Riviera Lanes, Akron, Ohio, Mar 27-31, 1973

Godman A Repeat Winner

The Firestone Tournament of Champions has its first repeat champion.

Jim Godman, a strong-armed pro bowler from Lorain, Ohio, won the $125,000 tournament here, duplicating the triumph he first registered in 1969 and taking with him professional bowling's richest first prize, $25,000.

The victory was almost a virtual repeat in that Godman used the same style as he did in '69-a straight hard line to the pocket.

That style paid off from the very beginning of the tournament when he recorded a 266 in his very first game. Then he battled through 49 more games of competition until he defeated Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif., 224-200, in the championship game.

Asher was one of three Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) champions in the exclusive 52-man field who nearly upset the victory-minded Godman.

Godman surrendered the tournament lead to Asher in the position round game when Asher fired a 290 game at Roy Buckley, Columbus, Ohio, and took over the number one seeded spot in the nationally televised finals.

Dave Davis, Don McCune and Dick Weber also held the lead briefly, but Godman never let himself drop lower than fourth in the game-by-game standings and he had it when the chips were down.

Larry Laub, a third-place finisher in the 1972 Firestone, also made it to the finals by coming up with a 216-205 victory over Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz., in that position-round game the night before.

Riviera Lanes was packed for the finals, just as it had been all week, and the crowd had picked Weber, pro bowling's all-time leading money winner, as its favorite.

And for a time it looked as though he might turn the trick.

He waited one game while McCune disposed of Laub, 232-217, then Weber strung four strikes in the middle of the game and added three more at the end to oust McCune, 235-218.

But Godman was not to be denied. He had been waiting nervously on the sidelines, watching his potential opponents on a television monitor and he decided then, just as he did four years earlier, to go with the same hard-line ball.

It worked. He knocked Weber out, 227-192, with strikes from the fourth through the seventh frames, and Weber's four closing strikes couldn't offset splits in the fourth and eighth frames.

In the championship game, Asher just couldn't find a line while Godman put together a three-bagger in the middle of the game. A double in the ninth frame clinched the big victory for Godman, the ninth of his professional career. His wife, Joyce, was on hand to receive the check from A. E. "Scotty" Brubaker, Firestone vice president.

Asher received $14,000 for second, Weber $8,000 for third, McCune $6,000 for fourth and Laub $4,000 for fifth. McCune, thus retains his money lead with official earnings of $39,960.


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1Jim Godman, Lorain, Ohio451 (2 games)$25,000
2Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif.200 (1 game)14,000
3Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo.427 (2 games)8,000
4Don McCune, Munster, Ind.450 (2 games)6,000
5Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif.217 (1 game)4,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS-McCune defeated Laub, 232-217; Weber defeated McCune, 235-218; Godman defeated Weber, 227-192; and in the championship game Godman defeated Asher, 224-200.


 Name, City/StatePins  WLT+TotAmt
1Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif. 10141 15-9-0 450 10591 
2Jim Godman, Lorain, Ohio 10139 14-10-0 420 10559 
3Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo. 10164 12-12-0 360 10524 
4Don McCune, Munster, Ind. 10078 13-11-0 390 10468 
5Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif. 10050 13-10-1 405 10455 
*6Dave Davis, Miami, Fla. 10046 13-11-0 390 10436 $3,350
7Roy Buckley, Columbus, Ohio 9938 16-8-0 480 10418 3,000
8Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz. 9890 16-8-0 480 10370 2,800
9Johnny Petraglia, Brooklyn, N.Y. 9937 12-12-0 360 10297 2,600
10Dick Ritger, Hartford, Wis. 9821 14-10-0 420 10241 2,500
11Skee Foremsky, Houston, Texas 9897 11-13-0 330 10227 2,400
12Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash. 9803 12-11-1 375 10178 2,300
13Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz. 9812 12-12-0 360 10172 2,200
14Bob Strampe, Detroit, Mich. 9710 15-9-0 450 10160 2,100
15Don Helling, St. Louis, Mo. 9798 12-12-0 360 10158 2,000
16Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill. 9850 10-14-0 300 10150 1,900
17Mike McGrath, EI Cerrito, Calif. 9869 9-15-0 270 10139 1,800
18Mike Lemongello, Islip, N.Y. 9821 10-14-0 300 10121 1,700
19George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 9784 11-13-0 330 10114 1,650
20Gus Lampo, Endicott, N.Y. 9804 10-14-0 300 10104 1,600
21Don Johnson, Akron, Ohio 9694 12-12-0 360 10054 1,550
22Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth, Texas 9765 9-14-1 285 10050 1,500
23Tommy Tuttle, King, N.C. 9612 7-16-1 225 9837 1,450
24Dave Soutar, Gilroy, Calif. 9502 8-16-0 240 9742 1,400


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
*25Mike Durbin, Chagrin Fall, Ohio4832$1,075
26Billy Hardwick, Louisville, Ky.48301,000
27Larry Lichstein, Suffield, Conn.48251,000
28Bobby Cooper, Houston, Texas48111,000
29Bill Beach, Sharon, Pa.48061,000
 Butch Gearhart, Houston, Texas48061,000
31Jim St. John, Sacramento, Calif.48031,000
32Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.47921,000
33Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis, Mo.47891,000
34Bobby Knipple, Long Beach, Calif.47861,000
35Les Schissler, Denver, Colo.47771,000
36Ray Robinson, Los Angeles, Calif.47561,000
37Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash.47541,000
38Les Zikes, Palatine, Ill.47411,000
39Curt Schmidt, Ft. Wayne, Ind.47381,000
40Harry O'Neale, Charleston, S.C.7371,000
41Norm Meyers, St. Louis, Mo.46991,000
42Bob Collates, Miami, Fla.46801,000
43Lou Scalia, Hollywood, Calif.46761,000
44Matt Surina, Longview, Wash.46741,000
 Terry Booth, Mountain View, Calif.46741,000
46Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J.46641,000
47Don Glover, South Bend, Ind.46531,000
48Bill Tucker, Detroit, Mich.46431,000
49Gary Mage, Seattle, Wash.46401,000
50Dick Battista, Astoria, N.Y.46361,000
51Allie Clarke, Akron, Ohio46211,000
52Tim Harahan, Canoga Park, Calif.45071,000

*Alternate. 24-game qualifying leader-Godman 5169. 24th low-Colwell 4833. PRO-AM CASHERS-$50-Mike McGrath, Johnny Petraglia, Mike Durbin, Don McCune, Butch Gearhart, Dave Soutar.