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Opening Day at Junior Masters

We're running about an hour late on the opening 18 holes of medal play after lightning in the surrounding area forced a delay just before noon. When the lightning departed, strong winds took its place and scores should be ballooning as a result. We spent some time following around Patrick Fahey (Timon/Canisius College-bound) and James Blackwell (St. Joe's). Ryan Marfurt plans to write on both of them in Wednesday's editions of The News.

Spent the rain delay talking with John Gaffney, former Buffalo District and state mid-am champ, about golf swing mechanics. Gaffney's son, Billy, drew into the tournament as an alternate and shot 78.

This could be an interesting year from the local perspective. It wouldn't be a surprise to see five or six Western New York's qualify for the championship flight of match play by placing in the top 32 in stroke play. The final 18 holes of qualifying will be played Wednesday morning.

We'll be updating with more scores around 5 p.m.

5 p.m.: How did Danny Yustin slip under my preview radar? But he did. The All-Catholic champ and recent Canisius grad matched what's the day's low score so far, a 73, to top the local conginent. IJM vet Austin Nowak and ECIC champ Sean Mahon came in at 74.

Un Cho of Ancaster, Ont., shot 74 and looms as a contender. He advanced to U.S. Open sectional qualifying a month ago. Cody Cox of Milford, Pa., who also shot 74, made it to the U.S. Junior Amateur last summer.

There's a change in format this year of which I was just made aware. The 32 golfers who fail to qualfy for the championship flight in match play  will play a third round of medal play on Thursday instead of being slotted in various divisions of match play. The top 12 scorers after that third round of medal will be seeded in match play semifinals beginning Friday morning. The top four will play in the Gold Flight, the next four in the Sivler Flight and the final four in the Bronze Flight.

The change was made to alleviate the logjam that typically took place after Thursday's morning round, when all competitors were involved in match play.

Bob DiCesare


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