Riviera Lanes, Akron, Ohio, Apr 13-17, 1976

Holman Edges Hardwick

Marshall Holman became the youngest man ever to win the $125,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions when he captured the 1976 edition, nipping Billy Hardwick, 203-198, in the title game.

Only 21-years-old, the Medford, Ore., "Meteor" made the $25,000 paycheck, biggest in professional bowling, his third title in less than a year.

Holman did it by tossing haymakers at two of the Professional Bowlers Association's battle-hardened veterans, Hardwick and Timmy Harahan.

Coincidentally, it was Hardwick who had captured the very first Firestone in 1965. And it was Hardwick who had captured the very first Firestone in 1965. And it was Hardwick who was seeking a second straight tour triumph, having won the previous week at Toledo after a seven-year drought.

In the title fray, Holman shot first and spared. Then Hardwick got the first two of three strikes. Holman countered with strikes in the second and third, then forged ahead when Hardwick left the 4-5-7 split and failed to convert.

That turned a five-pin Holman deficit into a five-pin Holman lead and he stayed ahead for the remainder of the game. Had Hardwick closed with a flurry of strikes, he could have shut out Holman. Instead, he spared twice, then struck on his fill ball and sat down hoping for a miracle.

It didn't come. Although Holman came in high on his first shot of the 10th, he left only the 4-7 for an easy spare. All Holman needed was the mark, and he got that.

Holman had made the finals second to Hardwick, with Harahan, Don McCune and Teata Semiz rounding out the select five. The position round battle for the finals was so tight that the man Holman beat, veteran Dick Weber, finished eighth.

Adding to the thrills at Riviera Lanes was the perfect game rolled by defending champion Dave Davis.

In the finals, Harahan stopped Semiz, 225-216, then breezed by McCune, 237-186. Holman then slapped Harahan, 238-208, to set up the title match.

The 5-9, 140-pound Holman then nipped Hardwick, doing in his first national television appearance what few thought he could do-beat the best veterans in the biggest tournament of all.


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1Marshall Holman, Medford, Ore.441 (2 games)$25,000
2Billy Hardwick, Louisville, Ky.198 (1 game)14,000
3Tim Harahan, Woodland Hills, Cal.670 (3 games)8,000
4Don McCune, Munster, Ind.186 (1 game)6,000
5Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J.216 (1 game)4,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS-Harahan defeated Semiz, 225-216; Harahan defeated McCune, 237-186; Holman defeated Harahan, 238-208, and in the championship game, Holman defeated Hardwick, 203-198.


 Name, City/StatePins  WLT+TotAmt
1Billy Hardwick, Louisville, Ky. 10382 16-8-0 480 10862 
2Marshall Holman, Medford, Ore. 10400 14-9-1 435 10835 
3Don McCune, Munster, Ind. 10431 12-11-1 375 10806 
4Tim Harahan, Woodland Hills, Calif. 10430 11-12-1 345 10775 
5Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J. 10413 12-12-0 360 10773 
*6Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth, Texas 10362 13-10-1 405 10767 $3,350
7Roy Buckley, Columbus, Ohio 10378 12-12-0 360 10738 3,000
8Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo. 10227 17-7-0 510 10737 2,800
9Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif. 10266 14-10-0 420 10686 2,600
10Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio 10310 12-11-1 375 10685 2,500
11Allie Clarke, Akron, Ohio 10316 12-12-0 360 10676 2,400
12Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill. 10355 10-13-1 315 10670 2,300
13Mark Roth, Staten Island, N.Y. 10252 13-10-1 405 10657 2,200
14Jim Godman, Lorain, Ohio 10367 9-14-1 285 10662 2,100
15George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 10312 11-13-0 330 10642 2,000
16Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis, Mo. 10239 12-12-0 360 10599 1,900
17Mike Limongello, Lindenhurst, N.Y. 10221 12-11-1 375 10596 1,800
18Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif. 10283 10-14-0 300 10583 1,700
19Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 10156 13-11-0 390 10546 1,650
20John Wilcox, Montoursville, Pa. 10092 14-10-0 420 10512 1,600
#21Dave Davis, Atlanta, Ga. 10148 10-14-0 300 10448 1,550
22Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz. 10123 9-14-1 285 10408 1,500
23Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz. 10127 6-18-0 180 10307 1,450
24Jay Robinson, Los Angeles, Calif. 9905 9-15-0 270 10175 1,400


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
*25Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash.5042$1,075
26Gus Lampo, Endicott, N.Y.50241,000
27Marty Piraino, Syracuse, N.Y.49961,000
28Dave Soutar, Kansas City, Mo.49741,000
29Bill Beach, Sharon, Pa.49551,000
30Curt Schmidt, Ft. Wayne, Ind.49381,000
31Bob Hood, San Mateo, Calif.49221,000
32Louie Moore, Columbus, Ohio49131,000
33Don Johnson, Las Vegas, Nev.49101,000
34Eddie Ressler, Allentown, Pa.49011,000
35Palmer Fallgren, San Francisco, Calif.48981,000
36Matt Surina, Longview, Wash.48901,000
37Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.48891,000
 Dale Glenn, Los Angeles, Calif.48891,000
39Steve Neff, Sarasota, Fla.48771,000
40Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash.48761,000
41Paul Moser, Medford, Mass.48731,000
42Mike McGrath, San Francisco, Calif.48341,000
43Bobby Knipple, Long Beach, Calif.48271,000
44Don Helling, St. Charles, Mo.48171,000
45Gary Mage, Bellevue, Wash.48111,000
46Bus Oswalt, Muncie, Ind.48011,000
47Johnny Petraglia, Staten Island, N.Y.47701,000
48Dick Ritger, River Falls, Wis.47691,000
49Sal Bongiorno, Hollywood, Fla.47391,000
50Skee Foremsky, Houston, Texas47101,000
51Bill Allen, Maitland, Fla.45301,000
52Sam Flanagan, Parkersburg, W. Va. (20 games)38981,000

*Alternate. #Dave Davis received $100 for a 300 game. 24-game qualifying leader-Godman 5339. 24th pace-Semiz 5054. PRO-AM CASHERS-$50 each-George Pappas, Dave Davis, Allie Clarke, Tom Hudson, John Petraglia, Roy Buckley. HIGH GAME AWARDS-$375-Mike Limongello. $250 each-Marty Piraino, Dave Davis. $197.50-Roy Buckley. $125 each-Gary Dickinson and Larry Laub. $62,50 each-Barry Asher, Don McCune, Jay Robinson HIGH SERIES AWARDS-$500 each-Marty Piraino, Roy Buckley, Mark Roth, Billy Hardwick, Allie Clarke, Tim Harahan.