If you are going to have to travel to Connecticut to bowl in a duckpin tournament, it would be nice to have someone hand you $300, wouldn't it?
In John Estanich's case, he had to do a little work to get the $300; he had to team up with Steve Conners and win the 10th Annual Wayne Logue Memorial Doubles tournament at Mount Airy Lanes last weekend. No problem.
Estanich threw games of 156, 147 and 185 for a 488 series; Conners had games of 139, 128 and 141 for a 408 set. Add 156 handicap pins, and the total of 1,052 did the trick: first place and a $600 first prize to share.
Estanich has been bowling at Mount Airy for many years, recently in the Thursday Mixed League, where his average is 126, high game is 192 and high set is 459.
In January, he banged out an 894 series for five games to qualify for the Coors Cutter $25,000 Silver Bullet finals in Newington, zTC Conn., later this month. That tournament at T-Bowl Lanes will give the Monrovia resident a chance to win $3,000 in the Coors event, the first prize for both men's and women's divisions.
Estanich, who enters only "one or two tournaments a year," has a great attitude: He just doesn't worry.
"If the pins are falling, it's great," the Fort Detrick employee said. "If they're not falling, there's always the next game."
Steve Conners, raised in Mount Airy, has been bowling since he was 9 years old. His current average is 130; that's a big increase from the 122 he carried last year.
"Last year I bowled in the youth leagues," Steve said. "This year I bowled in the adult leagues.
"There's a big difference between the two leagues. I didn't realize how much better the adult leagues were than the youth leagues. That's why my average jumped, just because of the better competition."
The employee of B & B Landscaping saw his high game leap to 196 and his high set hurdle to 488, both impressive numbers for a guy who's only 19 and has a lot of duckpin bowling years in front of him.
"I know I'm going to keep bowling in doubles with John Estanich," Conners said. "We seem to do real well when we bowl together."
I'd say so. Winning is as good as it gets.
Rose Kirkner and Kim Knisley know about winning, too. They arBowlers of the Month at Thunderhead Westminster for April.
Kim Knisley took the pins-over-average tenpin crown, and Rose Kirkner won the duckpin division.
Kirkner, a 102-average bowler, lives in Westminster and bowls in two leagues at Thunderhead -- Friday Night and Sunday Mixed League.
Originally from West Virginia, Kirkner has a 178 high game with a 400-plus set for a high series.
The Mail Boxes Inc. employee has been bowling for "about 15 years" and says, "I just got a little lucky, but with pins-over-average, you're kind of bowling against yourself, so anyone can win. Bowling's just a lot of fun, anyway."
May 16-17: NABI Tournament with $1,000 guaranteed first prize at Brunswick Normandy. (410) 465-0355.
May 29: No-Tap Pro-Am tournament at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore; adult or youth divisions, amateurs have a chance to bowl with Professional Bowlers Association members
Ongoing: 14th Annual Co-Sponsored Tenpin Singles Handicap Tournament at Thunderhead Lanes in Taneytown; open to men and women until May 31; first prize is $500; entry fee is $18; competitors may bowl any time lanes available. 751-1750.
Ongoing: 62nd National Tournament through May 31 at Fontana's Silver Spring Duckpin Center, with a $25,000 purse. (800) 221-3564.