Three Genesee Region USBC members, including Batavian Rich Wagner for a second straight year, have qualified to appear on the Beat the Champ TV show, a regular Saturday afternoon feature on WBBZ-TV (MeTV).
Wagner, who made $250 on the show in 2016, will be joined by fellow Batavian Rob Stefani and Rochester resident Chris Bardol (owner of the North Pole Restaurant in Batavia) on the third of four shows being taped on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.
The public is invited to watch the taping, which starts around 10 a.m., free of charge.
Ironically, Wagner, Stefani and Bardol qualified in the seventh through ninth positions this year, and all will appear on the same show – along with the reigning champion, who will be determined from the first two shows. The Wagner-Stefani-Bardol show will be televised at 4 p.m. Dec. 23 (repeated at 11 p.m. Dec. 24).
The first two shows feature Buffalo-area competitors – Josh Vogt, Dana Voytovich and Jeremy Zimmerman and the champion (to be aired on Dec. 9-10) and Dan Richbart, Chuck Jagodzinski and Joseph Pohlman and the champion (to be aired on Dec. 16-17).
Youth bowlers from the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso's will compete in a doubles event on the fourth show, which also will be the last show taped on Nov. 29. Selected to participate are Emma Miller, James Townsend, Tara Clattenburg, Skylar Laesser, Corinne Saluste, Sam Miller, Samantha Balbi and Benjamin Sputore.
While the show provides a certain amount of publicity for Mancuso Bowling Center, center management can’t be happy about the number of bowlers who competed in the eight qualifying squads. There were only 63 entries this year, 40 less than last year.
The way it is set up, the bowling center receives only $8 per $30 entry, the rest going for the $1,400 in prize money paid out on the shows. For this year, Mancuso’s fell short of that $1,400 mark by $14.
And that doesn’t take into consideration the $6,000 that is put up by the participating bowling centers for production costs.
I applaud the proprietor, Rick Mancuso, for taking part but unless WBBZ-TV implements some changes that benefit the bowling centers, I wouldn’t blame him for opting out next year.
‘MR. 900’ WINS 10TH ANNUAL TRIPLE O TOURNAMENT
They call him “Mr. 900” and “Johnny Pins” for his remarkable achievement – a USBC-certified 900 series in 2012 – and now they can call him “champion” of the 10th annual Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles Tournament at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.
John Martorella Sr. of Rochester, proprietor of Domm Brothers bowling center, defeated Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron, 222-207, in the title match to take the $400 first prize on Nov. 12.
(Photo -- Tom Sardou, left, Rose Garden Bowl proprietor; Martorella and Jarkiewicz).
Martorella qualified 13th with a 695 series – the top 16 out of 41 entries advanced to the eliminator-style finals – and followed that with games of 244, 246 and 257 to reach the championship match.
Jarkiewicz was the ninth-best qualifier with 715, and then rolled 221, 249 and 261 (receiving four pins handicap each game) to reach the final match. He earned $200 for his efforts.
Other cashers were John Merriweather of Rochester and Brian Hall of Macedon, $100 each; Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls, Kai Clark of Rochester, Jeff Dewar of Rochester and Laurie Morgante of Bergen, $60 apiece; and Harris Busmire of Bergen, Pat Brick of Buffalo, Rob Stefani of Batavia, and Rochester residents Scott Prince, Don Perrault, Peter Pilaroscia, Caycee Landers and Scott Dingman, $45 each.
LIZ JOHNSON CAPTURES PBA EVENT; WSOB FINALS SET
Former Cheektowaga resident Liz Johnson, arguably the greatest professional women bowler ever, has become the second woman to win a Professional Bowlers Association Tour title.
The 43-year-old right-hander defeated Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., 220-206, last Saturday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., to win the PBA Chameleon Championship – one of the several tournaments conducted as part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX.
The finals will be broadcast at 1 p.m. Dec. 17 on ESPN.
Johnson, who now resides in Illinois, joins Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., who won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions, as the only women to capture titles on the PBA Tour.
Her reaction, as reported by a PBA publicist, was one of jubilation.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” said Johnson, who also finished 14th in the PBA World Championship this week in Reno. “It’s officially one of the best bowling days of my life and probably the icing on the cake as far as my career goes. I’ve been very lucky to have the career that I’ve had. I never thought having the chance to win a PBA title would come when it did. It’s been an awesome journey.”
With the victory and its $20,000 first prize, Johnson added to her remarkable 2017. This year, she has three PWBA titles (two majors), including her sixth U.S. Women’s Open and the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship, a third consecutive PWBA Player of the Year award and the 2017 PBA Chameleon Championship.
Here are the finalists of the other WSOB tournaments (all of which have been completed but won’t be televised until later):
PBA Shark Championship, 2 p.m., Dec. 17 – Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla.; Richie Teece, England; Charlie Brown Jr., Grandville, Mich.
PBA Cheetah Championship, 1 p.m. Dec. 24 – Sam Cooley, Australia; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Jason Belmonte, Australia.
Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship, 2 p.m. Dec. 24 – Jason Belmonte, Australia; EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind.; Shawn Maldonado, Houston; Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio.
PBA World Championship, 1 p.m. Dec. 31 – 1, Jesper Svensson, Sweden; 2, Jason Belmonte, Australia; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; 4, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.; 5, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind.
World Bowling Tour Finals, 1 p.m. Jan. 7 – Men, Svensson, Belmonte, Kent; Women, Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and Malaysia’s Shalin Zulki.
KARL MARTH CUP SERIES RESUMES ON DEC. 2
The 24th installment of the Karl Marth Cup series pitting bowlers from the north and south parts of the old Batavia Bowling Association takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield.
Last year, the South team won, ending a five-year winning streak for the North, which leads the series, 13-10. Competition takes place in Doubles, Singles, Baker-style Doubles and Baker-style Team.
The public is invited to watch.
Team rosters are as follows:
North -- Scott Allis, Roger Allis, Aaron Verheyn, Scott Shields, Scott Gibson, Mike Lavender, Rob Sease, Jim Foss, Richard Culver, Jason Mahnke, Hayden Allis, Mike Allis and non-playing captain Tom Allis.
South – Dean Cadieux Jr., captain Ed Doody, Geoff Harloff, Mickey Hyde, Todd Mortellaro, Steve O’Dell, Mike Pettinella, Jim Pursel, Rick Saunders, Paul Spiotta, Brett Van Duser and Gregg Wolff.
TOURNAMENTS INCLUDE ‘BLIND DRAW’ DOUBLES IN MEDINA
Tournaments over the next several weeks:
-- Sunday, Nov. 26: 60-and-Over Tour, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton. Open to bowlers 60 and over, the scratch tournament gets under way at noon. The entry fee is $40 and walk-ins are permitted.
-- Saturday, Dec. 9 – Scratch Doubles, Legion Lanes, Le Roy. Squad times are at 11:45 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. with two-game qualifiers followed by the top eight teams advancing to head-to-head match play. First place is $800, based on 36 entries, and the entry fee is $70. Call 716-474-7960 to enter.
-- Saturday, Dec. 16: “Blind Draw” Doubles, Medina Lanes. Participants will draw for their partners; bowling one squad starting at 4 p.m. Handicap is based on 90 percent of 220. The top teams (number depending upon entries) will advance to match play. Call 585-318-4474 to sign up.
-- Saturday, Jan. 6: 6th annual Scott Whittier Memorial, Oak Orchard Bowl, Albion. Squads are at 1, 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for this three-person, handicap no-tap tournament conducted to benefit the Scott Whittier Scholarship Foundation. First place is $600; entry fee is $60 per team. Call 585-589-6900 to sign up.