Chris Bickett of Hialeah wanted to add a few more firsts to her impressive portfolio before she takes on the Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour (LPBT) next February. Bickett did just that Sunday when she won the Florida State Women's 600 Club's singles title for the second straight year. No one had ever won two titles in the 34-year history of the state club.
"All I can do is sweat out this final shift," Bickett said Sunday after posting a four-game scratch 937 total on Saturday. "Probably Gail Husbands has the only chance to beat me out there today, but you never know."
Bickett was right. Husbands, a strong lefty from Holmes Beach, threatened with a 701 three-game series. But, she faded to a mediocre 182 fourth game and posted an 883 total, good for second.
Carole Lemke, Cape Coral, was third at 881, Carol Ziebell of Sarasota fourth at 872, and New Port Richey's Cathy Henry fifth at 843. Three weeks ago, Henry rolled the first 300 game in the history of the Florida Bowling Queens.
Mary Remer, Naples, won the B Division with a 786 and Michelle Oxford, Lakeland, was the C Division winner with a 748.
Sandy Evans, Bickett's friend and tour sponsor, fired the tournament's high game of 279 and finished eighth.
Bickett's total was only one pin less than she rolled in winning the event last year at Lane-Glo Bowl in New Port Richey.
"I think I've put enough credentials into my portfolio to satisfy anyone, especially the people on the tour," Bickett said. She has won a couple of state singles titles, a Queens tournament and Miami Bowler of the Year honors.
"I've worked very hard, mentally and physically, for this and I guess I'm lucky I've got Sandy and several others sponsoring me," Bickett said. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be for the tour and I plan to bowl every one of them next year."
"Chris is a tiger when it comes to tournaments, and her attitude has taken a 180-degree turn in the past year," Evans said.
Bickett started bowling 14 years ago. Since then, all kinds of things have happened in her bowling career, some bad, most good.
"I fell off the house one year and broke my arm," she said. "Fortunately, it wasn't my bowling arm, but try to keep your balance and deliver the ball with one arm in the sling. It was funny, but it wasn't fun.
"But, after I broke my arm, I seemed to concentrate more on the mechanics of the game and I just got better."
There were 530 entries in the 33rd annual event featuring women who have rolled a career 600 series. Singles were bowled in three divisions based on averages and a no-tap optional doubles was added for fun. Tampa's Dorothy Gewan and Cindy Thompson won the doubles.
Sullivan on rampage: Largo's Jim Sullivan is rolling across the nation in his wheelchair and knocking off tournament championships with regularity.
Sullivan, former national American Wheelchair Bowling Association (AWBA) champion, earlier this year won the AWBA Midwest championship. Last month, Sullivan finished second in the AWBA Texas Open. Earlier this month, Sullivan teamed with Ed Hollingsworth to capture the AWBA Eastern Regional scratch doubles championship for the third straight year.
Sullivan's fifth annual Wheelchair Awareness Bowl-A-Thon is Dec.
9 at Largo Lanes. Entry fee is $100 for a four-person team.
Able-bodied persons bowl from wheelchairs in this event, learning just how tough that is.
Around the lanes: RogerCampbell nailed his second 300 game in a month at Liberty Lanes last week . . . Four 700s and 70 200 games, including Bobby Belmont's 298, were rolled in the 14-team Invitational Classic at Rainbow Lanes last week . . . The Greater Pinellas Young American Bowling Congress (YABA) youth-adult tournament begins this weekend at Liberty Lanes and concludes Nov. 4 . . . St. Petersburg's Darlene Milton is at the LPBT stop in Houston this week on her nine-stop pro jaunt . . . Tom Tito and the Feather Sound Lions Club's benefit no-tap tournament is Sunday at Liberty Lanes with a $12 entry fee and proceeds to the Lions Club fund for the blind . . . Clearwater's Joe Cooper won the NABI Club tournament at Palmetto's Fantasia Lanes Sunday . . . Seminole Lanes will host the bowling portion of the Pinellas County Special Olympics Nov. 10 and Dec. 8 . . . Shore Lanes has an eight-game scratch event Sunday with $1,000 to the winner and a $75 entry fee . . . The ABC honored 12,766 perfect games last season, topping the 10,733 honored in 1988-89.
Miami's Allen Parker and Cindy Bagwell won the eight-game scratch marathon and $600 at Largo Lanes Sunday . . . The Suncoast Men's Association's annual Up & Down wheelchair tournament is Sunday at Largo Lanes . . . More than 300 attended the first Florida Women's 500 Club state tournament in Ormond Beach, but no one from the area finished in the top three.