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Spring Hill pair pocket $250 from state tournament

A Spring Hill couple kept Hernando County from being blanked at the recent Florida State Bowling Association Championships in Pensacola.

Unofficial top-20 results released Monday by tournament director Robert Carr reflect an 18th-place finish with a handicap score of 1,405 in doubles for Brett and Sheryl Bielan. Results should be made official by week's end following verification of averages.

The Bielans pocketed $250 in the tournament, which paid all the way to 307th place. They both bowled significantly better than their averages when it counted most. Sheryl carried a 141 average going in, but jumped to 174 in the tourney, while husband Brett, a 156 bowler, finished nearly 40 pins above his average at 195.

"We were very happy with how the doubles went," Sheryl Bielan said. "The conditions were favorable and we just seemed to be on. We hadn't bowled in many tournaments together before, but after this I think we'll do it a lot more in the future."

Singles and doubles were conducted at Liberty Lanes on weekends from April 15 to June 25.

Two residents of Citrus County fared well in singles competition. Inverness' Tim McKendry tied for eighth place with a handicap score of 758, and Citrus Springs' Bob Hacker tied for 11th with a 751 total.

Hacker, 65, has bowled for 50 years and was especially gratified by the news that his performance of April 22-23 had withstood a test of time.

"I was third that day when I left and heard I'd fallen to sixth in mid-June, so you always wonder where you're going to finish in a tournament that big," Hacker said. "I'd never cashed before in a state tournament in Florida, and I've gone to national tournaments for the past 20 years and never finished that high.

"I'm a decent bowler, but it's awfully hard to go to strange places and shoot good scores. The scores (at Liberty Lanes) were about the same as I shoot all the time at Manatee Lanes (in Crystal River) and that was very beneficial, but the team event at state the next day was in a different house under conditions that were not as good."

The tournament drew 951 teams, 2,453 doubles and 4,906 singles during its run over 11 weekends. It wasn't the largest turnout ever and wasn't expected to be due to the great driving distance from central and south Florida.

"We still had about 200 more teams than we'd anticipated though," Carr said.

Senior men's tournament sets dates: Hudson Bowl once again will be the host center when the 18th annual Suncoast Men's Regional Bowling Tournament is conducted Aug. 5-6 and Aug. 12-13.

"We started this as a local event and now have bowlers coming from the whole state," tournament treasurer Joe Luchansky said Monday. "We had our biggest turnout last year with an almost 40 percent increase over the year before, and expect more this year."

Last year, 64 teams, 128 doubles and 256 singles flocked to Hudson Bowl for the 17th tournament.

Handicap competition is offered to four-man teams, doubles and singles in two divisions (55-64 and 65-and-over). Entry fee is $12 per man per event, and rules are available at bowling centers throughout the area. All entries must be submitted by Aug. 2.

Contact Luchansky at (813) 863-0865 or tournament manager Bill Scoville at (813) 863-3767 for more information.

Manatee notes: Two Sunday tournaments are coming up at Manatee Lanes in Crystal River that should be of interest to bowlers.

First up is the Scratch Singles Dyno-Mite Tournament July 9 at 10 a.m. Bowlers will roll eight games across 16 lanes for their $40 entry fee. There are $1-per-game side pots and the following payoffs will be awarded based on 30 entries: $504 to first place, $210 for second, $84 for third, and $42 to fourth.

A mixed doubles scratch tournament will be conducted July 16 at 7 p.m. One man and one woman will team to roll scotch doubles in a six-game series. The entry fee is $20 per team and participants must be at least 18 years of age and not a YABA member.

Call (904) 795-4546 for more information.