Gianotti wins Hammer with little room to spare

November 04, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Australian Carol Gianotti came from down under last night and won the $75,000 Hammer Eastern Open by a pin at Country Club Lanes.

Trailing by eight pins entering the final frame of the championship match with Anne Marie Duggan, Gianotti survived for a 224-223 victory when Duggan left a 3-10 split on her last ball after failing to lock her out with a strike on the first.

That climaxed a thrilling run through three matches for No. 3 qualifier Gianotti, who endured a roll-off in her first contest against No. 4 Marianne DiRupo to stay alive.

Duggan was sensational all week and entered the finals needing only one win as the top qualifier.

She appeared to be home after Gianotti finished with a 224 by leaving three pins on her final ball.

That meant Duggan needed a strike on her first ball or a spare and nine pins in the 10th. Instead, she went 8-spare-8.

"It was really a shock," said Gianotti, whose last Ladies Professional Bowlers tour win was in Denver almost exactly two years ago. "Coming back from my injury, winning like this is really very unexpected."

Gianotti earned $13,500 for her seventh career LPBT win. Despite the outcome, Duggan received $6,750 and broke the single-season tour earnings record of $113,750 previously held by Robin Romeo. She is now at $115,152.

"I just threw it really bad," Duggan said of her final ball. "Actually, I felt a little relieved when Carol threw a 7 on the last ball. That meant I didn't have to strike to keep the match going."

DiRupo, of Succasunna, N.J., beat No. 5 Kris McCune of Munster, Ind., in the first match, 205-154, then rallied from a 21-pin deficit to force the roll-off against Gianotti.

She struck out in the 10th to tie at 215, but after trading two strikes with Gianotti, left three pins on her third.

"I was real nervous in that match," said Gianotti, who is only three weeks back from surgery on her bowling arm and wears a supportive brace.

"But after that first one, I settled down a lot better and felt real relaxed. I guess it was the TV [ESPN will show the finals today on tape delay] that made me nervous."

Gianotti opened with a "four-banger" to take a 41-pin lead after four frames against No. 2 Kim Couture and coasted to a 236-195 triumph that placed her opposite Duggan.

Their showdown was extremely close, with neither leading by more than eight pins throughout.

A native of Perth, Gianotti said she will compete in the three pre-Christmas LPBT tournaments in South Bend, Ind., Las Vegas and Reno, Nev., then return home to Australia for the monthlong break.

"I was very emotional about this," she said. "Just the fact that I had a so-so year in 1993, then got injured and come back made me that way."

No. 4 Marianne DiRupo, Succasunna, N.J., defeated No. 5 Kris McCune, Munster, Ind., 205-154; No. 3 Carol Gianotti, Perth, Australia, defeated No. 4 DiRupo in a roll-off with three straight strikes after a 215-215 tie; Gianotti defeated No. 2 Kim Couture, Titusville, Fla., 236-195; Gianotti defeated No. 1 Anne Marie Duggan, Edmond, Okla., 224-223.

Prize money

1. Gianotti, $13,500; 2. Duggan, $6,750; 3. Couture, $4,290; 4. DiRupo, $3,562; 5. McCune, $3,000.

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