The "youngsters" put up some big numbers in last weekend’s Peoria River City USBC Association’s 50+ tournament at Mt. Hawley Bowl.
Bowlers in the youngest division, ages 50 to 54, posted the highest scratch scores and claimed a few of the titles that were up for grabs in the new format used this year for the senior event.
Instead of using age-group divisions as it had in the past, the PRCA went to divisions based on average this year for both singles and doubles. In other words, all age groups bowled against each other based on average rather than on age.
There were age groups for all events, because the the all-events champion in each division earned an entry into the 2020 Illinois State USBC Seniors Tournament.
This year’s local senior tournament attracted 108 entries, up from last year’s 80. The association made the change to an averaged-based event because some of the age groups had very few entries. There also were some low entries in some of the divisions this year, but there probably won’t be format changes any time soon.
The local association has committed to no rule changes for two or three years in their tournaments to see how they go. They could make adjustments after the third year if necessary.
In this year’s tournament, Garrett Lawson (50-54 age group) easily won the Division 3 singles crown with a scratch set of 792 and a handicap total of 801. The 221-average bowler had games of 227, 266 and 299 for his 40-pin decision over runner-up Dan Benesch (70-plus group), who totaled 761.
In Division 3 doubles (for bowlers averaging 200 and higher), Kenny Combs and Rick Kidd, both on the 50-54 age group, had both high scratch (1,533) and handicap (1,578) totals. Combs had games of 258, 237 and 280 for a 775, while Kidd added 244, 277 and 237 for a 758 set.
Combs also won his age group’s all-events title with 1,517, edging runner-up Matt Rankin by just seven pins. Jack Ford was third at 1,486, rolling scratch sets of 752 in singles and 728 in doubles.
Combs and Kidd finished 131 pins ahead of Rob Johnson (55-59) and Larry Lanier (55-59), who were second with 1,447. Johnson did win the all-events title in his age group with 1,381 and teamed with Dawn Guerrero to win the mixed division with 1,413.
Guerrero, who also finished second with Sammy Taylor with 1,398, won the women’s 55-59 all-events title with 1,323 and women’s Division 5 doubles with Pam Haungs (1,360).
In the men’s Division 2 (for averages between 161 and 199), Steve Lieninger and Gary Robinson took the men’s title with 1,458. Robinson led the team with a scratch 745 set.
Lieninger also won men’s 60-64 all events with 1,401.
Mike Laframboise, won men’s Division 2 singles with a handicap total of 810 and 70-plus all events with 1,511.
Other winners were Dick Bartell (men’s Division 1 singles), Sharon Bailey (women’s Division 4 singles), Val Anders (women’s Division 5 singles and 65-69 all events), Bailey and Sherrie Woodcock (women’s Division 4 doubles), Nancy and Ed Betts (Division 8 mixed doubles), Gene Vincent (men’s 65-69 all events), and Sandy Smith (women’s 70-plus all events).
Maybe next year
Unfortunately, I was not able to compete in this year’s senior event. I had to bowl in the Saturday Night Mixed League at Mt. Hawley last week in order to have the required 15 games this season to enter the event.
But I suffered a bad flare up of gout on both ankles and could barely walk from Friday night into Saturday morning.
I might have been able to bowl league that night, but there were no guarantees I would be OK by Sunday’s two squads in the senior tournament.
Thanks to Braden Jones for subbing me in league. Since I am bowling league this year, having enough games in the book shouldn’t be an issue next year.
PBA Playoffs off and running
The final event of this year’s Professional Bowlers Association schedule, the PBA Playoffs, continues next weekend on FS1.
The event features the tour’s top 24 players in head-to-head matches in an effort to win the $100,000 top prize.
Bracket play started on Saturday night with the Round of 24 matches. There will be more Round of 24 matches at 5 p.m. next Saturday. That show will feature the following matches: Kyle Sherman vs. AJ Johnson, Darren Tang vs. Nicholas Pate, Tom Smallwood vs. Chris Barnes, and Brad Miller vs. Tom Daugherty.
The Round of 16 starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25 and continues at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1. The quarterfinals are set for 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, followed at 2:30 by the semifinals and finals.
Johnny Campos is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at 686-3214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.