Top 3 scratch finalists; Brian Soto, Brian Ziesig, and Rich Ambrosino
East Islip, NY - May 16, 2010: The 1st annual Sandy Catalano Open was held at East Islip Lanes and over 400 bowlers competed for more than $25,000 in prizes. The two day event crowned three separate champions; Rich Ambrosino, Holtsville, NY won the 49 & under scratch title and $2,500, Tim Regan, East Northport, NY won the senior scratch title and $1,500, and Alex Ware, Brooklyn, NY won the handicap title and $1,500. But the biggest winners were the youth of Long Island as over $2,000 in scholarship money was raised.
The Sandy Catalano Open was created by the Catalano Family to remember a very special person, Sandy Catalano, who passed away in February, 2009. Sandy dedicated his entire life to his family, business, and bowling- especially coaching youth bowlers. To honor Sandy’s accomplishments, both as a bowler and person, a tournament was born. The Sandy Catalano Open will be an annual event with proceeds donated to The Sandy Catalano Scholarship fund.
What makes the Sandy Catalano Open unique is it is actually three separate competitions with three separate champions crowned. The richest event was the 49 & under scratch tournament which attracted some of the best bowlers in the tri-state area. But in the end it was a local house bowler that won the title. Rich Ambrosino bowls in league at East Islip Lanes and he promised the Catalano family whatever money he won would be donated back to the scholarship fund. Rich came through in a big way by winning the title and its $2,500 top prize.
The final shootout was exciting as Rich shot a 265 to defeat two great bowlers; Brian Soto of Kew Gardens, NY who rolled a 236 and earned $1,250 and Long Island bowling hero Brian Ziesig of Levittown who earned $700 by shooting a 235. A total of 17 bowlers advanced to the finals which featured a beat half-the-field elimination format.
The second event was the senior scratch tournament and their final match was probably the most exciting duel of the weekend. Tim Regan of East Northport threw 3 strikes in the tenth frame to defeat Don Hicks of W. Babylon, NY 258-256. Tim earned $1,500 for his victory while Don took home $750 for second place. A total of 12 seniors advanced to the finals with Mike Dioguardo rolling the highest senior series of the event with a 744.
The largest entry count of the three events was the handicap tournament which drew an amazing 211 entries. Alex Ware of Brooklyn took home the title and won the $1,500 top prize. The final four shootout was exciting as Alex rolled a 272 (with handicap) just getting by James Walsh of Glen Cove, NY who rolled a 259 with handicap. Jim earned $750 for second while Mike Angelus of Centereach finished third with a 257 handicap game and earned $550. Rounding out the top 4 was Kevin Dekenipp of Shirley, NY who won $450 with a 244 handicap game. A total of 27 bowlers advanced to the handicap finals.
The 1st annual Sandy Catalano Open was considered a huge success and plans are already underway for the 2011 event. There were many tears throughout the weekend as everyone remembered what a great bowler, bowling coach, and person Sandy was. The Catalano family would like to thank all of the sponsors and volunteers that made the event possible. For complete results please visit the website; www.scholarshiptournament.com.