Catalano and Miller Honored at MGA Annual Meeting

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ELMSFORD, N.Y. (December 8, 2011) – Longtime Director of Bethpage State Park David Catalano and 19-year-old Mike Miller of Knollwood Country Club were honored at the Metropolitan Golf Association's 114th Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 7, at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y. Catalano received the 2011 MGA Distinguished Service Award, the Association’s highest honor, and Miller received the 2011 MGA Jerry Courville Sr. Player of the Year Award after recording the best season in his young career.

Catalano was recognized for more than 40 years of service to the game’s public sector and for helping to bring the benefits of public golf to a worldwide audience through his administration of two U.S. Opens at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. His commitment and dedication helped make the 2002 U.S. Open one of the most successful in USGA history. It changed the way the game’s leadership viewed the nation’s public facilities and opened the door for future U.S. Opens and other top-ranked national events to look beyond the private sector to offer a world-class golf challenge to the game’s best players.

"To be up here alongside past DSA winners such as David Fay, Paul Dillon, Gene Westmoreland and Rees Jones is both a privilege and an honor," Catalano said during his acceptance speech. "This is something I will cherish forever."

Catalano’s devotion to bringing the rewards of public golf into the spotlight were not just focused on national events. He has been an avid supporter of local golf, reaching out to organizations like the MGA, Met PGA, and Long Island Golf Association to make use of Bethpage’s facilities to host numerous events. The effects of two successful U.S. Opens keep Bethpage on the national radar screen, evidenced by the PGA Tour’s announcement that it will hold The Barclays FedEx Cup event on the Black Course in August 2012.

For a complete list of past DSA winners: click here

Miller's season got off to a fast start and it was full speed ahead throughout the entire summer. In May, he tied for third at the New York City Amateur at LaTourette Golf Course on Staten Island, and followed that up with a semifinal finish at the Westchester Amateur in early June, and recorded a second-place finish at the Hochster Memorial at Quaker Ridge. He carried the momentum from the Hochster into the Brae Burn Invitational, played a week later, and won by three strokes.

Miller’s biggest victory of the season came at the 109th Met Amateur at Piping Rock in early August. In the 36-hole final match, Miller faced fellow 19-year-old Sam Bernstein of Century. Finding himself 3-down, Miller put on a display of golf that won’t soon be forgotten, carding five birdies and two eagles in a nine-hole stretch and squared the match after 26 holes, and closed it out, 3 & 1, on the 35th hole.

After earning 275 points from his most prestigious career win, Miller rounded out his summer by qualifying for the U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills in Wisconsin and placing second at the Bergen County Amateur.

For the Polo Golf MGA Player of the Year Honor Roll: click here

For final Polo Golf MGA Player of the Year Standings: click here

Complete point breakdown of all players: click here

For past winners of the MGA Jerry Courville Sr. Player of the Year Award: click here

The MGA Annual Dinner and Meeting also included the election of officers for the MGA and recognized the 2011 MGA tournament champions and host clubs. For more information please contact Greg Midland at gmidland@mgagolf.org.

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