Hometown Favorite Eugene McCune Wins PBA50 South Shore Open as “Amateur”
by Bill Vint | Thursday, July 26, 7:03 PM
HAMMOND, Ind. – Eugene McCune of nearby Munster, Ind., a 31-year member of the Professional Bowlers Association before “retiring” at the end of the 2016 season, won the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by Hammer at Olympia Lanes Thursday with a convincing 259-202 victory over leading PBA50 Player of the Year contender Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix.
“This is the first time since I retired I’ve bowled three days in a row,” McCune said. “I was really surprised after the way Mike spanked me twice in match play earlier in the day. He’s the best there is on the senior tour right now.”
McCune, who won three PBA Tour titles in 600 events and another 23 titles in 365 PBA Regional events, made a decision to not renew his PBA membership because of his work load and lack of time. While he won in his first PBA50 Tour event, he won’t get credit for a title because he’s not a PBA member.
“I work all of the time and the odds of making a show aren’t easy out here,” said McCune, who turned 50 in June. “These guys are still good; if they can get the ball to the pocket, they’ll strike all day long.
“It’s not a lack of desire to compete; it’s a financial decision now,” he added. “It’s always good to win, but right now it’s all about the money. I looked at the finals like bowling pot games – the first game was for $4,500, the next one for $7,500.”
Despite losing in his bid for a third PBA50 title this year, Haugen extended his PBA50 Player of the Year points lead.
“Eugene isn’t a member, so that means no one gained points on me,” Haugen said. “He out-bowled me, and if I couldn’t win, no one was a better story than Eugene. I always say, if a guy out-bowls me, I’m happy to shake his hand and tell him I’ll get him the next time.”
In the opening match, PBA50 Tour rookie Greg Thomas of Irmo, S.C., threw an early turkey that proved to be the difference in a 225-197 win over PBA Hall of Famer Bryan Goebel of Shawnee, Kan., who didn’t throw back-to-back strikes until the 10th frame.
In the second match, Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., the 2017 South Shore Open runner-up, gave Thomas an opening when he left the 4-6-7-10 split in the fifth frame, but Thomas missed a 9 pin in his seventh frame and failed to strike on his next three shots, handing Learn a 209-203 win.
McCune advanced to the championship match with a 248-215 victory over Learn in the semifinal match after Learn left a 7-10 split on his first shot and a 3-4-6-7-10 split on his second, failing to convert both. McCune struck on seven of his first eight shots and never trailed.
The tour’s next stop is the PBA50 Security Federal Savings Bank Championship presented by Track at Dave Small’s Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind., beginning Saturday and concluding on Tuesday, July 31. After a brief respite, Xtra Frame on FloBowling resumes live coverage with the PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic, presented by Roto Grip, in Anderson, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the PBA50 Cup, presented by DV8, from Wyoming, Mich., Aug. 9-12, the concluding event of the PBA50 season.
PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling wraps up the “senior tour” regular season with the PBA60 Dick Weber Championship for players 60 and older, presented by 900 Global, at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne, Ind., Aug. 14-16.
All of the PBA50 Tour’s events will be covered from start to finish live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling. For subscription information, visit FloBowling.com.
PBA50 SOUTH SHORE OPEN
presented by Hammer
Olympia Lanes, Hammond, Ind., Thursday
1, n-Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., $7,500.
2, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, $4,000.
3, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., $2,500.
4, Greg Thomas, Irmo, S.C., $2,000.
5, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., $1,750.
Match One – Thomas def. Goebel, 225-197.
Match Two – Learn def. Thomas, 209-203.
Semifinal Match – McCune def. Learn, 248-215.
Championship Match – McCune def. Haugen, 259-202.
Modified Match Play Round 2 (after six games, including match play bonus pins):
1, Haugen, 6-0, 1,711.
2, McCune, 4-2, 1,619.
3, Learn, 5-1, 1,540.
4, Goebel, 2-4, 1,481.
5, Thomas, 4-2, 1,477.
6, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 4-2, 1,432, $1,500.
6, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 4-2, 1,432, $1,500.
8, ss-Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 3-3, 1,391, $1,500.
9, ss-Christopher Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 3-3, 1,361, $1,250.
10, Chris Gibbons, Madison, Wis., 2-4, 1,352, $1,250.
11, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2-4, 1,347, $1,250.
12, ss-Tom Baker, King, N.C., 2-4, 1,342, $1,250.
13, Scott Greiner, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 2-4, 1,337, $1,250.
14, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3-3, 1,318, $1,250.
15, ss-Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 2-4, 1,298, $1,250.
16, Mark Sullivan, Indianapolis, 0-6, 1,236, $1,250.
Modified Match Play Round 1 (other cashers after five games, including match play bonus pins, $1,100 each):
17, n-ss-Leroy Johnson, Chicago, 3-2, 1,130.
18, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 2-3, 1,112.
19, Steve Kenyon, Grosse Ile., Mich., 2-3, 1,108.
20, ss-Darryl Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1-4, 1,085.
21, ss-Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., 2-3, 1,072.
22, n-John Chapman, Canada, 1-4, 1,062.
23, ss-Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 3-2, 1,044.
24, ss-Henry Dawson, Elma, Wash., 2-3, 1,030.
Other Cashers (after five-game cashers’ round, $1,000 each):
25, ss-Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 1,085.
26, ss-Tom Carter, Columbus, Ohio, 1,077.
27, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,076.
28, Jeff Johnson, Freeport, Ill., 1,072.
29, Don Herrington, Ballston Lake, N.Y., 1,057.
30, Ernie Segura Jr., Taylor, Mich., 1,040.
31, ss-Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 1,019.
32, ss-Bruce Hall, Westborough, Mass., 998.
33, ss-Warren Nelson, Hemet, Calif., 971.
34, ss-Lee Brosius, Ashburn, Va., 958.
n-denotes non-PBA member; ss-denotes PBA60 player.
300 Games: Chris Gibbons, Doug Kent.