Riviera Lanes, Akron, Ohio, Apr 16-20, 1985

Firestone "Rookie" Mark Williams Wins T Of C For 2nd Straight Title

A year ago Mark Williams was ready to call it quits on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. He then became the champion of champions by knocking off top-seeded Bob Handley, 191-140, to capture the prestigious $200,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions.

The 27-year-old Texan worked his way past three opponents for the second consecutive week to claim the $40,000 first prize. He captured the $150,000 Pat Boone Open in Windsor Locks, Conn., a week earlier.

Williams watched Brian Voss eliminate 13-year Firestone veteran Gary Dickinson, 198-173, in the opening game of the nationally televised (ABC Sports) finals.

Williams appeared to be the loser in the second game against Voss, who needed to convert the 2-4-5 spare to win the match. Voss, however, chopped the 2-4 and left the 5-pin standing to leave the score at 211 and force a two-frame roll-off. The error proved costly for Voss, as Williams won the roll-off, 38-29.

In the semifinal match against Pete Weber, Williams had five strikes in his first seven frames while Weber failed to double. Williams won the match, 214-197, to advance to the finale.

Williams thrilled the capacity crowd at Riviera Lanes by converting the 4-7-10 split to open the title match. Handley responded by suffering through opens in his first three frames to fall behind by 44 pins.

Despite a missed 10-pin in the sixth frame, Williams held on for the win, as Handley managed only one strike in the game.

"When I picked up that split, I figured it was so early in the match that I had to go for it," said Williams, who almost quit the Tour to run a bowling center near his home in Beaumont. When the job fell through, the redhead decided to try the Tour again despite four years without a profit. It turned out to be a good decision.

The victory, which was the first for a Firestone "rookie" since Mike Berlin turned the trick in 1977, earned Williams a seven-year berth in the tournament, which is one of pro bowling's "Triple Crown" events.

Handley, who had not won a title in two years, said he never got lined up on the championship pair. "On my first practice ball I picked off three pins on the left," he recalled. "I started using different balls in the title game out of desperation. I'm not taking anything away from Mark, because he bowled a good game," he added. "But I wouldn't have felt better if I had lost with a 210. Losing is losing."


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
1Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas616 (3 games)$40,000
2Bob Handley, Pompano Beach, Fla.140 (1 game)22,000
3Pete Weber, St. Louis197 (1 game)15,000
4Brian Voss, Tacoma, Wash.409 (2 games)10,000
5Gary Dickinson, Burleson, Texas173 (1 game)7,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS - Voss defeated Dickinson, 198-173; Voss and Williams tied at 211 and Williams won the roll-off, 38-29; Williams defeated Weber, 214-197; and in the championship match, Williams defeated Handley, 191-140.


 Name, CityPinsAvg  WLT+TotAmt
1Bob Handley, Pompano Beach, Fla. 10316 214.9 16-8-0 480 10796 
2Pete Weber, St. Louis 10084 210.0 16-8-0 480 10564 
3Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas 9960 207.5 17-7-0 510 10470 
4Brian Voss, Tacoma, Wash. 10046 209.2 13-11-0 390 10436 
5Gary Dickinson, Burleson, Texas 10057 209.5 11-13-0 330 10387 
**6Steve Martin, Kingsport, Tenn. 9954 207.3 14-10-0 420 10374 $5,875
7Larry Laub, Tucson, Ariz. 9856 205.3 16-8-0 480 10336 5,000
8Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 10024 208.8 10-14-0 300 10324 4,500
9Steve Fehr, Cincinnati, Ohio 9828 204.7 14-10-0 420 10248 4,000
10David Ozio, Vidor, Texas 9818 204.5 13-11-0 390 10208 3,500
11Guppy Troup, Neptune Beach, Fla. 9813 204.4 12-11-1 375 10188 3,200
12Hugh Miller, Everett, Wash. 9758 203.2 13-11-0 390 10148 3,000
13Ted Hannahs, Zanesville, Ohio 9762 203.3 12-12-0 360 10122 2,900
14Wayne Webb, Indianapolis 9847 205.1 9-15-0 270 10117 2,800
15Bob Chamberlain, Auburn Hills, Mich. 9739 202.8 11-12-1 345 10084 2,700
16Mike Aulby, Indianapolis 9671 201.4 12-12-0 360 10031 2,600
17Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis 9712 202.3 10-14-0 300 10012 2,500
18Art Trask, Fresno, Calif. 9606 200.1 13-1t-0 390 9996 2,400
19Mal Acosta, Manteca, Calif. 9584 199.6 13-11-0 390 9974 2,300
20Sam Zurich, Hernando Beach, Fla. 9598 199.9 10-14-0 300 9898 2,200
21Tom Milton, St. Petersburg, Fla. 9546 198.8 9-15-0 270 9816 2,100
22George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. 9611 200.2 6-18-0 180 9791 2,000
23John DiLutis, Baltimore, Md. 9445 196.7 10-14-0 300 9745 1,900
24Joe Salvemini, Novato, Calif. 9377 195.3 7-17-0 210 9587 1,810


Pos.Name, City/StateAmount
*25Butch Soper, Huntington Beach, Calif.$1,805
26Dale Eagle, Chicago1,700
27Teata Semiz, Cedar Grove, N.J.1,700
28Gary Skidmore, Albuquerque, N.M.1,700
29Mark Roth, Spring Lake Hts., N.J.1,650
30Carmen Salvino, Chicago1,650
31Dave Soutar, Leawood, Kan.1,650
32Ron Palombi Jr., Erie, Pa.1,650
33Charlie Lacy, Midland, Texas1,600
34Johnny Petraglia, Manalapan, N.J.1,600
35Marshall Holman, Jacksonville, Ore.1,600
36Pete Couture, Windsor Locks, Conn.1,600
37Dave Davis, Tinton Falls, N.J.1,550
38Don Genalo, N. Merrick, N.Y.1,550
39Joe Berardi, Brooklyn, N.Y.1,550
40Jimmie Pritts Jr., Lawrence, Mass.1,550
41Rickie Sajek, Margate, Fla.1,500
42Ernie Schlegel, Vancouver, U.S.A.1,500
43Randy Lightfoot, St. Charles, Mo.1,500
44Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill.1,500
45Bill Spigner, Chicago1,450
46John Gant, Pittsburgh, Pa.1,450
47Tom Baker, Buffalo, N.Y.1,450
48Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio1,450
49Steve Neff, Homosassa Springs, Fla.1,400
50Warren Nelson, Fresno, Calif.1,400
51Bill Beach, Sharon, Pa.1,400
52Steve Cook, Roseville, Calif.1,375

* - Match play alternate. ** - TV finals alternate. 24-game qualifying leader - Mike Durbin, 4131. 24th place - John DiLutis, 4841. PRO-AM CASHERS - Mark Williams, Ted Hannahs, Pete Couture, Gary Skidmore, Guppy Troup and Pete Weber ($50 each). SQUAD PRIZES - High Block: Mike Durbin-1791, Mal Acosta-1855, David Ozio-1769, Bob Handley-1808, Mark Williams-1720, Pete Weber-1853. High Game: Guppy Troup-289, Mark Roth-280, Tom Milton-279, Bob Handley-275, Mike Durbin-278, Pete Weber-279 ($250 each). High game of match play finals - Pete Weber-279 ($500).