MGM-GRAND LANES, RENO, NEV., Jun 11-18, 1978

Nelson Keen-O In Reno

Warren Nelson, one of the young stars on the PBA Tour, scored an impressive victory when he took the top spot in the $100,000 MGM-PBA National Championship, held for the first time at the new MGM-Grand Lanes in Reno, Nev.

Nelson, whose best previous finish was fourth earlier in the year, didn't seem affected by the television lights and cameras. In fact, he appeared confident throughout his two-game stint.

And when the jubilant Nelson faced newsmen afterward, he let everyone know just how he felt.

"I just knew I was going to win," he said.

It was no easy task for the Downey, Calif., youngster, who was in his second year on the PBA Tour. As the No. 2 seed for the televised finals, he knew that his first match would be difficult.

Mark Roth, 1977 PBA Player of the Year, survived two preliminary matches, beating Tommy Hudson and Dennis Lane to reach the semifinal.

Nelson shook off an open frame late in the match with Roth, striking out for a 234-227 victory which left Roth in third place.

Next came tournament leader Joseph Groskind, a rookie from Memphis, Tenn. Groskind, who bowled superbly all week, couldn't get anything going against Nelson, although his 10th frame double forced Nelson to mark in his final frame for the victory. Nelson responded with a double of his own for a 219-199 triumph.

Nelson hovered near the lead throughout the tournament, leading after 40 and 48 games. Groskind, who'd been moving up in the standings after each round, made his move in the final eight games and wrested the top spot from Nelson to qualify in the enviable No. 1 spot for the TV finals.

The six-man finals began when Hudson defeated Nelson Burton Jr., 221-161. Roth then stopped Hudson, 256-245, and sidelined Lane, 279-225. Roth's streak stopped at two when Nelson entered the scene.

The 22-year-old Californian earned $15,000 for the victory, which also qualified him for the Firestone Tournament of Champions. Groskind's $8,000 runnerup prize was the biggest of his young career.

Officials at the MGM-Grand Lanes said that they hoped that the National Championship would find a permanent home in Reno.


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1Warren Nelson, Downey, Calif.453 (2 games)$15,000
2Joseph Groskind, Memphis, Tenn.199 (1 game)8,000
3Mark Roth, N. Arlington, N.J.762 (3 games)6,000
4Dennis Lane, Kingsport, Tenn.225 (1 game)5,000
5Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio466 (2 games)4,000
6Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis, Mo.161 (1 game)3,200

PLAYOFF RESULTS: Hudson beat Burton, 221-161; Roth beat Hudson, 256-245; Roth beat Lane, 279-225; Nelson beat Roth, 234-227; Nelson beat Groskind, 219-199.


 Name, CityPinsAvg  WLT+TotAmt
1Joseph Groskind, Memphis, Tenn. 12620 225.3 19-5-0 570 13190 
2Warren Nelson, Downey, Calif. 12543 223.9 17-7-0 510 13053 
3Dennis Lane, Kingsport, Tenn. 12666 226.1 12-12-0 360 13026 
4Mark Roth, N. Arlington, N.J. 12551 224.1 13-11-0 390 12941 
5Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio 12556 224.2 12-11-1 375 12931 
6Nelson Burton, Jr., St. Louis, Mo. 12440 222.1 14-10-0 420 12860 
7Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif. 12420 221.7 14-10-0 420 12840 $2,750
8George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 12444 222.2 13-1L-0 390 12834 2,400
9Randy Lightfoot, St. Charles, Mo. 12329 220.1 16-8-0 480 12809 2,200
10Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth, Tex. 12348 220.5 14-10-0 420 12768 2,100
11Boysie Huber, St. Louis, Mo. 12345 220.4 13-11-0 390 12735 2,000
12Dave Frame, Baldwin Pk., Calif. 12305 219.7 14-10-0 420 12725 1,900
13Palmer Fallgren, Sacramento, Calif. 12390 221.2 9-13-2 300 12690 1,800
14Craig Cutsor, Whittier, Calif. 12326 220.1 12-12-0 360 12686 1,700
15Steve Neff, Sarasota, Fla. 12318 219.9 11-13-0 330 12648 1,600
16Fred Conner, Mar Vista, Calif. 12343 220.4 9-14-1 285 12628 1,500
17Rich Venturi, Daly City, Calif. 12259 218.9 12-12-0 360 12619 1,400
18Dave Husted, Milwaukie, Ore. 12221 218.2 12-12-0 360 12581 1,300
19John Guenther, Seattle, Wash. 12225 218.3 11-13-0 330 12555 1,250
20Paul Vorisek, Cleveland 12237 218.5 8-15-1 255 12492 1,200
+21Henry Gonzalez, Colo. Springs 12138 216.7 10-13-1 315 12447 1,020
22Keith Craycraft, New Martinsville 12111 216.2 8-16-0 240 12351 1,100
23Cliff McNealy, San Lorenzo, Calif. 12027 214.7 9-15-0 270 12297 1,050
24Mike Berlin, Muscatine, Iowa 12154 217.0 3-21-0 90 12244 1,000


Pos.Name, City/StateAmount
+25Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz.$995
*26Jeff Phipps, Salem, Ore.870
27Ernie Schlegel, U.S.A.800
28Rick Jones, Bellingham, Wash.780
29Bill Spigner, Hamden, Conn.760
30Fred Jaskie, Greendale, Wis.740
31Lamar Kock, Canoga Park, Calif.720
32Greg Guertin, Sacramento, Calif.700
33Johnny Petraglia, Staten Island, N.Y.680
34John Denton, Midland, Texas660
35Don Johnson, Las Vegas, Nev.640
36John Reeser, Daly City, Calif.620
37John Bolejack, Ft. Worth, Texas600
38Roy Buckley, Columbus, Ohio580
39Matt Surina, Longview, Wash.570
40Matt Kerns, Lakewood, Colo.555
 Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.555
42Les Zikes, Palatine, Ill.540
43Mal Acosta, Fremont, Calif.525
 Dan Roche, Downey, Calif.525
45Frank Ellenburg, Mesa, Ariz.510
46George LeCain, Danvers, Mass.500
47Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio490
48Ed Ressler Jr., Allentown, Pa.480
49Pete McCordic, Houston, Texas470
40Bobby Knipple, Long Beach, Calif.460
51Paul Moser, Medford, Mass.450
52Joe Berardi, Pearl River, N.Y.440
53Sam Fox, San Francisco, Calif.425
 Don Sylvia, Fishkill, N.Y.425
55Don Bell, Santa Maria, Calif.410
56Dale Glenn, Northridge, Calif.400
57Art Trask, Fresno, Calif.390
58Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash.380
59AI Stonum, San Francisco, Calif.370
60Wendell Davis, Johnson City, Tenn.360
61Steve Westberg, Cottage Grove, Ore.350
62Joel Hafner, White Bear Lake, Minn.340
63Tom Laskow, Commack, N.Y.330
64Greg Damaskos, Yakima, Wash.320
65Jimmy McHugh, Las Vegas, Nev.310
66Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill.300

*Alternate. 32-game qualifying leader - Lane, 7276. 24th place - Zahn, 7001. Reeser, Lane, Conner, Hudson, Laub, and Craycraft shot 300 games. PRO-AM CASHERS - Bell, Martin, Frame, Holman, Huber, Neff, Sliker. +Gonzalez entered match play for Zahn after two games and took a 6-pin penalty. They split 25th and 21st money. Gonzalez received $25 as alternate for one round, Phipps, new alternate, received $50.