October 23, 2006 19:00
If you were from Dayton, Ohio, it was a good day to be a bowler Wednesday in the 2006 USBC Masters.
The first squad of the day was led by Greg Thompson Jr., a Dayton native bowling in his first career Masters. Thompson finished with a 1,133 five-game pinfall, a lead that stood until Brian Kretzer – also from Dayton – took the lead after B squad with 1,221.
Kretzer ended the day as the overall leader, while Thompson finished 14th overall, joining a group of four bowlers from Ohio in the top 15. Kenneth Jessee from Huber Heights, Ohio, just nine miles from Dayton, is fourth with 1,179. Dave D’Entremont, from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, is 10th with 1,146.
On the flip side of things, it’s been a bad week for bowlers with “Jr.” at the end of their name.
The start of the 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour season will be delayed for two exempt bowlers, Tommy Delutz Jr. and Patrick Healey Jr.
Delutz withdrew days ago due to a pinched nerve in his right elbow. Delutz has battled injuries in the past as he missed the entire 2004-05 season – deferring his exemption to 2005-06 – due to right wrist surgery. It is not yet known if Delutz will return to the lanes next week.
Healey, meanwhile, was entered into the tournament but had to withdraw due to a bout with the flu. He will return next week when the Denny’s PBA Tour heads to Taylor, Mich., for the Motor City Classic.
Steelsmith Starts Strong
Former Masters champion Rick Steelsmith got off to a strong start Tuesday, finishing the first day third with 1,212. After failing to secure his exemption until the final week of the 2005-06 season, the veteran from Wichita, Kan., would benefit from a strong start to ths season to relieve some of the pressure he faced last year.
Steelsmith won the Masters in 1987 as an amateur, prior to the tournament becoming an official Tour event. He was just 22 at the time of his win, defeating Brad Snell, 258-219, in the title match.
Johnson Leads Women
Though Kelly Kulick has been gaining much of the attention the last few months after becoming the first woman to earn a full-season exemption, don’t forget about Liz Johnson who was the first woman to earn a spot in a Tour event in 2004-05, and made history of her own when she finished second in the 2005 Banquet Open.
Johnson leads a group of 11 women competing in the Masters this week, finishing the first day 13th with 1,138.
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard was tied for 85th after one day with 1,051, the only other woman currently in the cut. Kulick is 172nd with 1,006.
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