Johnny Gruninger shot a 1-under-par 70 in the final round to win the 67th annual Apogee Investment Management Championship at Cazenovia Country Club on June 11. His one-stroke victory over Luke Hobika also helped him joined an elite Syracuse golf club.


With the win, Gruninger became only the 11th player in local golf history to complete the career Syracuse Slam, winning all three of Syracuse’s major golf tournaments: the AIM, the Syracuse District Golf Amateur and the Gerry Ashe Memorial. Gruninger won both the District Am and the Ashe in 2020.



“It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest,” Gruninger said. “It’s pretty cool to have the slam before I’m done with college. That’s pretty cool.”


Holding the championship trophy just off the 18th green was satisfying feeling for the 20-year-old left-hander. Gruninger finished the 72-hole event at 2-under 284 to edge Hobika, who was seeking a record sixth career AIM title. Hobika carded an even-par 71 and finished at 1-under 285 for second place.




“It was a long four days,” said Gruninger, who completed his sophomore season with the Le Moyne College men’s golf team this past spring. “You just have to go out there and get it done on the last day. I hit the ball really good today.”


Gruninger was locked in a battle with Hobika and Le Moyne teammate Nick Bove II in the final round. Bove knocked Gruninger out of first place after firing a 67 at Lakeshore 1860 in the third round. Bove entered the last day with the one-shot lead over Gruninger and Hobika.


Playing steady, solid golf, Gruninger regained the lead on the front 9 at Cazenovia. Bove’s five bogeys at Cazenovia CC (three on the front) hindered his chances to challenge Gruninger. Hobika missed some birdie chances in his round including one on 18 that could have put extra pressure on Gruninger.


But Gruninger did not falter. He carded two birdies and bogey. He finished the tournament with rounds of 70 at RaNic GC, 73 at Drumlins CC, 71 at Lakeshore and 70 at Cazenovia CC.


“I did a really good job this week of taking the punches and just kept going,” Gruninger said. “I was all business today.”


Bove settled for third at even-par 286 followed by defending champ Brad Monroe (3-over 289) and Tynan Jones (5-over 291).


Thank you to our presenting sponsors for the AIM Championship are Apogee Investment Management and DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP.