One Ball Two Strikes, the Greg Montalbano Golf Classic, raised $36,000 at Highfields Golf & Country Club in Grafton, on Sept. 21.
Proceeds from the event benefit Catch-A-Dream, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Activities Fund and youth recreational organizations in the local community.
It honors the late Montalbano: a Westborough native, St. John's grad, and former pitcher for the Worcester Tornadoes. Montalbano fought testicular cancer for 13 years before losing his battle in 2009, three days before his 32nd birthday.
In Westborough, a field on Upton Road is named after him.
Due to overwhelming response, the tournament sold out in 29 days. To include more golfers, a morning round was added, making the event a double shotgun tournament. The tournament’s scramble format included 175 golfers and raised charitable funds through various sponsorships, raffles and a silent auction. More than 100 family members, friends and local companies supported the event by donating items for the auction and raffle and sponsoring lunch, dinner, pin flags, tee boxes, golf carts, the driving range and practice green.
Independent Claims Service, Inc., was the 2012 One Ball Two Strikes tournament sponsor. Other major sponsors included The Johnson Family, David French Music Company, E.L. Harvey & Sons, Touchstone Consulting Group, Paul and Diane Moore, Benjamin Moore® & Co., Canine Company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Salem Five, Alexander, Aronson, Finning & Co. and Federal Street Capital Partners.
“Thank you to our golfers, volunteers and generous donors who made the 2012 tournament such a success,” said Patrick Fallon, Greg’s cousin and best friend who organizes One Ball Two Strikes along with other family members and Greg’s friends. “Greg would be thrilled that the tournament he envisioned has grown significantly since 2010, raising $36,000 this year and more than $80,000 overall.”
Awards were given out in several categories, including closest to the pin, straightest drive and first, second, third and last place team. “ICS Team 1,” made up of Scott Buckley, Mike McDonagh, Mark Noack and David Wong, took first place, winning the prized One Ball Two Strikes trophy. The two-tiered walnut trophy features a bottle of Chianti Montalbano which Greg autographed while still playing professional ball.
Team “Long & Straight,” made up of Mark Higgins, Eric Thiboutot, Lesley Woods and Luke Woods, took second place. Third place honors went to “Ball FOURRR!!!,” made up of Shawn Frigon, Mike Folly, Derek Migrants and Dustin Wirzburger. Closest to the pin went to Derek Migrants on hole 2 and Jeff Phillips on hole 17. Tracey Martell won straightest drive for women and Matthew Jose won straightest drive for men. Best team costume honors went to “Golf Boys,” made up of Matthew Jose. Eddie MacDonald, Andrew Quinn and Steve Scannell.
The inaugural One Ball Two Strikes tournament in 2010 raised $19,000 for the Catch-A-Dream Foundation, which grants once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing experiences to children 18 years old or younger who have a life-threatening illness. The 2011 tournament raised $28,000 for the Pediatric Activities Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which enables children and teenagers receiving treatment in the Jimmy Fund Clinic to take part in fun activities.
The 4th annual tournament date has been booked, so mark your calendars for Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. Please check the website regularly for more updates on next year’s event.