stauffer set a tournament record with a 65 at the International Junior Masters this morning. Stauffer (143) will be the No. 2 seed when they tee off in match play this afternoon.

We're still waiting for the final pairings. There's a group still out and it already looks like a playoff for the last of the 32 spots in the Championship Flight.

-- Bob DiCesare

Blackwell Sizzles at Jr. Masters

Ball State-bound James Blackwell, a St. Joe's graduate, produced his second straight sub-par round this morning and appears a shoo-in to grab medalist honors and the Gary Player Trophy at the 60th International Junior Masters at East Aurora Country Club.

Blackwell followed Tuesday's 2-under 69 with a 70 and has a four-stroke advantage over those who've posted. It would take a ridiculous score to knock Blackwell out of the top spot as lower scores went off first in the morning.

But there are scores out there. Bona-bound Josh Stauffer of Bradford, son of PGA Professional Kirk Staffer, went bogeyless in a 6-under 65 that has tournament organizers scrambling for the record books.

Blackwell's 3-under total is believed to tie for the lowest score in at least the last 20 years. Medalists shot 139 in 2002 and 2008.

Match play begins this afternoon.

-- Bob DiCesare

Wegmans LPGA final round recap

The winner is: Shanshan Feng. The 22-year-old from Guangzhou, China becomes her country’s first winner on the LPGA Tour. She moves up to fifth in the world rankings and collects the $375,000 first-place prize out of a total purse of $2.5 million. Feng shot the low round of the tournament, 5-under 67, in the final round for a total of 6-under 282 and a two-shot victory over a group of four players (Mika Miyazato, Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen and Eun-Hee Ji) at 4-under.

Marquee pairing: The biggest gallery of the day followed Americans Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, but neither were ever able to make much of a charge. Creamer was betrayed by her putter on the weekend, needing 65 strokes on the greens over the final two rounds. She finished at 2-under in a tie for ninth, while Kerr was a shot behind a 1-under in a tie for 12th.

Easiest hole: The par-5 17th, which played to a stroke average of 4.858 for the tournament and had 30 birdies Sunday.

Toughest hole: The next one, the par-4 18th. That had a tournament stroke average of 4.442 and saw just three birdies made at it Sunday.

Quotable: “Shanshan went out there and shot a great round. That’s the way we want it to be. You don’t want this golf tournament to end with somebody making bogey on the last hole to lose it. She went out and won it today, so congratulations to her” – world No. 3 and top-ranked American Stacy Lewis

Up next: The LPGA Tour takes a break while the men’s U.S. Open is held next weekend. The ladies return June 21-24 for the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Tseng finishes forgettable week

PITTSFORD -- Yani Tseng's title defense at the Wegmans LPGA Championship did not go as planned.

Not even close.

The world's No. 1 player was finishing her round as the leaders were starting today at Locust Hill Country Club, a much different position than the one she found herself in last year, when she dominated the field for a 10-shot victory.

She finished at 19 under in 2011, an astounding 32 shots better than the 13 over she shot this year. Tseng concluded a miserable week with a 4-over 76 today.

"It's hard to get your confidence back when you lose it," she told the Golf Channel after her round. "My confidence is at zero right now."

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Leaders off at Wegmans LPGA Championship

PITTSFORD -- The final round promises plenty of drama today at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

The final groups are now out on the course, and already there have been some changes on the leader board. Australian Karrie Webb, who started the day a shot off the lead, birdied the par-4 second hole to briefly sit in a three-way tie for the top spot, but Webb followed by three-putting the third green for a bogey and is in third place at 3 under.

The lead is shared by Eun-Hee Ji and Suzann Pettersen, who has started 2 under through four holes.

A group of six players -- including Americans Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis -- are just two shots behind on a sun-baked day at Locust Hill Country Club.

Myself, Bob DiCesare and Mark Gaughan will have updates throughout the day.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Ace at LPGA

PITTSFORD -- Jodi Ewart, a 2010 graduate of New Mexico, produced a hole-in-one on the 150-yard 15th hole today, making it the second straight year there's been an ace at the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill.

Ewart shot even-par 72 for the round and is tied for 25th at plus-3 for the tournament. It's the fifth time in the history of Rochester LPGA tournaments that a 1 has been made at 15. Suzann Pettersen and Christina Kim both did it in 2004, Leta Lindley in 2002 and Cathy Morse in 1983.

---Bob DiCesare

Creamer among three atop leader board

PITTSFORD -- Paula Creamer just made the turn here at Locust Hill Country Club at 3 under, sharing the lead in the third round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship with Eun-Hee Ji and Na Yeon Choi.

Things remain tight, though, as 13 players are under par. Lurking in the group at even par is Australian Karrie Webb.

Television coverage of the event, by the way, will air from 2 to 7 p.m. on Golf Channel on a tape delay basis because of the early tee times.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Third round of Wegmans LPGA underway

PITTSFORD -- Mother Nature has been the major player so far this morning at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Steady rain in suburban Rochester forced a delay of two hours, 21 minutes during the third round.

Groups of three were to tee off the first and 10th holes at 7 a.m. in an effort to get the round in before some more expected bad weather hit. The rain forced a delay after just eight minutes, however, and play did not resume until 9:29 a.m.

Leader Se Ri Pak is scheduled to tee off at 11:20 a.m. It's going to be a long day by the looks of it. The forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of rain, with showers and thunderstorms "likely."

We'll have updates throughout the day on the blog from myself, Bob DiCesare and Mark Gaughan

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

 

Traffic Jam at Top of LPGA

PITTSFORD -- Na Yeon Choi has a one-shot advantage midway through the second round of the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club. She's at 2-under for the day and 3-under for the tournament through seven holes.

Pursuers are everywhere. Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Mika Miyazato, Se Ri Pak and Cristie Kerr are all at minus-2. Mi Jung Hur, Sydnee Michaels and Sun Young Yoo are at 1-under. The top 70 and ties make the cut, which looks like it'll be at 4 or 5-under. There's no 10-shot rule.

At the moment Michaels, a Californian, is joined in the top 10 by Karin Sjodin of Sweden (even par). The common thread? Both have former NCAA champion and Marilla native E.J. Pfister as their swing coach. Pfister is director of instruction at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla. He played collegiately at Oklahoma State and won the 1988 NCAA individual title. Sjodin is also a OSU alum.

-- Bob DiCesare

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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.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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