That bolt of lightning from Brooklyn-Johnny Petraglia, by name-continued to streak across the skies in the $100,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions.
Professional bowling's most important-and richest-event continued to play at Riviera Lanes in Akron, Ohio, and in the true tradition of this competition, thrills were in abundance.
Victim of Petraglia's surge-which saw him take his fourth crown of the year and third straight-was Don Johnson, who one year before took the $25,000 first place prize with his now-classic 299 effort. This time around, however, Johnson was the runnerup in the $100,000 event (going to $125,000 in 1972).
The excitement engendered by the event remained at fever pitch throughout the week-long rolling. As has always been the case, there were turnaway crowds at every session, a pro-am kickoff that saw every squad filled, and a brand of bowling that brought everyone to a fever pitch.
Petraglia came into the Firestone with three titles tucked away in the 12 previous tournaments on the Winter schedule. Two of those-in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans coming in succession, leading up to the Akron blowout. No professional had taken three straight since the early days of the PBA and the man to do it then was Dick Weber.
Leader after 24 games of qualifying was Barry Asher, a finalist in the 1970 edition. Asher, however, faded when match play began and after the first eight games, Petraglia was in first place. When the 24-game portion of head to head play had run its course, the Brooklyn Belter still was atop the standings, followed by Dick Battista, Johnson, Marty Piraino and Dave Davis.
Piraino began with a smashing 268-195 win over Davis and then Piraino bowed to Johnson 214-193. Johnson kept going by downing Battista, 183-174. That put it up to Petraglia to try and thwart Johnson's bid for a second straight victory in the T of C. And he did just that.
Johnson never had a chance. Petraglia doubled twice over the first five frames, then closed with five in a row, while the loser never could get untracked. Johnson suffered a pair of splits, lost his line almost completely, and wound up on the short end of a 245-169 score.
|1||Johnny Petraglia, Brooklyn, N.Y.||246 (1 game)||$25,000|
|2||Don Johnson, Akron, Ohio||566 (3 games)||12,500|
|3||Dick Battista, Astoria, N.Y.||174 (1 game)||6,500|
|4||Marty Piraino, Syracuse, N.Y.||461 (2 games)||3,500|
|5||Dave Davis, Miami, Fla.||195 (1 game)||2,600|
PLAYOFF RESULTS-Piraino defeated Davis, 268-195; Johnson defeated Piraino, 214-193; Johnson defeated Battista, 183-174; and in the championship game Petraglia defeated Johnson, 246-169.
| ||Name, City/State||Pins|| WLT||+||Tot||Amt|
|1||Johnny Petraglia Brooklyn, N.Y.|| ||10310|| ||16-9-0|| ||760|| ||11060|| |
|2||Dick Battista, Astoria, N.Y.|| ||10098|| ||15-9-0|| ||750|| ||10848|| |
|3||Don Johnson, Akron, O.|| ||9969|| ||15-8-1|| ||775|| ||10744|| |
|4||Marty Piraino, Syracuse, N.Y.|| ||9855|| ||17-7-0|| ||850|| ||10705|| |
|5||Dave Davis, Miami, Fla.|| ||9887|| ||15-9-0|| ||750|| ||10637|| |
|**6||Mike Durbin, Dayton, Ohio|| ||9902|| ||12-12-0|| ||600|| ||10502|| ||$2,050|
|7||Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash.|| ||9861|| ||13-11-0|| ||650|| ||10501|| ||1,700|
|8||Dave Soutar, Gilroy, Cal.|| ||9779|| ||12-12-0|| ||600|| ||10379|| ||1,600|
