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Professional Bowling Assocation tour in Abilene

By Joe Starkey



The regional PBA tour stopped at Abilene Lanes last weekend. After watching them thrown more strikes than not, I stopped one of the top twenty five qualifiers and asked him about how he came to be on the tour. Derrick Woods of Houston is twenty three and started bowling when he was eight years old. He carried a 220 average out of a possible 300 for over 2 years before he decided to turn pro. He also had experience {{more}} bowling for Wichita State University which is one of the very best college bowling programs competing in the NCAA. He finished his qualifying set of 8 games across that many lanes on Saturday +57 with a last game of 245. +57 in pro terms means that you bowled 57 pins above an average of 200. This qualified him as 24th place with 25 bowlers advancing to the Semis on Sunday. Franks Dawson Jr. with +16 and Blaine Weninger with – 27 , both of Abilene did not make the final 25. The Semis saw Derrick move up to 21st which was 85 pins short of making the elimination rounds. He ended his weekend with a cash award of $400.00 which was $60 more than he spent in Abilene. Comments about the cost of gas to get here were shrugged off with the comment “that’s deductible.” He is currently only bowling tournaments and is scheduled for one in the Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana area most weekends. His average costs range between $400 and $500 per weekend for expenses. He carries anywhere from 8 to 20 custom bowling balls with him on these trips. He has bowled four perfect 300 games sanctioned by the American Bowling Congress and one 300 game during his two year PBA experience. He’s a very cheerful young man off the lanes but competes very intensely on the lanes. He practices a minimum of 25-50 games a week and talked with others about finding some really tough lanes when he got home to “sharpen my game.” He projects qualify for the National Professional Bowlers Tour by the time he is twenty five. Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo won the finals by defeating Dino Castillo in the Round of 8, Wes Malott in the Round of 4, and Kevin Mitchell of Tulsa, Ok in the final.

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