For those who were on the course, it seems that a bit of Seve Ballesteros descended on the East Aurora country club course on Friday afternoon. Trouble for local supporters was, the hands of James Blackwell weren’t responsible. After winning the qualifying medal and working his way to the final match in spectacular yet workmanlike, unpredictable yet consistent fashion, Blackwell shook hands with a magician who pulled a victory out of his golf bag.
Joey Savoie defeated Blackwell, 2 Up, in a match that reached the final green. Unlike Wednesday morning, when Blackwell made a 65-feet birdie putt from the front fringe to the back shelf, there was no staving off defeat for the North Tonawanda resident. Two holes earlier, it had been Savoie’s turn to employ the sorcerer’s snake, draining a 35-feet birdie putt to maintain a 1-Up advantage. Two holes later, Savoie added a Junior Masters title to his Quebec Junior Amateur title. For a detailed account of the final match, read Bob Dicesare’s piece in the Buffalo News.
With luck, Blackwell will be seen again in July, at the Porter Cup. After a qualifying medal, a near-miss at Porter Cup qualifying last Monday and a near-miss at the IJM championship, Blackwell appears to be deserving of an invitation to the country’s premier medal-play amateur tournament.