Eighth Annual National Championship
$70,000 EIGHTH ANNUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
NEW MADISON SQUARE GARDEN CENTER, NEW YORK CITY, NY, Dec 3-9, 1967
Davis Cards Historic Win
When they talk about bowling, 1967, the name Dave Davis will immediately focus. For the tall (6-2), lean (150 pounds) lefthander climaxed one of the greatest years in the history of the game by winning last year's Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) $70,000 National Championship at the new Madison Square Garden Bowling Center.
Davis smashed two records in his historical climb to the $10,000 first place check. It was the first time a bowler had won the National twice. And, it was the sixth title of the year for the Phoenix, Ariz. flyer, which toppled Dick Weber's mark of five hung up in 1961.
And if you asked Davis how he feels about it, you'd get:"Unbelievable! I got up a head of steam early in the year and maintained it. But for the three weeks I had to lay offbecause of a bad hand, I think I bowled as well as I ever could expect to. And who could ever want a better settingthan the new Garden, it's fabulous."
Madison Square Garden Bowling Center is a dream come true for the boys who make their living on the PBA tour. The PBA National is scheduled for five more years and probably will be held many more if last year's showing was any indication. Built in a complex which houses the main Garden (seating capacity 20,000), a forum that holds 5,100, the bowling Center is spacious and comfortable. It has all the conveniences of any establishment in the country and is easily accessible.
But getting back to the first main event ever called in the new Garden. Davis stuttered and stammered through the early going as first Bob Strampe led after 12 games and Ted Hoffman took over after 24 and hung on through the 36 games of qualifying action.
Gil Potempo and Bill Allen, in the meantime, were getting in their licks as each rolled a 300 game.
At the end of 36 games, Davis was lodged in tenth place, 232 pins behind the steady Hoffman. But in the opening match game session the lean lefthander pumped away at a 242 average for eight games to move into serious contention for one of the four spots in the regionally televised finals. At the finish of 60 games, Pete Tountas was the leader, Davis was second, Bud Horn third and Mike Limongello fourth.
The finals saw Limongello eliminate Horn, 257-226, before Davis came along to whip Mike, 205-195, to set the stage for the big-money test. Tountas started fast and was 21 pins ahead after four frames. But "Tonto" ran into split problems late in the game. He left three . . . the 5-7 in the seventh, 4-6 in the eigth and saw his hopes dashed when the 5-7 stood in the tenth frame. The final score was 216-191 and Davis was hauled front and center for the trophy and check presentations.
The $10,000 check raised Davis' earnings for the year to $54,165, making him No. 1 in the money department. His titles included wins in Las Vegas, Denver, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Omaha, in addition to the National.
Tountas pocketed $5,000 for second, Limongello took home $3,000 and Horn was good for $2,500.
So ended the "Year of Davis." There was no doubt in anybody's mind that he'd haul down "Bowler of the Year" honors. And, what makes it better than ever, the tall guy is only 24 years old. He's got a lot of strokes left in the long arm.
The Garden brass were just as pleased with the entire operation as Davis. Irving Mitchell Felt, board chairman and president, and Edwin M. Ost Jr., vice president of the new Madison Square Garden Center, along with Eddie Elias, founder and legal counsel for the PBA, announced that this year's tournament would be upped to $75,000.
PLAYOFF RESULTS-Limongello defeated Horn, 267-226 ; Davis defeated Limongello, 205-195; Davis defeated Tountas, 216-191, in championship game. 60 GAMES 36 GAME TOTALS *Alternates. **Bill Allen and Gil Potempo received $100 each for perfect games.
36 GAME TOTALS
*Alternates. **Bill Allen and Gil Potempo received $100 each for perfect games.