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Locals swept from Jr. Masters Creighton makes comeback, but loses in match play

Finishing his 36th hole of the day, Peter Creighton put his golf ball in his mouth and then chomped down on his towel.

With a grunt, Creighton said, "I was just frustrated."

Creighton, of Kenmore, was the last Western New York hope at the International Junior Masters at East Aurora Country Club on Wednesday. The 17-year-old Canisius High senior put up a bitter fight before losing his first-round match to Colby Smith of Auburn, Calif., 1 up.

In the starting field of 80 players, there were 14 from Western New York but Creighton was the only one to make the championship flight of 32 after Wednesday morning's second qualifying round. He qualified 21st with an 11-over-par 153.

Creighton was trying to give Western New York a second straight IJM title. Matt Stasiak of Clarence took the title in 2006.

"It would have been awesome," Creighton said of a Buffalo-repeat. "I wish I could have done it. I mean, I gave it the best effort I had today. It's not an excuse, but it doesn't help when it's that windy out. And, these greens are brutal to putt on."

After being two down through four holes, Creighton evened the match through six and began the back nine one down. He evened things with a birdie on the 16th -- his first of the round -- but drives that missed the fairway on the last two holes cost him the match.

Creighton lost the 17th when he bogeyed and each golfer parred the 18th.

Creighton drew some moral support from his older brother, Drew, who plays at Canisius College, plus local golfers Stasiak and Jake Katz.

"It's a little nerve-wracking to watch him (Peter)," Drew Creighton, 19, said. "It is fun though."

Katz added: "You want to poke him, give him a little advice. But he knows what he's doing."

Creighton, playing in his final IJM, will play in the championship consolation bracket this morning.

***

The biggest upset in match play saw qualifying medalist Julien Goulet of St. Rochyn del L'Achigan, Quebec, lose to Joey Colosi, 15, of Rush-Henrietta, 6 and 5. Goulet earned the medal in a playoff over Yaroslav Merkulov after they tied at 1-over 143. Colosi had to survive a playoff to earn the final spot in the championship flight.

Other bracket upsets saw 30th seed Jamie Sindelar of Horseheads beat No. 3 Brett Cairns of Courtland, Ont., 1 up; No. 24 Zachary Bates of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, overcome No. 9 Michael Klaric III of Hermitage, Pa., in 19 holes; and No. 22 Carson Kallis of Red Deer, Alberta, defeated No. 11 Max Gilbert of St. Georges, Que., 4 and 2.

e-mail: jfriedman@buffnews.com

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