Henrietta Lanes Rochester, N.Y., Nov 26-Dec 1, 1972

"Gunner" Turns Bomber

For the second straight year Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash., found Henrietta Lanes here to his liking . . . only this time there was a bigger prize at stake.

Guenther won the $65,000 Professional Bowlers Association National Championship in Rochester after a ding-Bong battle with runnerup Dick Ritger, Hartford, Wis., during the final 16 games.

Guenther won the $40,000 Mercury Open here on virtually the same dates in 1971, and the long trek from Seattle again proved fruitful for Guenther as he captured one of bowling's "Big Four" titles.

The championship went right down to the position round game with Guenther winning, 225-193, to clinch the title.

The battle between he and Ritger was a thriller all the way on the last day. Both Guenther and the Wisconsin pro were farther back in the field as 32 games of qualifying and semi-final play ended with Matt Surina, Kelso, Wash., in the lead and Guenther and Ritger, second and third.

Surina started to fade during match game play the night before, and when it resumed the next afternoon Ritger managed to cling to a five-pin lead over Guenther after the first eight games.

In the final block the lead changed after virtually every game, with Guenther finally piling up a 35-pin edge going into the position round championship game. This meant that Ritger needed a six-pin win to go with the 30 bonus pins awarded the winner of the game, and for a time it looked as though he might turn the trick.

In the championship game, Guenther surprisingly left, and failed to make, a 7 pin in the first frame and then ran into a split in the third. This put Ritger up nearly 20 pins, but he, too, suffered a split in the fifth frame, and Guenther recovered for the championship-deciding margin.

Three 300 games spiced the action which was played to full-house crowds at nearly every session. Butch Gearhart, Houston, Texas, and Charlie Venable, Brooklyn, N.Y., rolled 300's during qualifying competition and Jay Robinson, Los Angeles, Calif., got another one in match game play.

Guenther received $7,500 for his victory, Ritger $4,000 for placing.

 Name, City/StatePins  WLT+TotAmt
1Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash. 12596 13-11-0 390 12986 $7,500
2Dick Ritger, Hartford, Wis. 12394 16-7-1 495 12889 4,000
3Bill Johnson, New Orleans, La. 12445 14-10-0 420 12865 3,000
4Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo. 12462 12-12-0 360 12822 2,500
5Mark Roth, Brooklyn, N.Y. 12254 15-9-0 450 12704 2,000
#6Jay Robinson, Los Angeles, Calif. 12291 13-11-0 390 12681 1,850
7Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J. 12118 16-8-0 480 12598 1,700
8Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz. 12250 11-13-0 330 12580 1,600
9Alex Seymore, Kannapolis, N.C. 12144 14-9-1 435 12579 1,500
10Butch Soper, Tustin, Calif. 12107 15-9-0 450 12557 1,400
11Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz. 12234 10-14-0 300 12534 1,300
12George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 12105 12-12-0 360 12465 1,200
13Matt Surina, Kelso, Wash. 12166 8-15-1 255 12421 1,150
14Billy Hardwick, Louisville, Ky. 12027 13-11-0 390 12417 1,100
15Art Trask, San Antonio, Texas 11998 13-11-0 390 12388 1,050
16John Handegard, Eugene, Ore. 11974 12-12-0 360 12334 1,000
17Norm Meyers, St. Louis, Mo. 11880 15-9-0 450 12330 950
18Sam Flanagan, Parkersburg, W. Va. 11899 11-12-1 345 12244 900
#19Charles Venable, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11845 12-12-0 360 12205 850
20Nelson Burton, Jr., St. Louis, Mo. 11923 9-15-0 270 12193 800
21Gus Lampo, Endicott, N.Y. 11907 9-15-0 270 12177 750
22Bobby Williams, Detroit, Mich. 11893 9-15-0 270 12163 700
23Bob Strampe, Detroit, Mich. 11786 11-13-0 330 12116 650
24Bob Hood, San Francisco, Calif. 11462 3-21-0 90 11552 600


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
25Mike McGrath, El Cerrito, Calif.6777$510
#26Butch Gearhart, Houston, Texas6770495
*27Steve Nowicki, Rochester, N.Y.6761555
28Tim Albin, Hollywood, Calif.6753470
29Mike Somers, E. Meadow, N.Y.6749460
30Bill Beach, Sharon, Pa.6746450
31Fred Jaskie, Milwaukee, Wis.6736440
32Mike Lemongello, Islip, N.Y.6734430
33Don Johnson, Akron, Ohio6694420
34Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth, Texas6692410
35Don McCune, Munster, Ind.6691400
36Palmer Fallgren, Sacramento, Calif.6686390
37Joe Dignam, Seattle, Wash.6676380
38Jeff Valentine, Boston, Mass.6660370
39Bill Straub, Lincoln, Neb.6641360
40Timmy Harahan, Canoga Park, Calif.6631350
41Randy Cottom, Harrisburg Ill.6630340
42Chuck Moran, San Diego, Calif.660030
43Tom Hudson, Akron, Ohio6580315
 Dick Zimmer, Rochester, N.Y.6580315
45Jerry Buchholz, San Jose, Calif.6548300
46Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif.6542290
47Jim Godman, Lorain, Ohio6533280
48Max Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.6508270

*Alternate. #Jay Robinson, Butch Gearhart, Charles Venable received $100 each for 300 games. 32game qualifying leader-Surina 7217. 24th low-Strampe 6783. PRO-AM CASHERS-$50-Jay Robinson, Billy Hardwick, George Fejes, Don Johnson, Dick Weber. $25-Johnny Guenther and Roy Buckley.