17th Annual National Championship
$85,000 17th ANNUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Leilani Lanes, Seattle, Jun 13-20, 1976
Colwell's Gutty Comeback
Paul Colwell fought his way back from embarrassment with an unbelievably gutty performance to win the 17th annual Professional Bowlers Association National Championship at Leilani Lanes in Seattle.
The Tucson star had come off a Winter Tour where he had won barely $6,000, determined to regain his form. A diet and an exercise program were beginning to pay off. After a third place finish the week before, Colwell had earned top seed in the $85,000 Nationals.
Engaged in a tight struggle with Dave Davis for the title Colwell had nearly lost it all. Needing only a strike and six-count, he had, with one misplaced shot, gone from sure winner to almost certain loser. Colwell's first shot of the 10th frame skidded into the gutter!
"It just slipped out of my hand when I released it, but throwing that gutter ball actually helped me," Colwell said afterwards. "After throwing it, I told myself I had to bear down."
He also was helped by a most sportsmanlike gesture by Davis. The crowd was still buzzing in disbelief when Colwell stepped back onto the approach and Davis raised his arms, asking for quiet.
Colwell's shot spilled all the pins, giving him a spare. Then, in the stillness hanging over the tense house, Colwell delivered again. The ball smashed through the pocket, knocking down all the pins for a tie at 191! Colwell was breathing new life.
Davis opened the rolloff with a strike. Then Colwell came through with a spare, two strikes and a nine-count, finishing with 49. Davis needed a double to win his third Nationals title in the tourney's 17-year history. He got the first, but his second ball left the 6-10 standing.
Colwell, almost a runnerup, was the champion, and $9,000 richer.
Also in the finals were two pros from nearby Tacoma, Earl Anthony, seeking an unprecedented fourth straight Nationals crown, and Jeff Mattingly, a white-haired 25-year-old rookie rolling in only his second tournament: Also among the five was George Pappas, the Charlotte, N.C., veteran enjoying another outstanding year.
They had come close, but not close enough. Earning a second chance, Colwell captured the prize.
PLAYOFF RESULTS-Anthony defeated Pappas, 197-194; Anthony defeated Mattingly, 225-176; Davis defeated Anthony, 210-182, and in the championship game, Colwell and Davis tied in regulation frames, 191-191, and in a two-frame relief Colwell defeated Davis, 49-48. 56-GAME TOTALS 32-GAME TOTALS *Berardi and Stefanich tied for 25th; Stefanich conceded alternate spot to Berardi and Berardi received $75 for alternate. 32-game qualifying leader-Colwell, 7313. 24th place-Van Meter, 6960. #Layton Shirley, Bill Ballard and Les Schissler received $100 each for 300 games. PRO-AM CASHERS-$50 each- Marshall Holman, Jerry Hale, Tommy Hudson, Palmer Fallgren, Dick Weber, Johnny Guenther.
*Berardi and Stefanich tied for 25th; Stefanich conceded alternate spot to Berardi and Berardi received $75 for alternate. 32-game qualifying leader-Colwell, 7313. 24th place-Van Meter, 6960. #Layton Shirley, Bill Ballard and Les Schissler received $100 each for 300 games. PRO-AM CASHERS-$50 each- Marshall Holman, Jerry Hale, Tommy Hudson, Palmer Fallgren, Dick Weber, Johnny Guenther.