Rick Erce
Rick Erce

Erce Outlasts Pair of Hall of Famers


While there were only 27 entrants into this year’s Senior Masters tournament, the second lowest turnout since the inaugural year (19), the quality of bowling did not suffer one iota. The competition was very tight, as well, 17 of the 27 entries were within the cash line at some point in the tournament. There were plenty of strikes across the score monitors – but it was readily apparent that poor shots would not be rewarded … save the occasional Brooklyn. Long strings were few; high games on the day were a 268 by Jeff Barsness and a 267 by defending champion Jeff Richgels.

The pattern chosen for the tournament came directly from the kegel.net pattern library. With their handy tool, the user inputs the lane surface, desired difficulty, and oiling machine. From there, it offered four patterns to choose from. Ultimately, the Kegel Kode Challenge Series – 4239 was selected because it was nearest the 4:1 ratio (ala USBC Blue) typically used four our Masters events.

The field averaged just over 201 for the tournament on the pattern. The cut to cash was +20, +14, +17, +22, +30, and ultimately +38. Pete Yelk and Conway Sunell tied for the ninth cash spot, and took home $40.00 each. The cut to make the top four stepladder was +41, +43, +50, +62, +65, and finally +72.

Dave Massey
Dave Massey

In the first match, the number three qualifier (1273), 2007 Hall member Greg Stauffacher was unable to close out fellow 2007 Hall member Dave Massey (4th, 1272) in the tenth frame. Massey buried the first of his needed two strikes, but was unable to come up with the second, losing to the Rhino 193-189.

Greg Stauffacher
Greg Stauffacher

Stauffacher advanced to face Rick Erce in the semi. Posting a clean 207 game, Stauffacher needed Erce to open the 10th frame. Erce was striking more than Stauffacher, but had a pair of open frames in this game, one in the ninth. In the clutch shot of the day (which, ironically followed the least clutch shot of the day), Erce covered a washout and picked up the requisite pins to defeat Stauffacher 210-207.

Jeff Prein
Jeff Prein

In the title match, Hall of Famer Jeff Prein started the match in the driver’s seat with three strikes. Although he stayed clean, Prein was unable to keep the momentum and Erce fought back to get in the match with a late string of four strikes. His 9/9 tenth frame, though, allowed Prein the opportunity to double for the win. Erce won 234-223 when Prein left a seven pin on his first shot in the tenth.

Congratulations to Rick Erce, who picked up the first place prize of $314, the eagle trophy, a ticket to the Dinner with the Champions, and two tickets to the MBA Hall of Fame dinner.

This was a very good tournament, paying $1,254 in total prize money to 1:3 bowlers who entered, with last cash at $75.00 (at least until Sunell and Yelk conspired to share it, costing us an extra fiver).

Prize List

1.Erce, Rick$314.00
2.Prein, Jeff$200.00
3.Stauffacher, Greg$160.00
4.Massey, Dave$135.00
5.Barsness, Jeff$120.00
6.Richgels, Jeff$85.00
7.Smith, Ted$80.00
8.Kimpel, Herb$80.00
9.Yelk, Pete$40.00
10.Sunell, Conway$40.00

Stepladder Finals

Match 1: #3 Stauffacher def. #4 Massey 193 – 189
Match 2: #2 Erce def. #4 Stauffacher 210 – 207
Match 3: #2 Erce def. #1 Prein 234 – 223


1.Prein, Jeff2412531942082122281336
2.Erce, Rick2322011992421912261291
3.Stauffacher, Greg1592121932582342171273
4.Massey, Dave1982042371852022461272
5.Barsness, Jeff2111972091941862681265
6.Richgels, Jeff2671922032271801931262
7.Smith, Ted2232451822121941981254
8.Kimpel, Herb1982032152022112111240
9.Yelk, Pete2071751912042562051238
9.Sunell, Conway2202182421762161661238
11.Starks, Scott2471962051881882091233
12.Lockman, Dan2052081672352151841214
13.Longfield, Brian1661802081902572011202
14.Erickson, Dave2041682231872042091195
15.Fosdick, Jim1881971801972072251194
15.Recknagel, Mark2321911921802131861194
15.Sirianni, Joe2451622072112101591194
18.Brabender, Tom2111791902032261791188
19.Beckman, Paul2122041512012231891180
20.Grossman, Dennis1732251761912161941175
20.Shaw, Dave2231631841891582581175
22.Hjortland, John1892252331402031811171
22.Holzbauer, Bob1762131882021961961171
24.Kreitzman, Bill1862011842241781811154
25.Richardson, Bob1791821882262041561135
26.Chlebowski, Dale1921831741911911721103
27.Truehl, Rollie2011711981971371631067