Alton PBA Open
$20,400 ALTON PBA OPEN
Bowl-Haven Lanes, Alton, Illinois, Jul 18-21, 1963
Downing Is Up In Alton
A former bank teller, Vern Downing, counted out $3,000 for his personal account after winning the $20,400 Alton, Ill., Open tournament.
Downing led the 24-game qualifier and continued to head the 16-man finals field up to the 14th game. At this point Ray Bluth took over but the slim Rodeo, Calif. star rebounded in the 15th round with a 277-196 victory to' move back into the lead to stay.
Downing went into the position match with a 128-pin lead over Bluth, and his loss to the St. Louisan, 205-193, wasn't important. Harry Smith of Baltimore moved into second with a 255-192 win over Andy Marzich of Redondo Beach, Calif. This was the second week in a row that Smith wound up second.
Marzich picked up another $1,000 to increase his front-running money earnings to $23,568 for the year. Dick Weber hung onto second place with $22,053 and Smith was a solid third at $20,302.
The Alton victory was Downing's second PBA triumph. In 1961 the slim Californian knocked off the Northern California Open.