Firestone Tournament Of Champions
$250,000 FIRESTONE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Riviera Lanes, Fairlawn, Ohio, Apr 24-28, 1990
Ferraro's Frustration Ends At Firestone
"Where's the white jacket?" Dave Ferraro asked shortly after winning the $250,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions to end a frustrating 17 months in which he'd been absent from the winner's circle. Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., was top-seeded for the ABC Sports televised championship finals and defeated best friend and roommate Tony Westlake, Edmond, Okla., 226-203.
Ferraro, who pocketed the $50,000 first prize for his fifth PBA title, was anxious to be fitted for the traditional white blazer emblematic of winning pro bowling's most exclusive tournament.
Westlake had just come off an impressive 258-209 thumping of defending Firestone champ Del Ballard Jr., Richardson, Texas, in the semifinal and looked to be well on his way toward improving one place from his only other Firestone appearance (runner-up in 1988). Westlake opened with a double, and Ferraro immediately found trouble by missing the 2-10 split in his first frame. Down by 21 pins through three frames, Ferraro then unleashed a five-bagger, while Westlake managed a double mid-match for the only other strikes of his game. Westlake then sealed his fate by missing a 4-pin conversion in the ninth and came away with $28,000 for second place.
"This is something nobody will forget," Ferraro said. "I'm not saying I'm going to the Hall of Fame, but this is a step toward it. Just look at the guys inducted this week-Marshall Holman and Joe Berardi both won the Firestone."
Ohio continues to be a favorable site for Ferraro's success, having claimed three of his five PBA crowns in the Buckeye state. In fact, Ferraro chose the scarlet and gray of Ohio State when selecting the colors for his PBA champion's banner to be displayed at all tournaments in which he competes.
When asked to account for his shortcomings in the championship game, Westlake said, "My ball was hitting half-pocket and Dave's hits were all flush, so he deserved to win. Having qualified for the telecast in the last three tournaments I bowled, I expected to bowl well here."
Both finalists complimented each other's matching lifestyle as roommates.
"We don't like to stay up late and we do have a lot of similarities," Ferraro said.
Westlake joked, "He exercises a lot and I don't. About his missed 4-pin, he said, "Even Larry Bird misses a free throw sometimes."
All five finalists agreed justice had been served in the field retaining their qualifying positions following the championship round.
In the opening game, Don Genalo of Perrysburg, Ohio, defeated Mark Baker, Huntington Beach, Calif., 227-182. Genalo then bowed to Ballard, 220190, and ended the week $15,000 richer for fourth place.
PLAYOFF RESULTS-Genalo defeated Baker, 227-182; Ballard defeated Genalo, 220-190; Westlake defeated Ballard, 258-209; and in the championship game, Ferraro defeated Westlake, 226-203. 48-GAME TOTALS OTHER CASHERS *-Match play alternate. 24-game qualifying leader-Mark Baker, 5435. 24th place-Danny Wiseman, 5160. 52nd place-Jimmie Pritts Jr., 1557 (withdrew after eight games). PRO-AM CASHERS-Tom Baker, Ron Palombi Jr., Mark Baker, Tony Westlake, Jimmie Pritts Jr., George Pappas, Mats Karlsson and Wayne Webb ($50 each).
*-Match play alternate. 24-game qualifying leader-Mark Baker, 5435. 24th place-Danny Wiseman, 5160. 52nd place-Jimmie Pritts Jr., 1557 (withdrew after eight games). PRO-AM CASHERS-Tom Baker, Ron Palombi Jr., Mark Baker, Tony Westlake, Jimmie Pritts Jr., George Pappas, Mats Karlsson and Wayne Webb ($50 each).