Second Annual National Championship
$44,000 SECOND ANNUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
EASTGATE COLISEUM, CLEVELAND, OHIO, Nov 9-13, 1961
Soutar Sinks Nation's Best
Dave Soutar of Detroit emerged from the second annual Professional Bowlers Association National Championship as the youngest man ever to win that title. It was only the second annual National title and Soutar's 21 years of age at winning was duplicated two years later in New York.
An excellent bowler in the Motor City, Soutar's dramatic triumph over Chicago's Morrie Oppenheim in the finals was no fluke. In fact, Soutar was among the leaders from the first day of the firing, which was held in Cleveland's fabulous Eastgate Coliseum. He first led the 30-game qualifying round and moved into the head-to-head competition against 23 rivals.
Arrayed against Soutar were the nation's greatest bowlers, but he remained calm and concentrated while piling up 19 victories against eight losses in the final rounds. In the first position round of the final competition, Soutar was being pressed closely by Oppenheim. But in the sixth frame he converted a difficult 4-7-9-10 splt, and one frame later Oppenheim missed the same split. That proved to be the clincher for Soutar, who collected a $6,000 check for his effort.
Don Carter, the defending PBA National Champion from St. Louis, finished 17th in this one but he had an excuse. In the middle of the finals, he chartered a plane out of Cleveland to New York where he became the first to "Make That Spare" on the nationally televised American Broadcasting Company show. And, he did fairly well for the weekend, collecting $17,000 for the TV effort and another $650 for his 17th-place finish. One week later he was to return to New York and again convert the spare for another $5,000 payoff.
Soutar, a gangly youth at 6-3 and 190 pounds, was at his modest best when presented the $6,000 first prize. "Naturally, this is the biggest thrill in my life," he said. "This is a prestige tournament and I hope I can carry on in the manner that all national champions should."
SCORES OF FINALISTS