Riviera Lanes Akron, Ohio, Mar 28-Apr 1, 1972

Durbin Rolls To Victory

Mike Durbin's professional bowling career reached its zenith when he fired a threegame 775 series to win the $125,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions, professional bowling's richest and most prestigious tournament.

In the championship game, Durbin triumphed over Timmy Harahan, Canoga Park, Calif., 258-187, to climax the tournament and grab off the $25,000 first prize.

Durbin, who had left the tour to become a house pro at Chagrin Falls, set one Professional Bowlers Association record enroute to his big victory and then had to fight his way from third place in the nationally televised finals to win this richest of all competitions.

Throughout the earlier part of the week, he had battled for the lead with Nelson Burton Jr. and Harahan. He also faced challenges from Larry Laub, George Pappas and Teata Semiz.

Terry Booth, Mountain View, Cal., got the tournament off to a great start with a 300 game right out of the box, while Laub and Mike Lemongello also chipped in with perfect games to the vast enjoyment of the huge crowds which jammed Riviera Lanes all week. But all the while Durbin was setting a faster pace than any in the 52-man field. For the first 16 games, Durbin totalled 4006 pins which broke the old PBA record of 3926 pins set by Jim Stefanich at these same lanes in 1967.

He slowed down slightly during match game play, alternating between first and second place with Harahan, until the position-round when he slipped to third place under a 258-147 defeat by Harahan. That dropped Durbin to third for the finals, along with Harahan, Laub, Pappas and Semiz. Harahan was top seeded.

In the first match, Pappas had 268 to Semiz' 248. Against Durbin, Pappas got his bad ball in the sixth frame when he left the 4-6-7-10 split and Durbin coasted in with a 248-226 victory. That sixth frame also proved fatal for Laub, who was the next to face Durbin. Laub left an 8-10 split in the sixth frame and he went down to defeat 269-224.

In the championship game, Harahan couldn't duplicate his fine bowling of all week. Durbin chopped the six-pin off the 10 in the very first frame, but Harahan just couldn't put any pressure on Durbin, because the former Californiancame right back with a double and then added six more strikes while Harahan dropped steadily behind.


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio775 (3 games)$25,000
2Tim Harahan, Canoga Park, Calif.187 (1 game)14,000
3Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif.224 (1 game)8,000
4George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C.494 (2 games)6,000
5Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J,248 (1 game)4,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS-Pappas defeated Semiz, 268-248; Durbin defeated Pappas, 248-226; Durbin defeated Laub, 269-224, and in the championship game Durbin defeated Harahan, 258-187.


 Name, City/StatePins  WLT+TotAmt
1Tim Harahan, Canoga Park, Calif. 11111 19-5-0 570 11681 
#2Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif. 10939 16-8-0 480 11419 
3Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 11016 12-11-1 375 11391 
4Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J. 10905 14-10-0 420 11325 
5George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 10787 13-10-1 405 11192 
*#6Mike Lemongello, N. Babylon, N.Y. 10824 11-12-1 345 11169 $3,350
7Johnny Petraglia, Brooklyn, N.Y. 10718 13-11-0 390 11108 3,000
8Jim Godman, Lorain, Ohio 10762 11-12-1 345 11107 2,800
9Bill Beach, Sharon, Pa. 10706 13-11-0 390 11096 2,600
10Allie Clarke, Akron, Ohio 10688 13-11-0 390 11078 2,500
11Bobby Meadows, Houston, Texas 10624 13-11-0 390 11014 2,400
12Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis, Mo. 10645 12-12-0 360 11005 2,300
13Bobby Cooper, Houston, Texas 10682 10-14-0 300 10982 2,200
14Don McCune, Munster, Ind. 10709 9-15-0 270 10979 2,100
15Jack Biondolillo, Houston, Texas 10627 11-12-1 345 10972 2,000
16Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo. 10529 14-9-1 435 10964 1,900
17Don Johnson, Akron, Ohio 10598 11-12-1 345 10943 1,800
18Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash. 10518 11-13-0 330 10848 1,700
19Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill. 10495 10-13-1 315 10810 1,650
20Curt Schmidt, Ft. Wayne, Ind. 10497 10-14-0 300 10797 1,600
21Les Schissler, Denver, Colo. 10489 10-14-0 300 10789 1,550
22Les Zikes, Palatine, Ill. 10403 10-13-1 315 10718 1,500
23Butch Gearhart, Houston, Texas 10338 11-12-1 345 10683 1,450
24Larry Lichstein, Suffield, Conn. 10429 6-18-0 180 10609 1,400


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
*25Tye Critchlow, Los Angeles, Calif.5198$1,075
26Gus Lampo, Endicott, N.Y.51971,000
27Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.51961,000
28Don Helling, St. Louis, Mo.51701,000
29Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif.51651,000
30Dave Soutar, Tarzana, Calif.51541,000
31Dick Ritger, Hartford, Wis.51531,000
32Bob Strampe, Detroit, Mich.51311,000
33Don Glover, South Bend, Ind.50951,000
34Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz.50811,000
#35Terry Booth, Mountain View Calif.50581,000
36Bill Welu, Houston, Texas50311,000
37Bud Horn, Los Angeles, Calif.50171,000
38J. B. Blaylock, Alamogordo, N.M.49631,000
39Harry Smith, Rochester, N.Y.49621,000
40Mike McGrath, EI Cerrito, Calif.49591,000
41Bill Tucker, Detroit, Mich.49491,000
42Ed Bourdase, Fresno, Calif.49401,000
43Skee Foremsky, Houston, Texas49311,000
44Dick Battista, Astoria, N.Y.49261,000
45Roy Buckley, Columbus, Ohio48961,000
46Lou Scalia, Hollywood, Fla.48911,000
47Jim Chestney, Salt Lake City, Utah48881,000
48Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash.48781,000
49Tommy Tuttle, King, N.C.48631,000
50Ray Bluth, St. Louis, Mo.48151,000
51Dave Davis, Miami, Fla.47341,000
52Bill Hardwick, Louisville, Ky.47321,000

*Alternates. # Booth, Lemongello and Laub received $100 U.S. Savings Bonds for 300 games. 24Game Qualifying leader-Durbin 5722. 24th Low-Zikes 5207. PRO-AM CASHERS-$50 each-Harry Smith, Don Helling, Bobby Cooper, Johnny Petraglia, Mike Durbin, Larry Laub.