Firestone Tournament Of Champions



$150,000 FIRESTONE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Riviera Lanes, Akron, Ohio, Apr 18-21, 1979

1979 Firestone - Pappas Pockets $30,000

George Pappas captured the biggest PBA crown of his career as he completed a rare wire-to-wire victory over Dick Ritger in the 15th annual Firestone Tournament of Champions, awarding him the prestigious white jacket that goes to all winners of professional bowling's richest event.

Rolling 268 in the opening game of the tournament, Pappas, a 5-9, 135 lb. righthander from Charlotte, N.C., assumed the lead in the first round and led after every round throughout the 48-game event leading to the TV finals.

Pappas averaged 223 while his closest pursuer, PBA Hall of Famer Ritger, who was never lower than third in the tournament, qualified at a 218 pace.

Twenty-time champion Ritger advanced to the final game by defeating Jeff Mattingly after Mattingly had beaten Steve Neff. Neff had opened the TV finals with a tight, 190-187, decision over local favorite Tommy Hudson.

In the championship match, Pappas took an early lead with a pair of doubles but allowed his opponent to pull within nine pins by missing a six-pin in the sixth frame. However, Pappas regained his timing with three straight strikes and spared in the 10th frame to lock out Ritger.

It was Ritger's second runner up finish in the Firestone Tournament of Champions, the first coming in a memorable 1970 title game loss to Don Johnson by a score of 299-268.

For Pappas, a 10-year tour regular who has ranked among the PBA's top 25 money winners in each of those years, it was his sixth title and his first major championship. And for the 32-year-old Southerner, victory was all the sweeter knowing that very soon he was going to be a father for the first time.

"Realizing that now I'll have three people to support really pumped me up," explained George, $30,000 check in hand. "Especially since I hadn't been having a good Winter Tour prior to this tournament."

Ritger earned $17,000 for second, Mattingly $10,000 for third, Neff, in his second appearance in a Firestone T of C finals, made $7,500 for fourth, and Hudson $5,000 for fifth.

TELEVISED FINALS

Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C.224 (1 game)$30,000
2Dick Ritger, River Falls, Wis.423 (2 games)17,000
3Jeff Mattingly, Tacoma, Wash.359 (2 games)10,000
4Steve Neff, Sarasota, Fla.323 (2 games)7,500
5Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio187 (1 game)5,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS: Neff defeated Hudson, 190-187; Mattingly defeated Neff, 202-133; Ritger defeatedMattingly, 228-157; and in the championship game Pappas defeated Ritger, 224-195.

48-GAME TOTALS

 Name, CityPinsAvg  WLT+TotAmt
1George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 10729 223.5 13-9-2 420 11149 
2Dick Ritger, River Falls, Wis. 10495 218.6 15-8-1 465 10960 
#3Jeff Mattingly, Tacoma, Wash. 10449 217.6 14-10-0 420 10869 
4Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio 10532 219.4 11-13-0 330 10862 
5Steve Neff, Sarasota, Fla. 10388 216.4 15-9-0 450 10838 
**6Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz. 10219 212.8 17-7-0 510 10729 $4,000
7Nelson Burton, Jr., St. Louis 10136 211.1 18-5-1 555 10691 3,350
 Guppy Troup, Columbia, S.C. 10301 214.6 13-11-0 390 10691 3,350
9Steve Martin, Kingsport, Tenn. 10270 213.9 14-10-0 420 10690 3,000
10Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth 10345 215.5 8-16-0 240 10585 2,900
11Johnny Petraglia, Staten Island, N.Y. 10161 211.6 14-10-0 420 10581 2,800
12Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 10166 211.7 13-11-0 390 10556 2,700
13Bill Beach, Sharon, Pa. 10179 212.0 12-12-0 360 10539 2,600
14Dave Soutar, Kansas City 10075 209.8 14-10-0 420 10495 2,500
15Mark Roth, N. Arlington, N.J. 10218 212.8 8-15-1 255 10473 2,400
16Steve Jones, Kerrville, Texas 10103 210.4 12-12-0 360 10463 2,300
17Dave Davis, Hackensack, N.J. 10072 209.8 9-15-0 270 10342 2,200
18Dick Weber, St. Louis 10027 208.8 9-15-0 270 10297 2,200
19Louie Moore, Indianapolis, Ind. 9915 206.5 12-12-0 360 10275 2,000
20Jim Godman, Lorain, Ohio 9930 206.8 10-14-0 300 10230 1,900
21Joe Berardi, Pearl River, N.Y. 9890 206.0 8-15-1 255 10145 1,800
22Bill Spigner, Hamden, Conn. 9845 205.1 9-15-0 270 10115 1,700
23Larry Laub, Santa Rosa, Calif. 9776 203.6 7-17-0 210 9986 1,600
+24Jay Robinson, Van Nuys, Calif. 9624 200.5 10-14-0 300 9798 1,463

24-GAME TOTALS

Pos.Name, City/StateAmount
+25Fred Conner, Mar Vista, Calif.$1,438
*26Butch Soper, Whittier, Calif.1,380
27Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill.1,350
28Warren Nelson, Downey, Calif.1,350
29Wayne Webb, Rehoboth, Mass.1,300
30Kevin Gannon, Long Beach, Calif.1,300
31Jimmy Certain, Huntsville, Ala.1,300
32Marshall Holman, Medford, Ore.1,300
33Fred Jaskie, Greendale, Wis.1,250
34Paul Moser, Somerset, Mass.1,250
35John Guenther, Seattle, Wash.1,250
36Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz.1,250
37Emmett Shutes, State College, Pa.1,200
38Steve Westberg, Cottage Grove, Ore.1,200
39Matt Surina, Longview, Wash.1,200
40Earl Anthony, Kent, Wash.1,200
41Mike Berlin, Muscatine, Iowa1,150
42Ed Ressler, Bethlehem, Pa.1,150
43Cliff McNealy, San Lorenzo, Calif.1,150
44Roy Buckley, Columbus, Ohio1,150
45Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.1,100
46Frank Ellenburg, Mesa, Ariz.1,100
47Curt Schmidt, Ft. Wayne, Ind.1,075
48Wayne Chester, San Mateo, Calif.1,050
49Don McCune, Munster, Ind.1,050
50Don Johnson, Las Vegas1,000
51Steve Cook, Roseville, Calif.1,000
52Randy Lightfoot, St. Charles, Mo.1,000

*Alternate. ** - TV Alternate. 24-game qualifying leader - Pappas, 5,414. 24th place - Berardi, 5,002. # Jeff Mattingly rolled a perfect game. PRO-AM CASHERS - Fred Conner (2), Earl Anthony, Dick Ritger. BONUS AWARDS - High Game ($250) - Wayne Webb, Johnny Petraglia, Steve Martin, Bill Spigner and Jeff Mattingly. ($125) Louie Moore and Dick Weber, High Block ($500) - George Pappas, Steve Neff, Johnny Petraglia, Steve Martin, Tommy Hudson and Jeff Mattingly. + - Robinson replaced Conner in match play after 32 games when Conner withdrew due to illness. Robinson was penalized 126 pins, and they shared 24th and 25th place money. Robinson received $25 for saving as alternate for one round, and Butch Soper received $50 as the new alternate.