Mike Thompson became the first two-time champion after defeating Ronnie Hayes 204-192 in the title showdown of the seventh of an ongoing string of Champions Series scratch sweepers at AMF Gulf Gate Lanes on Tuesday (March 15).
Thompson, who won the Week 1 Champions title, had two turkeys in the finale, and the second came on three final-frame strikes that settled the issue. Hayes managed a pair of doubles but was also hindered by two open frames.
Hayes was the top qualifier with a 722 three-game series on scores of 187, 258 and 277, while Thompson also was seeded into the title match with a 697 set on games of 218, 266 and 213. Though they didn’t advance, Jesse Hawver and defending champion Saul Insignares tied for third place with identical pinfall of 632.
In between Thompson’s victories in Weeks 1 and 7, the other Champions Series winners were James McCleland, Mike Clark, Steve Baran, Scott Kaplan and Insignares.
The eighth week of competition will take place next Tuesday (March 22), and tournament director Chuck Souzer has indicated that he will employ same Storm English Open lane-conditioning pattern in the next two sweepers.
Entry fee each Tuesday is $20. Sign-up and registration begin at 6:15 p.m., with practice starting at 6:50 p.m. First place pays a guaranteed minimum of $75, based on only 10 entries.
The format calls for three qualifying games on a modified house pattern, after which there will be a 1-in-5 cut, and the survivors roll one game for the title (or force a cut to the top two for a final title-game showdown).
The series will continue with a Week 11 finale, but to qualify for the final week, an entrant must have bowled in at least six of the weekly sweepers, meaning that any bowler who has rolled in at least three events still has a chance for the final week’s sweeper. There is $2 set aside each week to be added to the Week 11 prize fund. Brackets are available, and for additional information, call Gary Gooch at 921-4447.
The final frame: Kenny Dale
Ken Dale of Sarasota, a longtime former league sponsor and officer, died this week at the age of 87. For more than two decades, until he retired from bowling after the 1985-86 season, his Dale Construction business sponsored the Inter-City League at Sarasota Lanes and later at Galaxy Lanes (now AMF Gulf Gate), and the league was known as Dale’s Inter-City.
He wasn’t a high-average player, but he was a competitive yet fun-type bowler, and his high yearbook average of 169 came in the 1980-81 season. He’ll be missed by the area bowling community.
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