Long John Silver's Classic



$100,000 LONG JOHN SILVER'S CLASSIC
Leisure Lanes, Albuquerque, NM, Jan 27-31, 1998

Ward Wins Long John Silver Classic

Just three shots stood between Ricky Ward and a place in PBA Tour history.

The fiery former PBA Rookie of the Year (1991) from North Fort Myers, Fla., had started the title match of the Long John Silver's Classic with the first nine strikes and was almost counting the ways he could spend the $25,000 perfect game bonus. Nine strikes down and three to go and Ward was finishing on what he felt was his good lane -lane 23 at Leisure Bowl.

"I never thought I would miss on the left lane," said Ward. "Once I got the strike in the ninth frame, I felt good about my chances. But I got the ball wide early and it just came up a little flat."

The result was a 7-pin, which Ward converted and then ended the championship match with a strike on his "fill" ball. The 29-year-old had to "settle" for a 279-226 win over tournament leader Butch Soper and a $16,000 first-place check for his third career title.

Soper, who had held Ward off in the position round Friday night to earn the top seed, said, "After watching all the high scores In the first three matches, I thought maybe they were done throwing strikes. Then Ricky comes out and shoots 279. There's just no defense for that."

The high scores on the ESPN telecast started with match one where local favorite Gary Skidmore was nearly perfect himself.

Gary Skidmore, who owns the bowling center just across the street from Leisure Bowl, had shot 255 in the position round Friday night to come from 103 pins down just to make the telecast. The 43-year-old Albuquerque resident had not bowled in a PBA National Tour event since 1990 and won the last of his six titles in 1966.

"Thwhole week I played outside and I decided to move inside just about five minutes before we went on the air;" said Ward.!, guess I made the right move."

"I'm going to raise the bar for myself after making back-to-back shows and winning so early in the year," said Ward. "My goal was to try to win a title a year and I've already done that. I'm ready for more.'

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1Ricky Ward, North Fort Myers, FL536 (2 games)$16,000
2Butch Soper, Lake Havasu City, AZ226 (1 game)8,500
3Doug Kent, Canandaigua, NY492 (2 games)6,000
4Gary Skidmore, Albuquerque, NM526 (2 games)4,500
5Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, TX222 (1 game)3,500

PLAYOFF RESULTS-Skidmore defeated Scroggins, 278-222; Kent defeated Skidmore, 248-237; Ward defeated Kent, 257-244; and in the championship game, Ward defeated Soper, 279-226.

42-GAME TOTALS

 Name, CityPinsAvg  WLT+TotAmt
#1Butch Soper, Lake Havasu City, AZ 9724 231.5 15-9-0 450 10174 
2Ricky Ward, North Fort Myers, FL 9619 229.0 18-6-0 540 10159 
3Doug Kent, Canandaigua, NY 9521 226.7 15-9-0 450 9971 
4Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, TX 9457 225.2 15-9-0 450 9907 
5Gary Skidmore, Albuquerque, NM 9349 222.6 15-9-0 450 9799 
6Jess Stayrook, Tempe, AZ 9287 221.1 17-7-0 510 9797 $2,900
7Tom Baker, Buffalo, NY 9427 224.4 12-12-0 360 9787 2,600
8C.K. Moore, Chehalis, WA 9265 220.6 14-10-0 420 9685 2,400
9Mike Edwards, Oklahoma City 9285 221.1 13-11-0 390 9675 2,200
10Ryan Shafer, Elmira, NY 9227 219.7 14-10-0 420 9647 2,000
#11Dave Arnold, Gilbert, AZ 9263 220.5 12-12-0 360 9623 1,900
12Lee Vanderhoef, Baltimore 9320 221.7 10-14-0 300 9620 1,800
13Steve Hoskins, Tarpon Springs, FL 9141 217.6 12-12-0 360 9501 1,750
14Michael Haugen Jr., Pasadena, CA 9165 218.2 11-13-0 330 9495 1,700
#15Danny Wiseman, Baltimore 9177 218.5 10-14-0 300 9477 1,650
16Eugene McCune, Munster, IN 9114 217.0 11-13-0 330 9444 1,600
17Sean Swanson, Springfield, MO 9089 216.4 11-13-0 330 9419 1,550
18Michael Dias, Lafayette, CO 9072 216.0 10-14-0 300 9372 1,500
19Jason Couch, Clermont, FL 9104 216.8 8-16-0 240 9344 1,450
20Paul Yoder, Albuquerque, NM 9063 215.8 9-15-0 270 9333 1,400
21Bob Learn J r., Erie, PA 8966 213.5 11-13-0 330 9296 1,350
22Steve Jaros, Bolingbrook, IL 8958 213.3 10-14-0 300 9258 1,300
23Leo DiBenedetto, Sydney, Australia 8799 209.5 7-17-0 210 9009 1,250
24Del Ballard Jr., N. Richland Hills, TX 8741 208.1 8-16-0 240 8981 1,200

OTHER CASHERS

Pos.Name, City/StateAmount
*25Curtis Odom, Coldwater, MI$1,130
26Steve Wilson, Lake Worth, FL970
27Warren Guernsey, Cobelskill, NY930
 Bob Sips. lding, Greenville, SC930
29Mike Miller, Albuquerque, NM900
30Dennis Horan, San Diego890
31Brian Himmler, Cincinnati880
t32Matt Smith, Albuquerque, NM870
33Darren Wong, San Jose, CA860
34Parker Bohn III, Jackson, NJ850

*-Match play alternate. 18-game qualifying leader-Lee Vanderhoef, 4294. 24th place-Ryan Shafer, 3918.#-Wayne Webb, Butch Soper, Danny Wiseman and Dave Arnold rolled 300 games ($100 each). PRO-AM CASHERS-Gary Skidmore, Norm Titus, Ken Yokobosky, Dave Wodka, Brian Himmler and Bob Benoit ($50 each). t-Non-PBA member.