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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                        by Randy Ooney




What would Miguel Sano do if you hit him 100 popups?  (see the title of this article).  However this is not about baseball, or a paradox created by Joseph Heller in his famous novel, but rather Minneapolis bowling.  It seems that “senior” generally refers to folks over 50 years of age, (Sometimes 55 in the Minnesota Association), however I have yet to see a definition of “Master”.  In my younger days, “Master” was how you addressed an unmarried young man.  If you are a golfer, head to Augusta National in April and you will see golf Masters showing off their skills.  But what or who is a bowling Master? 


There was a time when I thought I might be a senior master.  I was at New Hope Lanes about ten years ago when Terry Schacht shot the lights out of that place, averaging about 265 for the eight game set.  Then the next year I went to Monticello and averaged a little over 210 in the Senior Masters that year.  The following year the tournament was at Blainebrook and I looked forward to participating in a house where I bowled a weekly league.  However, the tournament organizers decided to dress the lanes with a PBA Masters pattern.  I think I was about 150 under in the six game tournament.  Now when the Senior Masters comes around, I toss $100 into a jar and save it for my trip to the Orleans in Las Vegas, because I have a better chance of doubling it at the craps table than bowling a Masters.  A friend of mine told me that he did not bowl the tournament because in case you win, you get to travel maybe 1000 miles for a chance to bowl on a Soupy Sales Masters pattern against Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III, and Walter Ray Williams Jr.  Those guys are pretty good because they bowl on slop every week. 


I submit that for the above reasons, maybe that might be the reason that the Senior Masters at Elsie’s Lanes this past week only caught 22 entries.


It seems that the tournament directors changed the approach and put out a friendlier pattern this year as the top qualifying scores were well over a 200 plus average. But 22 entries tells me that they really hung themselves by scoring conditions in previous tournaments.


By the way, if you really enjoy bowling scores less than your weight and have a black rubber ball and a Columbia 300 yellow dot, (Yup, I am a senior and have each of them in my garage), you may be interested in the Anhauser Busch league ongoing this year at RanHam Lanes in St. Paul. (Even smaller thin guys not named Matt are having difficulty hitting their weight)



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