Aaron Fiorini captured his first Rome City Men's Amateur Golf Championship Sunday, capping a consistent weekend where he was third after day one and had the second best round on the second day.
Fiorini, who was third last year, has finished just off the lead several times in previous years. "I'm ecstatic," he said after the win. "I've had so many seconds and third." The championship flight played Saturday at McConnellsville Golf Course then completed the two-day event at Rome Country Club.
"I really love McConnellsville," he said of being able to start there. "The greens are really impeccable," and were fast this weekend. Fiorini overcame a triple bogey on the seventh hole of the tournament to salvage a 40 on the front nine at McConnellsville, then shot a 37 on the back nine for a first day score of 77. "I felt really good. Anything in the mid-70s is a good score with the winds." He battled and was in the hunt, sitting in third place after the first day, trailing 2005 champ John Zamperetti at 75 and John Migliore at 76. He'd be in the final group with those two golfers on Sunday. "My goal first day is always to be in the first group" on Sunday.
On day two, Fiorini said his plan was to "keep it in play," and his ball striking was good. "My putting was the best it's ever been." He wanted to avoid double bogeys; "Mission accomplished." At the turn, he'd managed to catch up to the leaders, getting it "all square. Game on. I got nine holes and it's match play from there. John Migliore and I had a battle in the back nine."
Migliore cut Fiorini's lead to two strokes on the 15th hole Sunday with a birdie but gave it back when his second shot on the par-three 16th was just short of the green and he needed two putts.
Zamperetti fell out of contention when he bogeyed the par-four 17th hole. Fiorini continued to rattle off par putts to keep the other two a few shots behind him.
On 18, Fiorini teed off with a two-stroke lead over Migliore and four on Zamperetti. So he hit a hybrid to the middle of the fairway and a wedge to the green then made his second putt to seal the win.
"I had two or three rough holes," Migliore said of his Sunday. "I thought you had to putt well. I did, I just had a few bad holes." Migliore won the event in 2014.
Two-time defending champion Ryan Borruso started slowly, shooting an 86 on Saturday to put himself in 13th place. His 72 on Sunday was the best score of the day, but his 158 total left him in fourth place for the 56th annual tournament.
The winners of the other flights were: Dan O’Connor, A flight; Steve Berthold, B flight; Kris Harvey, C flight; Len Babcock, D flight; Robert Shearin, Senior A flight; Tom Rogers, Senior B flight; and Don Coniski, Super Senior flight.