Championship Friday has arrived! The original field has been trimmed to 20 golfers, competing in the semifinal of five different flights. Buffalo-Niagara is represented in four of the five flights, with only the Consolation bracket lacking a local stalwart. The Championship flight features two of the three medalists from medal qualifying, suggesting that there sometimes is a link between match and medal play. The 2015 International Junior Masters at East Aurora country club has exceeded expectations and will recognize five worthy titleists later this afternoon.
Mackenzie Carter and Baker Stevenson were two of the three winners of the Gary Player Cup, offered to the stroke-play medalist. They find themselves on opposite sides of the bracket and it would be a fitting finale to have them meet for the title. In their way are area hopeful Marc Holzhauer, slayer of the third medalist, defending champion Will Thomson, and Evan Santa of Maryland. Those matches get under way at 8:50 and 9:00 this morning.
The final area representative, Gregory Sibick, bowed out in a quarterfinal thirller. Matched up in the penultimate round are Eric Shea and Matthew Vihant of Ontario, and Alex Yun (Massachusettes) and Luis Carrera (Mexico).
Christian Chapman of Victor, NY battles Sean Trapp of Ontario in the first morning semi-final, while Nolan Ditcher of Randolph, NY and Zack Mason of Ontario have a staring contest immediately after. Ditcher finished in the top four last year and represented Section VI for the second time at the State High School Federation Championship at Bethpage Black in June.
Connor Raeman of Canandaigua, NY and Juan Simon Clavijo of Colombia settle one score while Sean O’Hara of Ontario and Brad Belote of Lancaster resolve another at 7:50 and 8:00, respectively. Belote represented Section VI at the NYSPHSAA championship at Cornell University in June.
In the days first matches, Ciaran MacMillan of Australia and John Dantonio of Lancaster tee it up at 7:30, followed by Jeremy Summerson of Victor, NY and Erik Schleicher of Elma. Dantonio’s St. Francis team won Regular Season and All Catholic team titles and he qualified into the NYS Catholic High School state championships in Poughkeepsie in June.