Aliya Liberatore and Jackson Saroney won their respective divisions in the rain-shortened Junior Apogee Investment Management Championships on Aug. 20 at Beaver Meadows Golf Club. The inaugural event for male and female junior players ages 12-18 was reduced from 36 to 18 holes after rain washed out the first round at Lakeshore 1860.
In addition to earning the honor of AIM champion, the male and female Junior AIM Junior champions will receive a Hurricane Tour Faldo Series Grand Final exemption. The Junior AIM event was administered by Central New York PGA with AIM Championship sponsor Kevin VandenBerg.
Saroney, of Fayetteville, finished at 2-under-par 70 to win the boys championship. The highlight of his rou
nd was an eagle on the par-5 No. 7. Saroney, 14, carded five birdies to go with five bogeys during his round.
“It felt really good and I’m excited I won,” Saroney said. “It’s an 18-and-under tournament and me being 14, it’s pretty cool that I won it.”
Saroney has played in and won multiple Central New York PGA Junior Tour events this summer. He won his age group (14-15) at the Junior Tour Championship Aug. 12 at Turning Stone.
Saroney also finished tied for 18th at the Men’s AIM Championship in June. He was excited to enter inaugural Junior AIM.
“As soon as I heard this tournament announced, I knew it would be a good tournament to win,” he said. “This whole season has been well-run by the CNY PGA. I thank them for having these events.”
With a tie for second at 1-under 71, Gabe Williams, of Dearboro, won a one-hole playoff against Luca Neally, of Corning, to earn the runner-up trophy.
On the girls side, Liberatore, of New Hartford, shot a 1-over 73 to capture the girls crown. Gwendolyn Yarnall, of Geneva, came in second with a 78.
Liberatore, 14, said it felt great to win the first-ever girls AIM championship. Liberatore, who had never played Beaver Meadows except for a practice round, made the turn at 2-under with two birdies. She carded three bogeys on the back to finish with a 78.
Liberatore finished seventh overall and second in the Girls 14 Flight at the 58th annual New York State Girl’s Junior Golf Championship in July.