Bowling: Bracket tournament filling a void

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, 2018-09-17 18:38:17

Those were the days. Too bad not enough bowlers appreciated them.

As recently as five years ago, elite players in the area had a scratch-tournament option nearly every weekend from October to April. The monthly Northern Bowlers Association ended after 2013-14, and the Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York stopped running events following 2016-17.

So opportunities for scratch bowlers to compete within the Capital Region have become limited, which may explain the success of the Match Play Tournament, an event set for Sunday at Uncle Sam. The 64 available slots have been filled, all with prepaid entries.

“We put a lot of money and effort into it,” Uncle Sam proprietor Tom Walsh said. “It took off very quick.”

Del Picard, who works in the Uncle Sam pro shop, has been behind the creation of the tournament, which will feature all best-of-three matches.

Entry fee was $80. The 32 players who advance to the second round will cash. Picard said he isn’t sure how much first place will pay because he is adding to the prize fund through raffles and other means.

“It sold out in six days,” said Picard, who moved to the area recently from South Boston. “I’m just trying to get bowling going around here. Back home we had tournaments every weekend.”

Until recently, that was the case here. Now bowlers must travel to New England or other parts of New York to compete in scratch events.

Walsh and Picard said they want to see how things run Sunday before committing to further tournaments, but the appetite seems to exist.

“There are some other ideas Tom and I have thrown around,” Picard said. “We’d like to do a mixed doubles, and some type of trio tournament. I’d like to do another big tournament. The next one may be 128 over two days.”

Local scene

Joe Bifaro Jr. rolled 35 of 36 strikes Friday in an 862 series, breaking Rob Daigneault‘s Cohoes Arena house record triple by three pins. Bowling in the Cohoes Businessmen League, Bifaro left the 4-6-7-10 in the third frame of the third game, his only blemish on the night. … Clay Reiniger Jr. closed with games of 300 and 299 in the CapCom League at Uncle Sam to finish with an 824 series. … The Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour begins its ninth season Oct. 13 at Del Lanes.

Chris Fedden of Albany won his ninth career New Era Senior Tour title. Seeded second, Fedden defeated No. 1 Brian Boghosian of Agawam, Mass., 200-192 at Hi-Way to win the $400 top prize. …The New York State USBC will give the winner of the 2019 NYS Queens championship a paid entry and $150 in expense money — in addition to the first-place check — for the USBC Queens. The state Queens is April 19 at Saratoga Strike Zone.

Uncle Sam Lanes offers a Demo Day at noon Saturday. Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia and Track balls will be available. It costs $10 to participate, and pre-registration is requested, as additional times can be added. Beforehand, Nick Tomaszewski, product development manager and core designer for Ebonite, will offer a seminar on cores, coverstocks and drilling at 10 a.m. Call 518-271-7800 for details. … Ken Hall, who retired his pro shop at Spare Time-Latham last spring, is helping out Matt Fazzone at Towne Academy.

National news

The start of the PWBA Tour Championship was delayed Monday by rain. You read it right. A leak in the roof in Richmond, Va., hit by remnants of Hurricane Florence, caused the issue. … Rotterdam’s Liz Kuhlkin, seeded fifth in the 16-player PWBA field, advanced Monday with an exciting victory over Lindsay Boomershine of Perry, Utah, 225-178, 187-160, 181-208, 203-255, 202-189. Kuhlkin closed with five strikes to overcome a 31-pin deficit in the final game. Qualifying matches are streamed on the USBC’s YouTube channel. The finals air at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS Sports Network.

Pete Dougherty’s column is published Tuesdays during the bowling season. Items to be considered for publication can be submitted by fax (518-454-5819) or

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