Macpherson captures Baltimore Eastern Open 1996 LPBT Player of Year breaks earnings record

September 19, 1997|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Wendy Macpherson was nearly speechless as she accepted the $9,000 check for winning the Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour Baltimore Eastern Open at AMF Country Club Lanes in Rosedale last night.

"I don't know what's going on," Macpherson told ESPN commentator Leila Wagner.

Macpherson's reaction was understandable. Only 30 minutes earlier, she had resigned herself to a third-place finish.

Instead, she captured her second consecutive title -- she also won last week's Delaware Open -- and established a record for earnings in a season with $131,625, breaking Aleta Still's mark of $126,325 in 1994.

Macpherson, who qualified second, defeated top seed Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, 221-203, in the championship match of the stepladder finals.

Dorin-Ballard took $5,000 for finishing second. Tish Johnson ($3,400), Liz Johnson ($2,800) and Marianne DiRupo ($2,500) rounded out the top five.

Before facing Dorin-Ballard, however, Macpherson needed a bit of luck to get by Tish Johnson, 218-215, in the semifinals.

Macpherson, who has won a tour-best four titles this year, could only sit helplessly as Johnson went to the line needing just a mark plus three pins to win.

"I thought that I bowled a good game, but it just wasn't quite good enough," said Macpherson, the 1996 LPBT Player of the Year.

Johnson, who had flirted with a perfect game earlier, was left with a 2-7 split after her first ball. She then failed to spare, leaving the seven pin.

"I missed that spare a lot this week," said Johnson, who took a perfect game into the last frame in her 277-233 win over Liz Johnson in the second match. "I made one bad shot and it cost me. I tried to go straight at it and the ball hooked. I made the wrong choice."

Said Macpherson: "I would have never suspected that she would open. She had been dead-flush for three games."

Pub Date: 9/19/97

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