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He'd rather help a bowler than roll 300

Now this is a guy who really wants to make his business work.

Lou Marquez has rolled five 300 games and two 800 series, about the best a bowler can do. He has placed ninth in the American Bowling Congress finals. He was a finalist among 60,000 entrants for the Coca-Cola world team.

So what does he consider his greatest bowling accomplishment?

"That's all well and good," he said, "but I honestly get more satisfaction from fitting somebody with a bowling ball who might have had a problem and see them have fun with the game again.

"I get much more pleasure out of that."

Marquez must be feeling pretty good these days since he opened the Bowlers X-Press pro shop in June at Hudson Bowl. He leased space from owner Ron Wood and remodeled the old pro shop into his own business.

Marquez, 35, came to Hudson from Westchester, N.Y., where he managed two pro shops.

"I started out as a worker, then worked my way to manager of one shop and then manager of two shops," he said. "They were the two biggest pro shops in Westchester."

Marquez has friends in Hudson and knew Wood through the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, and decided to start his life over in Hudson following a divorce.

"I needed a change," Marquez said. "A change in climate and a chance to meet new people. So I decided to open this little pro shop and I am having a lot of fun with it."

Marquez offers a variety of supplies and services, including lessons. His scores prove he is a good bowler.

Marquez teamed with John Pandolfo of Yonkers, N.Y., to place ninth in the ABC doubles finals this year. And in 1993, he made the final 24 for the Coca-Cola World Cup.

He bowls in two leagues at Hudson and competes in local tournaments. He placed fifth earlier this month in the Spring Hill Iron Man tournament at Spring Hill and Mariner Lanes.

"I didn't finish in the money but my goal was to make the top five," Marquez said. "I still enjoy competing."

But, as he says, he enjoys helping his customers more.

"My goal is to give each customer my personal attention," he said. "I like to see my customers leave with a smile on their face."

SUPER 700 TOURNEY: Sonny Van Ochten defeated top-seeded Chad Branzell to win the Super 700 tournament Sunday at Lane-Glo North Lanes. The tournament was for bowlers who have had a sanctioned 700 series and had a field of 22.

Van Ochten won $300 and Branzell $150. Mike Miles won $100 for third place and Mitch Brooker $70 for fourth.

Several other players took home $15 for high games, including Dann Sellers, who rolled a 300.

The tournament consisted of 10 games, the first five at Lane-Glo and final five at Lane-Glo North, with top four in the stepladder finals. Van Ochten led after the first five games at 1,201 and Branzell was first after 10 at 2,252.

HIGH SCORES: Len Denk led the scoring at Hudson Bowl last week with a 288 game in the Tuesday Mixed Doubles League. Ray Viveiros was next at 278 in Monday Scratch Singles. Craig Fels' 235 was the top junior score.

Ray Thurber was the top scorer at Leisure Lanes with a 228-248-231_707. Ray Goffio was next at 246-248-211_705.

TOP-NOTCH FIELD EXPECTED: A field of 150-160 professionals are expected this weekend at Spring Hill Lanes for the eighth annual PBA Southern Regional sponsored by the Dentofacial Institute. Last year, the tournament drew 132 pros and was won by Tampa's Darin Hays.

"We've got some big names confirmed, including Orlando's Jason Couch, who won here in 1994 and took a regional (Sunday) in Clearwater," Spring Hill Lanes co-owner Carlos Martins said.

Others expected are Bob Vespi, Tarpon Springs' Steve Hoskins, Steve Wilson, Melbourne's Sam Zurich, Guppy Troup, 1993 tournament winner Bob Handley, and Ocala's Roger Bowker.

There's still time for amateurs to register for Friday's pro-am event, which has a nine-pin no-tap format. Cost is $12 for juniors, $25 in the regular division and $20 for seniors.

Pros only will roll two six-game blocks Saturday before a cut is made to the top 24 scorers for Sunday. Those 24 will engage in 16 games of match play leading into stepladder finals for the top five.

Spectators are welcome all weekend. Call (352) 683-7272 for pro-am information.

BRENNAN FIFTH IN QUEENS: Spring Hill's Pat Brennan had an impressive fifth-place finish with a 2,716 total for 14 games in the seniors division of the 116th Florida Bowling Queens Tournament July 13-14 at Vista Lanes in West Palm Beach. She received $190.

"I was shocked as there are such good bowlers there and we were also rolling against senior pros," Brennan said. "I averaged about 196 for 14 games and carry about a 186 average here (in local league play).

"I used my Quantum resin ball and it was reacting good."

Carolyn Trump of Fort Myers won the seniors bracket with a Queens record of 3,225, which included one seven-game block of 1,714. Cocoa's Corinne Ham took top honors in the regular division with another record score of 3,293. Cocoa's Charlene Hintz rolled a pair of 300 games.

_ Correspondent Terry Organ contributed to this report.