At 17 years old, Johnny Gruninger (Bellevue), became one of the youngest players to win the SDGA Gerry Ashe Memorial tournament. He shot an incredible three-round total of 10-under par (206) to win by three shots at Lakeshore in Cicero.
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On the first day, Carl Schimenti (RTJGC at Cornell) posted a 67 (-5) to give himself a one-shot lead over Mike Mento (Lakeshore) and Brian Levi (Yahnundasis) who both had rounds of 68 (-4). Johnny Gruninger shot 71 (-1) to put himself 4 shots off of the first round lead.
Round two provided even more fireworks with Carl Schimenti following his 67 with a 3-under 69. Kevin Vandenberg (Tuscarora and Lakeshore), the 2017 SDGA Gerry Ashe winner, had a respectable 69 (-3) to solidify his place in the final pairing. However, Johnny Gruninger surged up the leaderboard with a 67 (-5) with a second round that included five birdies and an eagle.
The final round at Lakeshore saw seven players shooting under par. Ryan Zogby (Yahnundasis) fired a 68 (-4) to finish solo fifth with a total score of 216 (Even par). Mike Mento followed up his second round 76 with a a 69 (-3) to finish solo fourth with a three round total of 213 (-3).
In the final pairing, Gruninger, Vandenberg, and Schimenti played traded birdies (and some bogeys) making for an exciting back-and-forth round. After making a double-bogey on the 15th hole, Gruninger proceeded to eagle the par-5 16th to take a four-shot lead over Vandenberg and Schimenti.
Gruninger had a short putt for par on the 18th to shoot 68 (-4) and capture his first SDGA Gerry Ashe Memorial. Kevin Vandenberg birdied two out of his last three holes to finish with a 70 (-2) giving him sole possession of second place, shooting 209 (-7) for the tournament. Carl Schimenti took solo third with a three round total of 212 (-4).