Five close finishes bring excitement to Amateur Bowlers ten-pin tournament

BOWLING

September 17, 1992|By Donald G. Vitek

National Amateur Bowlers Inc. was in action at Fair Lanes Annapolis last weekend, and if you like cliff-hangers, that ten-pin tournament was for you.

In the finals, four games between the five finalists, the high game was 209; the low game was 175.

Of the 163 entries fighting it out for the total prize fund of $4,109, the five finalists were bunched together at the end.

Top-seeded Laverne Henry beat Jerry Holloway, 200-199, for the $1,000 first-place prize.

Holloway had to settle for $500.

Henry, wife of the fifth-place finisher Pat Henry, has a 150 average and an uncanny ability to pick out the best house ball in any bowling center she walks into.

"I have a Hammer and a Bobcat ball," she said. "But I don't like either one so I just pick out a 12-pound house ball wherever I'm bowling and use that.

"I just throw it straight down the middle. This time, I just got a little lucky."

George Liningham was third, and Linda Davis captured fourth place.

Just how close were the games? Each winner was determined by a few pins, a ball that didn't carry, a spare that wasn't converted, a ten-pin tap in the wrong place. Any one of these games could have gone the other way.

In the first game of the stepladder finals, Davis, who has been bowling for six years but bowling in NABI for only four or five weeks, defeated Pat Henry, 209-189. That fifth-place finish earned Henry $118.

Pat Henry carries a 155-plus average in the Fredericksburg, Va., Friday Stafford Mixed League with a career-high game of 265. He uses an Excalibur bowling ball, while his wife used a house ball to win the tournament.

An Excalibur bowling ball, as do most top-of-the-line balls, costs about $150. House balls are free.

Davis, who throws an 11-pound Hammer bowling ball with a 163 average, said, "After I qualified for the finals, I just told myself to really concentrate and to throw the ball hard."

That was good enough for her to win her first NABI finals game. It wasn't quite enough to beat Liningham.

But it was close: Liningham 179, Davis 175.

That fourth-place finish earned Davis $125. She said, "Sunday night I was still in shock. I never dreamed that I'd finish so high in any tournament after bowling in only a few events."

If she had won her match against Liningham, she would have faced someone she knows. Davis and Holloway both bowl at Andrews Air Force Base in the Washington suburbs.

In the third game, Holloway, who will complete a 30-year hitch in the Air Force in November and has a average of 170-plus, was throwing a birthday present, a 16-pound Hammer bowling ball.

And he hammered out a 207-187 victory over Liningham. Liningham's third-place finish was good for $250.

*

Next weekend you can bowl in the NABI tournament at Terrace Lanes in Frederick. Minimum first place is a guaranteed $2,000.

Information: 301-662-2777.

Donald G. Vitek's bowling column appears every Thursday in The Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.

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