Joe Saladino joins illustrious group of Nassau Invitational winners

Joining the elite company of Walter Travis, Jerry Travers and Gardiner White, Joe Saladino became only the fourth player in history to successfully defend his title at the historic Nassau Invitational. The event, held October 14-16, has always featured an impressive field of players, including many former local and national champions as well as International superstars. Included in the 2011 field were Dermot McElroy and Alan Dunbar of Ireland. Dunbar was a member of the victorious 2011 Walker Cup team for Great Britain and Ireland.

The 2011 edition of the tournament proved to be one of the most dramatic and exciting events in recent years, as Saladino, a two-time winner of the Metropolitan Golf Association’s Player of the Year award (2008, 2010) who plays out of Huntington Country Club, had to make his way past Dunbar, whom he met in the second round of match play. After defeating Dunbar, Saladino faced off against Mike Miller, a 19-year-old with tremendous talent who will be honored with the MGA’s Player of the Year award in December.

Riding a hot putter, Saladino closed out the match on the 15th hole, and hoisted the replica Calamity Jane championship trophy once again. In the Senior Division, Steve Rose defeated the 1998 winner of the Championship Flight, Ed Gibstein. Reflecting on the event, Saladino said, “Once again I am amazed by the amount of history that has taken place at Nassau. I thought the field was very deep this year, and I faced some great competitors along the way. The greens at Nassau were some of the best I putted all year.” GLEN COVE, NY (Oct. 27, 2011) -- Miller, who was playing in his first Nassau Invitational, was thrilled to be a part of the prestigious event and is excited to play again in the future. “The hospitality of the Club was spectacular, and the course was fantastic. “I didn’t putt on greens like that all year, it was great,” Miller said. “A lot of the members came out to watch and it made me feel very comfortable. It was awesome gaining the support of the members as the event went on, and I kept playing better.”

First played in 1897, the Nassau is arguably the oldest amateur golf event in the country and attracts one of the finest fields with players boasting some of the most impressive amateur golf résumés. 2011 proved no different as many players in the field have the event on their calendar early in the season and look forward to not only the competition, but the camaraderie with their fellow competitors and the opportunity to navigate one of the country’s finest layouts. Many accomplished golfers have won the Nassau in their illustrious careers, and no one stands out more on this list than George Zahringer III, one of the most celebrated amateurs in history who boasts three victories at the Nassau along with wins at the U.S. Mid-Amateur, Met Open, Met Amateur (five times) and Ike Championship (five times).

Nassau Country Club is excited to carry on the tradition of the Nassau Invitational, and looks forward to hosting another first-class field in 2012.

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