Firestone Tournament Of Champions - Archived Standings
1983 FIRESTONE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Riviera Lanes, Akron, Ohio, Apr 26-30, 1983
Berardi Bests Four For Firestone Title
Joe Berardi toppled Henry Gonzalez, 186-179, to win professional bowling's most prestigious title, the $200,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions.
Berardi became the first champion in the 19-year history of the event to win four matches during his title quest, marching off with the $40,000 first prize from this field which is limited to 52 PBA champions.
He battled to the fourth spot during 48 games of qualifying and match play which saw several different players in the lead at one time or another, including himself, Gonzalez, and heavyweight Mark Roth.
Berardi got some lucky breaks and timely strikes to go along with his excellent bowling to win his third major title.
His first opponent was Bob Handley. To the consternation of a huge crowd at Riviera Lanes, Handley left a 3-4-6-7-9-10 split after an opening double. Three frames later he regained the lead, but Berardi, with two "Brooklyn" strikes in the 10th frame, gained a 214-196 victory.
Mike Durbin, trying to make it two Firestones in a row to go with an early triumph in 1972, opened with a three-bagger and led into the seventh frame when Berardi suffered a3-10 "baby split." Durbin lost the lead in the next frame when he missed converting a 5-7, and again, Berardi rose to the occasion, getting five game-ending strikes and a 234-224 triumph.
It was a battle of easterners in the Berardi-Roth match with Berardi gaining an early lead when Roth left the 4-6-7-10 on his opening ball. Roth rebounded and closed with four strikes, forcing Berardi into a "must mark" situation in the 10th frame, and he did, winning, 231-224.
In the championship game, Gonzalez couldn't find a line in his search for professional bowling's richest first prize. Berardi, as nervous during the match as he was earlier, wasn't all that much better, but stayed clean and won the title. He now needs a victory in the Toledo Trust PBA National Championship to make a clean sweep of professional bowling's "Triple Crown," having captured the 1979 BPAA U.S. Open.
PLAYOFFS RESULTS - Berardi defeated Handley, 214-196; Berardi defeated Durbin, 234-224; Berardi defeated Roth, 231-224; and in the championship game, Berardi defeated Gonzalez, 186-179. 48-GAME TOTALS OTHER CASHERS * - Match play alternate. ** - TV finals alternate. 24-game qualifying leader - Pappas, 5218. 24th place Nelson, 4950. PRO-AM CASHERS - Mark Roth, Joe Berardi, Wayne Webb, Tommy Hudson, Tom Baker and Frank Ellenburg ($50 each).
* - Match play alternate. ** - TV finals alternate. 24-game qualifying leader - Pappas, 5218. 24th place Nelson, 4950. PRO-AM CASHERS - Mark Roth, Joe Berardi, Wayne Webb, Tommy Hudson, Tom Baker and Frank Ellenburg ($50 each).