Aaron Simone’s name was already on the permanent trophy twice, but this time, it meant a little more.
The two-time winner of the boys’ 12-14 division sank a 60-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole en route to a three-under-par 69 that lifted him to victory in the boys’ 15-18 division of the 15th annual Gazette Newspaper in Education Capital District Junior Championship Friday at Schenectady Municipal.
Alex Bond of Broadalbin took the boys’ 12-14 title with a 77, while Grace Ziamandanis of Slingerlands posted a 76 to capture the girls’ crown. Fifty-six players competed.
Simone, who will be a senior at Niskayuna High School this fall, used a hot flat stick to record five birdies.
“I putted really well today,” said the member of Pinehaven Country Club. “My wedge game was also very good. I kept the ball in play, and I was never in much trouble. I felt like I could make every putt today.”
Simone, who works diligently on his game with Pinehaven Country Club head pro Scott Warren, has been one of the top junior players in the region this year and recently moved up to second in the Northeastern New York PGA Junior Tour player of the year standings. He has one NENYPGA Junior Tour crown to his credit, and is looking forward to competing in next week’s New York State Junior Amateur at the Mark Twain Course in Elmira.
“It was a good day, all around,” he said. “I usually play well at Schenectady Municipal.”
Simone also birdied the first, seventh, ninth and 13th holes. He bogeyed the par-5 second hole and the par-3 17th.
Corey Purcell of Clifton Park, who connected for four birdies, suffered a double bogey on the 11th hole and finished second with a 72, while Brian Daley of Niskayuna was third with a 74.
Bond, 14, made his Gazette N.I.E. tournament debut a year ago and shot an 88. He was proud to slice 11 strokes off his score this year.
“I’ve been playing a lot of NENYPGA junior stuff this year, and my best finish was a tie for fourth,” he said. “I made one birdie today from about 16 or 17 feet on the seventh hole.”
Kyle Adams of Schenectady was second in the boys’ 12-14 division with a 79, followed by his brother, Connor, with an 80.
Ziamandanis’ round was highlighted by an eagle on the ninth hole. Although she sliced her tee shot well to the right, she hit a 4-iron to four feet and made the putt. “It was a big breaker,” she said.
Ziamandanis, 17, who has already committed to attend the University of Tampa, birdied the 12th and 14th holes.
“I did pretty well on some of the holes, and some of the holes, not so well, “she said. “I’ve been working a lot on my short game. My teacher is Western Turnpike pro Herb Moreland.”
Emma Ward was second in the girls’ division with a 91, while Sarah Luna was third with a 106.
Low net winners were Michael Corcoran (64) and Carter Fitch (65) of the boys’ 15-18 division, Frank Parisi (55) and Devan Singh (62) of the boys’ 12-14 division and Ward (59) in the girls’ division.
Jimmy Greg (boys’ 15-18), Max Pawlick (boys’ 12-14) and Luna (girls) were the longest drive contest winners, while Parisi (12-5 on the sixth hole) and Freddy Luna (6-9 on the 13th hole) were closest-to-the-pin contest champs.
Gross: Aaron Simone 69, Corey Purcell 72, Brian Daley 74, Jonathan Farah 75, Josh Fonda 75, David Wellington 77, Kevin Johnston 78, Thomas Kenneally 78, Patrick Shakar 79, Michael Corcoran 79, Carter Fitch 79, Cody Husek 79, Tyler Lesniewski 80, Ryan Poltorak 80, Luke Goldstock 80, Ryan Lynch 81, Derrick Brown 81, Alex Coyne 81, James Greg 81, Daniel Omicinski 82, Matt Bernard 82, Jake McKenna 83, John Verhayden 84, Freddy Luna 86, Bryan Leggett 86, Sean McGarry 86, Charles Stevens 87, Ryan Gallagher 88, Kevin Ottati 94, Darryn Bradt 94, Patrick McGarry 95, Dennis Ziamandanis 97, Jonathan Albrecht 98, Jelani King 98, Chris Dunn 111, Marc LaBahn 114. Net: Corcoran 64, Fitch 65.
Gross: Alex Bond 77, Kyle Adams 79, Connor Adams 80, Drew Neilen 85, Max Pawlick 85, Frank Parisi 87, James Phelps 89, Robert Schain 95, Devan Singh 97, Teddy Trosset 98, Zach Perrette 105, Michael Schebel 107, Alex Wellington 107, Eddie Harasiemowicz 108, Peter Galica 112, Dan Farley 122. Net: Parisi 55, Singh 62.
Gross: Grace Ziamandanis 76, Emma Ward 91, Sarah Luna 106, Emma Vandecar 107. Net: Ward 59, Ziamandanis 69.