Another First For Carter

The first National Championship for the Professional Bowlers Association was an acid test in more ways than one. First sponsor Don Tebbe and his Imperial Lanes had a huge investment, and the PBA had to prove that a bowling tournament in which 192 of the best bowlers in the nation were competing could be successfully staged in less than one week.

The tournament was an unqualified success from all standpoints. Competition was close and interesting from start to finish. The early favorite for the championship was Don Carter, and the fact that he won it was almost anticlimactic although he had to come from far behind after a slow start.

At the end of the 30-game qualifying test, Carter led Ronnie Gaudern by 17 pins, 6,369 to 6,352. The final field listed the top names in bowling with two youngsters who would be heard from in the future. Gaudern, a handsome 21-year-old stringbean from San Antonio, and youthful Jack Biondolillo, at that time from Chicago, were the two youngsters in the field that included Dick Weber, J. B. Solomon, Harry Smith, Fred Lening, Billy Welu, Joe Joseph, Glen Blakesley, Johnny King, and Bob Chase.

In the finals, where the boys started blasting each other, Carter very nearly turned it into a rollaway. He mowed down opponent after opponent and compiled a point total of 237.17 to Gaudern's 227.24. Carter won 20 games, lost only 9, and tied one other, that with Gaudern.

At this point in his career, Carter was considered the master magician of all time. With the winning of the PBA National Championship, "Mr. Bowling" had captured every major title in the game except the Masters (which he was to do later).

The famed bent elbow artist was "threading the needle" and the pro bowlers were wondering if the Big Guy could go on forever.


 Name, City/StatePins  WLTAvgAmount
1Don Carter, St. Louis, Mo. 6369 20-9-1 237.17 $5,600
2Ronnie Gaudern, San Antonio, Texas 6352 18-11-1 227.24 3,575
3Harry Smith, Baltimore, Md. 6299 17-13-0 227.04 2,500
4Jack Biondolillo, Houston, Tex. 6218 18-12-0 221.23 1,955
5Fred Lening, Fairless Hills, Pa. 6231 15-15-0 221.19 1,715
6Billy Welu, St, Louis, Mo. 6297 16-14-0 220.18 1,590
7Joe Joseph, Lansing, Mich. 6256 13-17-0 219.20 1,475
8Glen Blakesley, Kansas City, Mo. 6305 15-15-0 218.27 1,425
9Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo. 6323 13-17-0 217.22 1,400
10J. B. Solomon, Dallas; Texas 6233 11-19-0 212.04 1,270
11Johnny King, Chicago, Ill. 6225 14-16-0 206.14 1,210
12Bob Chase, Kansas City, Kan. 6259 9-21-0 199.26 1,180


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
13Bob Kwolek6217$450
14Earl Johnson6204445
15Bob Strampe6198440
16Joe Donato6197435
17Ed Bourdase6163430
18Bill Bunetta6141425
19Morrie Oppenheim6141420
20Vito Caloia6127415
21Richard Downey6125410
22James St. John6121405
23Dick Hoover6121400
24Buzz Fazio6120395
25Lindy Faragalli6103390
26Ray Bluth6101385
27Vern Downing6098380
28Jack Zack6089375
29John Powell6087370
30Joe Ostroski6084365
31Teata Semiz6081360
32Billy Golembiewski6071355
33Rudy Pugel6070350
34Don McClaren6066345
35Bill Tucker6053340
36Al Savas6051335
37Gary Hodgson6048330
38Mike Esposito6046325
39Lee Jouglard6044320
40Marv Lowery6044315
41Ralph Stewart6042310
42George Howard6039305
43Tom Harnisch6036300
44Lou Mandragona6028300
45Leo Mann6019300
46Chuck Pezzano6019300
47Eddie Jackson6009300
48Glenn Allison6005250