Leilani Lanes, Seattle, Jun 13-20, 1976

Colwell's Gutty Comeback

Paul Colwell fought his way back from embarrassment with an unbelievably gutty performance to win the 17th annual Professional Bowlers Association National Championship at Leilani Lanes in Seattle.

The Tucson star had come off a Winter Tour where he had won barely $6,000, determined to regain his form. A diet and an exercise program were beginning to pay off. After a third place finish the week before, Colwell had earned top seed in the $85,000 Nationals.

Engaged in a tight struggle with Dave Davis for the title Colwell had nearly lost it all. Needing only a strike and six-count, he had, with one misplaced shot, gone from sure winner to almost certain loser. Colwell's first shot of the 10th frame skidded into the gutter!

"It just slipped out of my hand when I released it, but throwing that gutter ball actually helped me," Colwell said afterwards. "After throwing it, I told myself I had to bear down."

He also was helped by a most sportsmanlike gesture by Davis. The crowd was still buzzing in disbelief when Colwell stepped back onto the approach and Davis raised his arms, asking for quiet.

Colwell's shot spilled all the pins, giving him a spare. Then, in the stillness hanging over the tense house, Colwell delivered again. The ball smashed through the pocket, knocking down all the pins for a tie at 191! Colwell was breathing new life.

Davis opened the rolloff with a strike. Then Colwell came through with a spare, two strikes and a nine-count, finishing with 49. Davis needed a double to win his third Nationals title in the tourney's 17-year history. He got the first, but his second ball left the 6-10 standing.

Colwell, almost a runnerup, was the champion, and $9,000 richer.

Also in the finals were two pros from nearby Tacoma, Earl Anthony, seeking an unprecedented fourth straight Nationals crown, and Jeff Mattingly, a white-haired 25-year-old rookie rolling in only his second tournament: Also among the five was George Pappas, the Charlotte, N.C., veteran enjoying another outstanding year.

They had come close, but not close enough. Earning a second chance, Colwell captured the prize.


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz.191 (1 game)$9,000
2Dave Davis, Atlanta, Ga.401 (2 games)5,000
3Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash.604 (3 games)4,000
4Jeff Mattingly, Tacoma, Wash.176 (1 game)3,000
5George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C.194 (1 game)2,500

PLAYOFF RESULTS-Anthony defeated Pappas, 197-194; Anthony defeated Mattingly, 225-176; Davis defeated Anthony, 210-182, and in the championship game, Colwell and Davis tied in regulation frames, 191-191, and in a two-frame relief Colwell defeated Davis, 49-48.


 Name, City/StatePins  WLT+TotAmt
1Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz. 12859 14-10-0 420 13279 
2Dave Davis, Atlanta, Ga. 12834 14-10-0 420 13254 
3Jeff Mattingly, Tacoma, Wash. 12797 15-9-0 450 13247 
4Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash. 12629 19-5-0 570 13199 
5George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 12660 15-9-0 450 13110 
*6Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 12626 16-8-0 480 13106 $2,100
7Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth, Texas 12594 17-7-0 510 13104 2,000
8Fred Conner, Mar Vista, Calif. 12555 17-7-0 510 13065 1,900
9Jay Robinson, Los Angeles, Calif. 12477 16-8-0 480 12957 1,800
10Bobby Fenton, Costa Mesa, Calif. 12379 15-9-0 450 12829 1,700
11Joe Hutchinson, Scranton, Pa. 12461 12-12-0 360 12821 1,600
12Billy Hardwick, Louisville, Ky. 12383 12-12-0 360 12743 1,500
13Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill. 12311 12-12-0 360 12671 1,450
14Eddie Ressler, Allentown, Pa. 12372 8-16-0 240 12612 1,400
15Darrell Storkson, Everett, Wash. 12272 10-14-0 300 12572 1,350
16Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash. 12289 9-15-0 270 12559 1,300
17Mike Matosich, San Bruno, Calif. 12290 8-16-0 240 12530 1,250
18Bill George, Citrus Hts., Calif. 12224 10-14-0 300 12524 1,200
19Keith Craycraft, N. Martinsville, W. Va. 12208 10-14-0 300 12508 1,150
20Ron Lisher, Santa Rosa, Calif. 12154 10-14-0 300 12454 1,100
21Larry Mathews, Salt Lake City, Utah, 12140 8-16-0 240 12380 1,050
22Art Trask, Fresno, Calif. 12128 8-16-0 240 12368 1,000
23Ron Bamer, Springfield, Ore. 11830 6-18-0 180 12010 950
24Mark Van Meter, Albuquerque, N.M. 11779 7-17-0 210 11989 900


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
*25Joey Berardi, Pearl River, N.Y.6948$860
 Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.6948785
27Bobby Jacks, New Orleans, La.6946740
28Cliff McNealy, San Lorenzo, Calif.6943720
29Steve Neff, Sarasota, Fla.6942700
30Dan Roche, Downey, Calif.6937680
31Kevin Gannon, Long Beach, Calif.6929660
32Palmer Fallgren, Sacramento, Calif.6928640
33Ernie Schlegel, U.S.A.6916620
34Mike Kelly, Seattle, Wash.6911600
35Barry Asher, Costa Mesa, Calif.6895580
36Marshall Holman, Medford, Ore.6894560
37Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo.6884540
38Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio6878520
39Wendell Davis, Johnson City, Tenn.6867500
40Matt Surina, Longview, Wash.6841480
41Dave Soutar, Kansas City, Mo.6829460
42Louie Moore, Columbus, Ohio6816440
43John Denton, Midland, Texas6815420
44Don Boyed, Lima, Ohio6812410
45Dave Bash, Parkersbusg, W. Va.6807400
46John Weber, Florissant, Mo.6795390
47Rick Minier, Akron, Ohio6773380
48Dennis Swayda, Phoenix, Ariz.6749370
49Larry Gray, Torrance, Cal.6731360
50Sam Flanagan, Parkersburg, W. Va.6705350
#51Layton Shirley, Seattle, Wash.6693340
52Sal Bongiorno, Hollywood, Fla.6678330
53Leroy Langager, Crystal, Minn.6671320

*Berardi and Stefanich tied for 25th; Stefanich conceded alternate spot to Berardi and Berardi received $75 for alternate. 32-game qualifying leader-Colwell, 7313. 24th place-Van Meter, 6960. #Layton Shirley, Bill Ballard and Les Schissler received $100 each for 300 games. PRO-AM CASHERS-$50 each- Marshall Holman, Jerry Hale, Tommy Hudson, Palmer Fallgren, Dick Weber, Johnny Guenther.