|9||Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.|| ||9598|| ||15-9-0|| ||750|| ||10348|| ||1,500|
|10||Lou Scalia, Hollywood, Fla.|| ||9664|| ||13-11-0|| ||650|| ||10314|| ||1,450|
|11||Mike McGrath, El Cerrito, Calif.|| ||9704|| ||12-12-0|| ||600|| ||10304|| ||1,400|
|12||Timmy Harahan, Canoga Park, Calif.|| ||9729|| ||11-13-0|| ||550|| ||10279|| ||1,375|
|13||Billy Hardwick, Louisville, Ky.|| ||9669|| ||12-12-0|| ||600|| ||10269|| ||1,350|
|**14||Curt Schmidt, Ft. Wayne, Ind.|
(includes 338 pin penalty)
| ||9918|| ||12-12-0|| ||600|| ||10180|| ||1,200|
|15||Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz.|| ||9658|| ||10-14-0|| ||500|| ||10168|| ||1,300|
|16||Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo.|| ||9518|| ||12-11-1|| ||625|| ||10143|| ||1,275|
|17||Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J.|| ||9576|| ||11-13-0|| ||550|| ||10126|| ||1,250|
|18||Skee Foremsky, Houston, Texas|| ||9544|| ||11-13-0|| ||550|| ||10094|| ||1,225|
|19||Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash.|| ||9540|| ||11-13-0|| ||550|| ||10090|| ||1,200|
|20||George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C.|| ||9687|| ||7-16-1|| ||375|| ||10062|| ||1,175|
|21||Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis, Mo.|| ||9435|| ||11-12-1|| ||575|| ||10010|| ||1,150|
|22||Larry Lichstein, Windsor Locks, Conn.|| ||9343|| ||12-12-0|| ||600|| ||9943|| ||1,125|
|23||Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif.|| ||9662|| ||5-19-0|| ||250|| ||9912|| ||1,100|
|24||Jim Godman, Hayward, Calif.|| ||9559|| ||7-17-0|| ||350|| ||9909|| ||1,075|
|***25||Butch Gearhart, Houston, Texas||6535||$1,075|
|26||Bobby Cooper, Houston, Texas||4729||1,000|
|27||Bud Horn, Los Angeles, Calif.||4728||1,000|
|**28||Don Glover, Bakersfield, Calif.||4721||1,050|
|29||Ed Bourdase, Fresno, Calif.||4720||1,000|
|30||Les Schissler, Denver, Colo.||4706||1,000|
|31||Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill.||4704||1,000|
|32||Terry Booth, Mountain View, Calif.||4679||1,000|
|33||Don McCune, Munster Ind.||4664||1,000|
|34||Mike Limongello, North Babylon, N.Y.||4628||1,000|
|35||Tommy Tuttle, King, N.C.||4617||1,000|
|36||Ralph Engan, Monsey, N.Y.||4595||1,000|
|37||Joe Digman, Albuquerque, N.M.||4566||1,000|
|38||Harry Smith, Akron, Ohio||4552||1,000|
|39||Dick Ritger, Hartford, Wisc.||4626||1,000|
|40||Bob Strampe, Detroit, Mich.||4505||1,000|
|41||Bill Tucker, Detroit, Mich.||4581||1,000|
|42||Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif.||4474||1,000|
|43||Jim St. John, Shingle Springs, Calif.||4472||1,000|
|44||Les Zikes, Palatine, Ill.||4445||1,000|
|45||Vern Downing, San Francisco, Calif.||4427||1,000|
|46||Earl Johnson, Minneapolis, Minn.||4331||1,000|
|47||Billy Welu, St. Louis, Mo.||4213||1,000|
|48||Jack Biondolillo, Houston, Texas, (4 games)||2664||1,000|
Allie Clarke, Akron, received $250 as tournament alternate.
**Schmidt received $75 for alternate, Durbin and Glover each received $50 #***Gearhart withdrew after eight ames and was replaced by Schmidt, who was penalized 338 pins. Schmidt and Gearhart split 14th and 25th-place money, each receiving $1,200. Schmidt had actual pinfall, 8128 for 40 games, Gearhart 6535 for 32 games. PRO-AM CASHERS ($50)-Nelson Burton Jr., Bobby Cooper, Les Schissler, Tim Harahan, Mike Durbin, Jack Biondolillo.