Erce Earns His Third Senior Masters
Rick Erce has established himself as the Derek Eoff of the MBA Senior Masters.
Well, that may be a bit much, but for comparisons sake – they have each won three of their last four attempts at MBA Senior Masters and MBA Masters events, respectively. Admittedly, that may be where the similarity ends. But, at that point does anything else really matter?
This year, the tournament was hosted by Waun-A-Bowl on Sunday, November 11, and conducted on a modified house pattern. Scoring was moderate with the field of 26 averaging about 203.5 for qualifying. The cut to cash was +12, +35, +41, +48, +52, and ultimately +59. The cut to make the top four stepladder was +46, +60, +91, +91, +115, and finally +106.
There was one honor score on the day, a 300 game by Dan Seppa who finished at +9 … without a 200 game.
Jeff Prein led qualifying out of the gates with a 259, followed by Gregg Williams (256), Rollie Truehl (247), and Tim Morris (247). The same four shuffled around a bit after game two with Prein at 481, followed by Truehl at 469, Morris at 468, and Williams at 460.
In game three, Truehl found himself on top of a very tight leaderboard with Bob Richardson at +95. Williams stayed in third at +94 and Herb Kimpel at +91.
After four games the eventual high qualifier Rick Erce moved into the top spot at +125, followed by Richardson at +114, Truehl at +96, and Kimpel at +91.
In the fifth game Truehl retook the lead with a 249 game to go to +145. Dave Massey vaulted into the second spot at +143 with a 268. Erce dropped to third, +141, and Kimpel was fifth at +115.
The cut to the top four stepladder actually dropped after game six. Erce qualified first at +178, followed by Kimpel at +162, and Truehl at +157. Kevin Thompson grabbed the last spot at +106 after going +60 his final two games. Richardson fell short with just 206 his final game. Brian Longfield (256, +101) and Ron Blanchar (246, +101) made a game effort in the last as well.
The first stepladder match featured the #4 qualifier Kevin Thompson versus #3 Rollie Truehl. Thompson started the game with the first nine strikes and ended with 278. Truehl, while solid, kept pace through seven frames with spare, four bagger, spare, and strike – but Thompson just wasn’t missing. Thompson advanced to the next match with his 278-226 win.
Thompson continued his hot streak over the #2 qualifier Herb Kimpel. Thompson fired another nine strike game with the first four strikes, and eight of the first nine. Kimpel started with a double, erred, and made three spares in his next four frames before closing with the last five strikes for 224. Thompson ended up with 258 and a shot in the title match.
The title match looked like another Thompson steamroller was approaching as he started with a spare and a double. Two-time champion and lead qualifier Rick Erce went spare, strike, spare to stay in range. Thompson opened the fourth frame, however, and Erce took advantage with a turkey, spare, and double through the ninth. Thompson recovered somewhat, but could only muster another double in the sixth and seventh frames. Erce finished at 227 and Thompson 197.
It was a very good day of bowling on a testy modified house shot at Waun-A-Bowl. The proprietor consulted with Schemm Bowling Inc. to give us a condition that would hold up for the entirety of the tournament – which it did. The shot seemed very fair. Another big thanks to our hosts for a fantastic Senior City Tournament and another successful Senior Masters.
Match 1: #4 Thompson def. #3 Truehl 278-226
Match 2: #4 Thompson def. #2 Kimpel 258-224
Match 3: #1 Erce def. #4 Thompson 227-197