Seventh Annual National Championship
$65,000 SEVENTH ANNUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
GARDEN CITY BOWL, LONG ISLAND, N.Y., Nov 1-6, 1966
Zahn Wraps Up Big Year
"You can't win 'em all' are archaic words of logic. But Wayne Zahn darned near blew the lid off this theory when he climaxed a record-breaking year by winning the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) $65,000 Championship at Garden City Bowl.
Not that Wayne won them all. But his two big ones, the Championship and the $100,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions, gave him a record-breaking $54,720 in official money winnings for one year. This cracked the previous mark of $49,972 set by Don Carter in 1962.
As the good-looking blond six-footer said after pocketing the $10,000 Championship check: "I would never have believed it earlier in the year."
Zahn was referring to his slow start at the beginning of the season. For the first 12 tournaments of 1966 his bankdeposits read six entries with a meager 3,775 dollars and cents total.
"That's when I was thinking about hanging them up," he recalls.
Then lightning struck! The 25-year-old pro of six seasons "came out of the pack" to capture the $25,000 first place in the Tournament of Champions. He finished third in the Masters, won the PBA Seattle Open and cashed in all but one of the next 12 PBA events leading into the Championship.
Zahn never was far off the pace as first Jimmy Mack, then Dick Downey and finally Dave Soutar took turns at the driver's wheel through the first three rounds. Zahn took over in the fourth block and made a bee line for the wire. He won by so many lengths nobody bothered to count. In fact, his margin of victory for the 60-game grind was 137 pins despite a 226-183 loss to second-place Nelson Burton, Jr. in the position round.
Following Zahn arid Burton among the leaders were Johnny Guenther, Fred Lening and Carter, and all had tales to tell their grandchildren.
Burton averaged 236 for his last eight games to pull into the No. 2 hole.
Guenther overcame a badly bruised thumb to haul down the $3,000 third money.
Lening won 19 and tied one of his 24 games in the finals to climb from 21st to fourth.
Carter, bowling in only his ninth tournament of the year, rolled the 12th sanctioned 300 game of his notable career. This was the second of the year for "Mr. Bowling." Earlier he banged one out in the PBA Dallas Open.
SCORES OF FINALISTS 60 GAMES
*Salvino replaced Downey in finals, split money