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Juniors flock to Championships

For the second time ever, the Junior Gold Championships has sold out.

All 1,458 spots have been sold for the event, which will be July 8-14 in Fort Lauderdale. It is the fastest sellout in the event's nine-year history and the first time it has sold out since 2003.

Held on sport lane conditions, the Golds, an individual competition, is the largest youth event in the country. Bowlers will battle for spots on USBC Junior Team USA as well as $50,000 in scholarship money. Last year, in Indianapolis, saw an influx of Florida bowlers place in the top 50.

Jon Brady of Clearwater finished best in 2005, in 16th place out of more than 1,000 boys as a 16-year-old. More than 30 local bowlers made the trip north and with the county talent level rising quickly, this year's 3-hour trip south should produce some great scores.

Those planning on participating can let us know so we can include them in future columns.

PBA: The Denny's PBA Tour returns to the Buffalo area for the first time since 1991 for the GEICO Classic at AMF Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

The live ESPN televised finals will take place Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The winner will take home the $40,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2006-07 season.

Tommy Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) holds a 25,000-point lead over Mike Scroggins (Amarillo, Texas) in the point rankings, thanks to his first career major victory in last week's 63rd U.S. Open as he defeated Ryan Shafer (Elmira, N.Y.) 237-223 in the title match.

Jones is the seventh straight bowler to win his first career major title while Shafer now owns three second-place finishes in majors without winning one, tying a Tour record. Wes Malott (Austin, Tex.) is third on the points list while Mike DeVaney (Temecula, Calif.), who finished fifth in the U.S. Open, is fourth overall.

Norm Duke (Clermont), a 22-time title winner, is just behind DeVaney in fifth.

John May (Lincolnton, N.C.) leads the PBA South Region points race over Peter Dohan Jr. (Tampa) by fewer than 1,000 points with three events to go. The winner of the race in each of the seven regions will earn a full-season exemption for next season.

PCHSL: Countryside No. 1 still leads the scratch side with a 14.5-point lead over Palm Harbor No. 2. Clearwater No. 1 leads the handicap side.

Last week's high scorers were Jared Solomon (649), Matt Micenec (629), Jon Brady (628) and Travis Vorbeck (621) for the boys and Stephanie Scanlon (587) and Allie Edgar (544) for the girls.

Edgar holds a 188 average for the girls best and Chris Grube has a 206 average to lead the boys.

COMING UP: The Callahan Bail Bonds "Almost Midnight" Team Tournament is Saturday at Liberty Lanes.

There is a $1,000 prize for a four-person team. The tourney is handicapped. For details call (727) 397-3947. Walk-ins will be limited.

Eric Muskatevc can be e-mailed at