The oldest non-association-sponsored tournament in Baton Rouge returns for its second renewal of 2014 Saturday and Sunday at Circle Bowl, and some of the numbers the bowling center has recently announced are staggering.
In about 40 years of bowling, as much as four times a year, at the BR Singles Tournament, which for years was sponsored as the Baskin Robbins Tournament, there have been over 50,000 entries with a total prize return of over $1.5 million.
The numbers when expressed in that form are staggering. But what has made the tournament special in my mind are a couple of things. First, the fact that bowlers routinely come from several states to compete for a prize fund that can easily top $15,000-$18,000. Secondly, the fact that high handicap bowlers, men, women, two-handers — in other words, anyone — can win if it is their day.
In March, Baton Rouge bowler Steven Taylor won $1,901 by defeating Justin Veitch of New Orleans in the championship round.
Shifts begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, and there is a major rules change to help shifts begin on time. All bowlers are asked to print and bring their own average verification from Bowl.com. The semifinals and finals are Sunday.
State tournament results
There was not a lot of good news for Baton Rouge area bowlers in the state tourney that concluded in Shreveport-Bossier City. A team from Lafayette (the Ball Busters) won scratch and handicap with scores of 2,857 and 2,999. A rarity took place in doubles as Andre and Kirk Trahan of the Bayou Region tied Nicholas and James Campbell of the Northeast Region. Both teams totaled 1,500.
In handicap singles, Brett LeJeune of Lafayette won with 834, while John Montgomery had 781 for the top Baton Rouge score. On the scratch side, Jason Courville of New Iberia had 747, while Brian Yoches of Baton Rouge had 742.
In all-events, Burl Brown III of the CenLa Association rolled 2,256 with handicap. Glenn Coffey of Lafayette was third at 2,236, while Thomas Miller of Baton Rouge was sixth at 2,205. Andre’ Trahan won scratch all-events at 2,211 with Miller fourth at 2,085 and Glenn Wilson of New Orleans fifth at 2,063.
Complete results can be found at louisianastateusbc.com.
USBC Queens show
Kelly Kulick averaged 257 for the first three games at the National Bowling Stadium last week in the USBC Queens but then lost to the top seed, Maria Jose Rodriguez of Colombia, 190-189 in a match with several strange turns.
Let me say, I watched Kulick bowl in the USBC Open when I was in Reno at the NBS in late April, and she was stringing strikes then. So I was not surprised with the ease in which she struck in the first three matches. But then things began to change.
As the championship match was starting, the live broadcast disappeared completely off ESPN2. In fact, the channel was completely off the air. Apparently thunderstorms in Bristol caused the issue, but ESPN remained on the air showing the live home run derby from Omaha, Nebraska. Again, another bad break on what was an outstanding live bowling show.
The bowling was stopped for a time (which USBC friend Lucas Wiseman called “minimal” in a Twitter response) but began again before television could get back. When the coverage resumed, Kulick’s ball reaction had apparently disappeared about the same time as the broadcast went dark.
In desperate need of marks, she left a pocket 7-10 in the ninth. And needing a double in the final frame to win, left a rather weak 10 and almost another 7-10 in the pocket. It really hasn’t been mentioned too much that her failure to get either pin on the second ball in the ninth could have given her an easier shot to tie the match, which she lost by a pin.
Kulick was trying to become the third bowler to win the Queens three times, while Rodriquez was the second straight foreign bowler to take the title.
Honor roll notes
The top scores came at Premier Lanes as Erik Konow Sr. rolled a 299 game en route to an 805 series. Lynette Broussard had 694 (278) for the women. Austin Bertrand rolled his first 700, a 721 (233, 235, 253) to lead the youth leagues, while Loyd Hutchinson had 691 and Cheryl Albarez 663 in the senior leagues.
Speaking of senior bowlers, here is congrats to Ron Paille, Jerry Wagener and Bob Boudreaux, who were 50 pins over average for their series.
There are a lot of local and area bowlers heading to the Buffalo, New York, area for the Junior Gold Nationals and other important events. We wish them well. We’ll take a look at a new youth event set for next year and BR Singles Tournament results when we join you July 22. Until then, good luck and good bowling.