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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                     by Randy Ooney


My Nickel’s Worth                      by Randy Ooney



My previous article covered the PBA50 Pro Am no tap tournament at the Island Xtreme Bowling center at the Treasure Island Casino in Welch, Minnesota.  I returned the following Wednesday for the elimination rounds and the final matches.  It was worth the drive.  These were the pros who managed the modified cheetah pattern and the field included both Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr.  Tom Baker, who had led the tournament for two days was eliminated in the round of 16 by Robert Harvey.  Harvey advanced in the semi finals with a 300 game but was defeated in the finals by Pete Weber, who took home the championship on his 51st birthday.  Pete had advanced to the final by eliminating Walter Ray in the premier match of the tournament.


Neither player missed the pocket in the game.  Walter Ray continued to play around the two board and threw the ball exceptionally hard, I’m thinking about 18-20 MPH.  Unfortunately he sent the six pin flying up and around the ten too many times and finished with a low 200 game.  Pete was pretty amazing.  He was the only pro I saw that played the pattern inside.  He uses that familiar leather golf glove to generate a strong finish, and he was able to project the ball to a proper break point and get the same reaction that the outside players were getting, with a little better carry.  He treated the crowd to one crotch chop, and we all showed our appreciation. 


I think the attendance was around 100 people for the finals.  I was happy to see a few of my MSC friends in the center, but also touched base with Jim Hess, of Stardust Southtown League fame.  I also met Sylvester Thiel of Lake City, MN.  Syl has competed in 68 ABC/USBC tournaments and is a member of the 100,000 pin club, an elite group of 16 bowlers.  Syl stands 4th all time in Open Championship competition, trailing only Joe Norris, Bill Lillard, and Jimmy Schroeder.  Talking with Syl, it seems as he has those guys in his sights, and can’t wait to get to Reno for number 69.


In the small world category, I was also able to share a few words with Patrick King.  Patrick is an Opthalmalogist from Yankton, South Dakota, who performed very well in the tournament, but was eliminated by Robert Harvey in the round of 8.  I learned that his family owned and operated the Yankton Family Fun Center, and sold it to my friend Patty Burda Benjamin and her husband Tony in years past.


Thanks once again to John Foss and Treasure Island Xtreme for hosting a great tournament.  I hope they bring the PBA back next year!    


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