Medina’s Curtis Foss captured his sixth Genesee Region USBC Masters Tournament title on Sunday at Medina Lanes, holding off a spirited challenge from Batavian Jim Pursel to claim the $550 first prize.
Foss, 34, took a 53-point edge over Pursel into the position round final game of the eight-player Peterson Point round-robin match play finals. That meant that Pursel, 54, would have to beat Foss by 24 pins in the last game to claim his first Masters crown.
In Peterson Point competition, bowlers receive 30 points for a victory and plus or minus points based on their score when compared to 200. So, if a bowler rolls a 220 game and wins the match, he would get 50 points.
Pursel, who averaged 247.7 for his eight games yesterday, defeated Foss, 238-237, in the decisive game, but it wasn’t enough to win the tournament as Foss finished with 572 Peterson Points to 550 for Pursel, who earned $280.
The final match was close throughout with both bowlers registered a string of strikes in the last half of the game. Foss entered the 10th frame on a three-timer and then spared and got nine on the last ball for the 237. Pursel also had three in a row going into the 10th, and added two more strikes and nine for the 238.
“It was exciting,” said Foss. “Jim kept the pressure on me that’s for sure.”
Foss started the day with a bang by topping Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls, 267-234, in the opening match between No. 1 and No. 2 seeds from Saturday’s semifinals.
The high-revving right-hander went on to win six of his next seven matches, including a 279-214 victory over Pursel in game six.
Culp, the 2016 Masters champion, kept on his heels, however, riding a 289-258 win over Batavian Geoff Harloff in game six to pull within 50 points of Foss.
Game seven was a big one for Pursel as the 109 Peterson Points earned for his 279-160 win over Medina’s Hayden Allis put him within striking distance of Foss, who gained just 33 points with his 203-180 victory over Alex Allis of Medina.
Using Roto Grip Idol Pearl and Storm Axiom Pearl balls in the finals, Foss – who didn’t miss a spare in his 16 tournament games -- pointed to games six and seven as keys to his victory.
“The sixth game was huge, especially because Scott started with the first 10 strikes (en route to the 289), so I needed a big score,” Foss said. “In the seventh game (against Alex Allis), the pair we were on, 17-18, was really tricky and I was able to get four strikes at the end to get to 200 (actually 203) and win.”
Pursel put up big scores throughout the day, but ran into tough luck in his first three matches, losing 215-211 to Harloff in game one, 254-247 to Culp in game two and 269-255 to Jim Foss of Medina in game three before rallying to win four of his last five matches.
“I bowled well; a couple carries here and there could have made the difference, but all the bowlers got tapped at times,” said Pursel, another bowler who generates a lot of revolutions on the ball. “Give Curtis credit, he’s a horse and he’s tough to beat in these things. I have no problem losing to Curtis.”
Batavian Jason Quilliam placed third with 443 points, averaging 226 for the finals while compiling a 7-1 match play record. He posted victories over Culp in games seven and eight to jump into the third spot, good for $220.
Culp placed fourth with 433 points and won $190. He was followed by Jim Foss (321 points, $180), Harloff (304 points, $170), Alex Allis (182 points, $160) and Hayden Allis (177 points, $150). All of the finals are right-handers.
Other cashers from Saturday’s semifinals were Mark Brown of Attica, $110; John Ross of Middleport, $100; Matt Balduf of South Byron, $90, and Devon Leach of Batavia, $80.
Curtis Foss won his first Masters tournament in 2008 at Mancuso’s, and followed that with victories in 2009 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, 2014 at Medina Lanes, 2015 at Letchworth Pines in Portageville and 2019 at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield. The tournament did not take place in 2020.
The two-day tournament drew 42 entries.
Previously: Culp, Foss are 1-2 heading into Masters bowling finals
Submitted photo: Mike Johnson, center, Genesee Region USBC president, congratulates Curtis Foss, left, and Jim Pursel after an exciting Masters Tournament finals.