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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                     by Randy Ooney


My Nickel’s Worth               by Randy Ooney


The Show


The PBA50 tour returned to Treasure Island Xtreme in August.  I absolutely salute Treasure Island for hosting this event.  Day one was the Sunday Pro-Am no tap event, where many of us got to team up on the lanes with the professionals.  The tournament field of 67 racked them up for real on Monday morning.  Local entries included Dana Wright, Sam Lantto, Curt Matlock, Tom Havlish, Mike Schmid, and Gary Ring.  The format is fairly simple.  After 16 games of qualifying, the top 24 make the cut and go on to match play on day three, Wednesday.  The cream of PBA bowlers that we have all seen on TV many times got to the top 24 – Norm Duke, Tom Baker, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Brian Goebel, Randy Pederson, Amletto Monacelli, and last year’s champion, Pete Weber, who unfortunately had to withdraw due to medical reasons.  Also making the cut was Don Breeden, arguably the closest one to a local favorite.  Don is from Clive, Iowa, and participated in many local CBA tournaments in the Twin Cities area back in the 1990s.  Just missing the cut were locals, Dana Wright (26th) and Sam Lantto (29th).  Breeden defeated Mike Edwards in the round of 16 and Monacelli in the round of 8 and headed to the semi finals against Walter Ray Williams Jr.  Walter tossed the front 8 on his way to a 279 against Don and that was that.  Tom Baker had advanced to the finals by defeating Norm Duke but was then also dispatched by Walter 268-224.


I thought the field was a little light and I was expecting around 96 entries.  The fee was a little spendy to bowl with the pros, I think about $480.00.  However joining me as a spectator was former touring senior PBA pro Jack Wallisch who competed in CBAs and MSCs locally before relocating and joining the senior tour.  He told me of days when there used to be over 300 entries and lamented the fact that maybe some quality players are tentative to bowl against the likes of the superstars mentioned above who are turning 50.  I spoke with others who declined to enter because the equipment they use is not allowed by the PBA for use in tournaments due to endorsement politics, and I think that’s a shame.


Overall, I enjoyed the tournament very much, and I commend Treasure Island and Bob Micek in particular for hosting this great event.  There was comfortable seating available behind the settees and the seats were filled to capacity most times.  I certainly hope that the event will return next year.

Splits and blows:

  •  The PBA did a great job of posting scores on two leaderboards however the overheads were difficult to see from the spectator area.  The screens are what they are, but I wonder if the graphics could be changed to a darker color.
  • I noticed Pete Weber standing in line for half an hour waiting to check into the hotel.  I would think the pros who reserved a room would have some kind of VIP check in.
  • There is still no roulette machine in the casino
  • I opened my Star Trib this morning to find on page A5, a six column inch account of a Scrabble tournament in Buffalo, NY, but when I got to the sports pages there were only 44 words about the Island Xtreme Open under the heading “etc.”      







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