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Handley: tough road to first senior win

Winter Park's Bob Handley defeated defending champion John Bennett to win his first senior title at the PBA Senior Northwest Open at Beaverton, Ore., June 25.

In the best-of-three championship match, Handley won the first two games 221-179 and 279-223 to earn $8,000.

It was a long road to the title. Handley beat three-time titlist Bob Chamberlain in three games to gain the finals. Before that, Handley defeated Larry Galloway, six-time titlist Bob Glass, and eight-time titlist Teata Semiz, a Hall of Famer.

"Things were in the cards for me," Handley said. "John (Bennett) just couldn't get a break and I found a good shot and was getting all the luck."

Handley got a leave of absence from his job with an Orlando bowling distributor to compete.

Tampa Bay area b.line World Team Challenge fans will remember Handley as a member of the Scime Signs regional winner in 1993 and as the Sign Producers winner in February at Seminole Lanes.

Bennett eliminated Dale Eagle of Tavares in the semifinals and earned $4,000. Bradenton's Dave Soutar lost to Chamberlain in the round of 16. Palm Harbor's Patsy DellaPenna lost to Darrell Storkson, and Steve Neff of Homosassa Springs was ousted by Eagle in the round of 32.

Eagle continues to lead money winners with $29,300 earned, followed by Soutar at $27,910 and Glass at $19,305. Neff and Handley are fourth and fifth.

The tour resumes Aug. 2-5 at the Senior Manassas (Va.) Open.

PBA SCHEDULE The 2003-04 PBA schedule starting Oct. 8 with the Banquet Open at Council Bluffs, Iowa, includes 20 stops, three new host centers and format changes.

Council Bluffs, West Babylon, N.Y., and O'Fallon, Ill., are the new stops on a schedule that includes California's 152nd stop and an unbroken string of New York tournaments dating back to 1959.

The format changes include best-of-seven round of 16 match play and best-of-seven round of eight match play, all matches occurring simultaneously. Tournaments begin at 9 a.m. with A and B squads rolling nine qualifying games on Thursdays. The top 64 qualifiers return Friday for nine more games with a cut to the round of 32 and an earlier starting time of 6 p.m. on Fridays. Saturday's round of eight begins at 5 p.m. and Sunday's stepladder finals returns to five players instead of four.

There will be a three-week break between the first and second half and a one week break before the season-ending PBA World Championship March 15-21.

The ABC Masters and U. S. Open will be two-hour, ESPN telecasts, up from 90 minutes last season. All centers will be smoke free during tournaments, some with designated smoking rooms. Most ESPN shows begin at 1 p.m.

STRIKEPASS A SUCCESS: Offseason content on the PBA's StrikePass PC shows has attracted new members every week with more expected to sign when the season begins in October.

StrikePass subscription service allows viewers to watch video of PBA events using the RealOne media player for a $5.95 per month fee, plus a signup fee. The shows offer Gutter Talk with guest players, ESPY nominees and news.

Other features include live round of 8, round of 16 and finals coverage, player interviews and previous television footage.

LEFTY BEATEN: Tennelle Milligan, the only right-hander in the finals, defeated Cara Honeychurch 205-203 to win the PWBA Greater Memphis (Tenn.) Open on Sunday. Her third title was worth $15,000.