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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                     by Randy Ooney




After mentioning taxes in the previous article, and given the approaching April 15th, I am sure many of you are feeling robbed.  From a Minnesota bowler’s point of view, this can really be a downer.  Just a little play on words while I salute one of our state’s premier bowlers on an incredible streak, Mr. Rob Downer. 


I am sure we may have crossed paths years ago during my brief CBA tournament tries, but I got to know Rob a little better as he reached the ripe old age of 50, and I began to see him monthly at the Midwest Senior Classic tournaments.  The first I remember was in 2009 at the new Treasure Island Xtreme.  I actually had a match against Rob that day and edged out a 258-257 victory.  Rob smiled, said “nice game”, and proceeded to go on and notch his first MSC tournament win.  Since then we have had several more head to head matches in tournament play, and I am still clinging to that one win.  Rob is a really, really good bowler.


Over the past four years, Rob has notched a few more MSC titles, but he has really caught fire in 2013.  A couple of months ago in a recent CBA tournament, (Once again at Treasure Island), Rob earned a final match against another great Minnesota bowler,  Daron Hansen.  Drock was having a great day on the island, averaging 262 in the ten games of qualifying, but Rob took home the title that day by virtue of a 237-227 victory in the championship match.  The story continues as Rob finished a close second to Dave Lutz at the January MSC tournament at Drkula’s, and then went on to win the February tournament at AMF Maplewood Lanes.


I have not bowled in the CBA since the 90’s but I know many of the bowlers.  In fact, their outstanding bowling talent is the best reason for me to stay home.  But I do participate in the MSC, and even though the field is for age 50 plus, every bowler is talented, and every match is tough.  The field is usually around 40 competitors, and of course there can only be one winner, so to win a tournament is an accomplishment.  To notch a runner up place and follow it with back to back championships, is huge.  But on St. Patrick’s Day, and once again at Treasure Island, this trifecta is exactly what Rob accomplished.  Rob had secured the third spot in the stepladder, and his first match was against Brian Floen, a fellow Rochester denizen and close friend.  But as in all sports, friendship takes a breather during competition, and Rob defeated Brian, 300 – 227.  Next up was senior Masters champion, Craig Shiffler.  In the stepladder format of the MSC, the players move to a different pair of lanes for each game.  This didn’t seem to affect Rob as he handed Craig a 279 – 207 defeat.  On to the tournament qualifying leader, Dave Freeman.  A close match of 258 – 247 gave Rob the title.  So, three games across three pairs for a set of 837!  All I can say is congratulations.  Bowling with or against Mr. Rob Downer is truly an upper.       



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