Marcellus' Shawn Colella Wins 68th International Junior Masters
EAST AURORA, N.Y. - Marcellus’ Shawn Colella won the 68th International Junior Masters after forcing extra holes during the championship match at East Aurora Country Club.
Colella faced the No. 2 seed, Rafael Estrada Zavala of Mexico in the finals. Estrada Zavala took three of the first four holes before Colella won two of the next three to even the score after seven holes. Estrada Zavala took the final two holes of the front nine to go two up as the pair walked to the tenth tee box.
Estrada Zavala went as much as three up after 11 holes. Colella responded with a birdie on 12 and pars on 14 and 15 to again even the score. Estrada Zavala went one up with a birdie on 16 before bogeying on 18. Colella capitalized with a par, sending the match into extra holes.
On the first playoff hole, Estrada Zavala dropped a crucial 20-foot putt to continue the match. On the second playoff hole, No. 18 on East Aurora’s course, Colella came close to a walk-off eagle, but tapped in for an easy birdie. Estrada Zavala missed his 15-foot putt to give Colella the victory.
Colella began the tournament shooting four-over 146 during the stroke play rounds to finish in the top five and clinch a spot in the championship bracket. Niagara Wheatfield’s Anthony Delisanti took home medalist honors, shooting six-under 136 to earn the top seed as the tournament transitioned into match play.
Colella defeated Aydan Downer of Ontario in his first match 4&3, before advancing to the semifinals with a victory over Luke DelGobbo of Ontario 6&4. That set up a semifinal matchup against Eduardo Galdos of Peru. Colella won 5&4, capping an impressive run to the championship where none of his preliminary matches went to the fifteenth tee.
The Marcellus native recently wrapped up his junior golf career, where he was named to the Section 3 State Team in 2018 and 2019. In 2019, he was seventh on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s all nation point leaderboard, picking up seven wins overall on the tour in the past two years. He will attend Binghamton University in the fall, where he will be a part of the men’s golf team.
The International Junior Masters also debuted a girls division, which was won by Luisamarina Mesones of Peru. She defeated Forest Hill’s Amelie Phung in 17 holes. Phung defeated the medalist, Madison Reemsnyder of Canton, Ohio, in the semifinals to advance to the first International Junior Masters Girl’s Championship.
About the IJM
The IJM is a junior golf tournament for boys 14 to 18 years old. It is the oldest international junior invitational in North America beginning in 1953. The IJM is unique in that it combines both medal play and match play into its tournament format. Top caliber players from around the globe have competed in the tournament, making it a world-wide showcase of junior golf talent, creating a field at the highest level of competition.