PBA Tournament of Champions Re-visited: Earl Anthony Wins His Second T of C in 1978

by Jerry Schneider January 10, 2011 08:02

(Editor’s Note: A sports tradition will return to network television when the finals of the record $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions will air live Saturday, Jan. 22, on ABC at 2:30 p.m. Eastern from Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas.

Some of the most historic moments in professional bowling, took place in PBA’s signature event. PBA is providing a look back at some of these great moments through re-release of tournament results as they were written by PBA’s media relations staff at the conclusion of the event.

Below is a trip back in time as we re-visit the 1978 Tournament of Champions where Earl Anthony won his second Tournament of Champions title.)

150,000 FIRESTONE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

RIVIERA LANES, AKRON, OHIO, Apr 17-22, 1978

Three's Company

Earl Anthony, professional bowling's all-time top title-holder and money-winner, joined select company when he won his second Firestone Tournament of Champions at Akron's Riviera Lanes.

By capturing the $30,000 title in the rich $150,000 event, Anthony became just the third two-time Firestone winner, joining past champions Jim Godman (I969 and 1973) and Dave Davis (1968 and 1975). Earl's other Firestone title came in 1974.

The victory, his 30th in PBA competition, helped the Tacoma, Wash., southpaw raise his career earnings to better than $600,000.

Anthony never dropped below third place during the six rounds of competition, qualifying second for match play behind Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis.

Anthony immediately surged into the lead and never let up for the 24 games of match play. He increased his lead from 90 pins to 197 sticks to 232 at the end of the 48-game test to determine the five TV finalists.

As the No. 1 seed, Anthony waited in the wings until just one challenger emerged from a group of four.

Fourth-seeded Mark Roth, bidding to become the first person to win $100,000 in the Winter Tour, defeated No. 5 Wayne Zahn, 228-205, in the opening TV match, but Roth was no match for roommate Teata Semiz, who emerged with a 247-210 victory.

Next for Semiz was second-seeded Burton. In a closely fought battle, Semiz captured the victory, but he had to convert the 3-10 split in the 10th frame for his 193-190 verdict.

Seemingly drained from that emotional contest, Semiz was little competition for Anthony who began the championship game with a double and added another pair in the fourth and fifth frames. When Semiz opened in the eighth frame, Anthony was home free and wound up with a 237-192 victory.

"I figured that if I could get out of the gate well and put some pressure on Teata, I'd have an advantage because the lanes were tougher on the right side," Anthony said later.

"I had an advantage in the lane conditions today, and I'm grateful."

Semiz earned his biggest paycheck of his career by taking home the $17,000 second prize. Burton earned $10,000, Roth, $7,500 and Zahn, $5,000.

TELEVISED FINALS

Pos. Name, City/State Total Amount

1, Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash., 237 (1 game), $30,000

2, Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J., 632 (3 games), 17,000

3, Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis, Mo., 190 (1 game), 10,000

4, Mark Roth, Staten Island, N.Y., 438 (2 games), 7,500

5, Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz., 205 (1 game), 5,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS: Roth defeated Zahn, 228-205; Semiz defeated Roth, 247-210; Semiz defeated Burton, 193-190; Anthony defeated Semiz, 237-192.

48-GAME TOTALS

Name, City Pins WLT + Tot Amt

1, Earl Anthony, Tacoma, Wash., 10,570, 13-11-0, 390, 10,960

2, Nelson Burton, St. Louis, Mo., 10,398, 11-13-0, 330, 10,728

3, Teata Semiz, River Edge, N.J., 10,124, 16-7-1, 495, 10,619

4, Mark Roth, Staten Island, N.Y., 10,215, 13-11-0, 390, 10,605

5, Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz., 10,139, 15-9-0, 450, 10,589

6 , Tommy Hudson, Akron, Ohio, 10,190, 13-11-0, 390, 10,580, $4,000

7, Steve Westberg, Cot. Grove, Ore., 10,096, 15-9-0, 450, 10,546, 3,500

8, Palmer Fallgren, Sacramento, Calif., 10,041, 15-9-0, 450, 10,491, 3,200

9 , Dave Davis, Hackensack, N.J., 10,048, 13-10-1, 405, 10,453, 3,000

10, Curt Schmidt, Ft. Wayne, Ind., 10,069, 12-12-0, 360, 10,429, 2,900

11, Bill Spigner, Hamden, Conn., 10,042, 12-11-1, 375, 10,417, 2,800

12, Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth, Tex., 10,019, 11-11-2, 360, 10,379, 2,700

13, Dave Frame, Baldwin Park, Calif., 9,981, 13-11-0, 390, 10,371, 2,600

14, Jim Godman, Waukegan, Ill., 10,011, 11-13-0, 330, 10,341, 2,500

15, George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C., 10,049, 9-15-0, 270, 10,319, 2,400

16, Bill Straub, Lincoln, Neb., 9,924, 13-11-0, 390, 10,314, 2,300

+17, Matt Surina, Longview, Wash., 9,871, 14-10-0, 420, 10,267, 1,775

18, Butch Soper, Santa Ana, Calif., 9,861, 205.4, 9-14-1, 285, 10,146, 2,100

19, Mike Berlin, Muscatine, Iowa, 9,798, 11-13-0, 330, 10,128, 2,000

20, Louie Moore, Indianapolis, Ind., 9,788, 10-13-1, 315, 10,103, 1,900

21, Marshall Holman, Medford, Ore., 9,770, 10-13-1, 315, 10,085, 1,800

22, Dennis Lane, Kingsport, Tenn., 9,764, 9-15-0, 270, 10,034, 1,700

23 , Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash., 9,691, 8-16-0, 240, 9,931, 1,600

24, Jay Robinson, Van Nuys, Calif., 9,615, 8-16-0, 240, 9,855, 1,500

24-GAME TOTALS

Pos. Name, City/State Amount

+25, Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif., $1,775

26, Bill Coleman, Campbell, Calif., 1,350

*27, Dick Ritger, River Falls, Wis., 1,425

28, Dave Soutar, Kansas City, 1,350

29, Paul Moser, Medford, Mass., 1,300

30, Don Johnson, Las Vegas, Nev., 1,300

31, Steve Jones, Independence, Mo., 1,300

32, Roy Buckley, Columbus, Ohio, 1,300

33, Pete Couture, Windsor Lakes Conn., 1,250

34, Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill., 1,250

35, Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo., 1,250

36, Steve Neff, Sarasota, Fla., 1,250

37, Mike Durbin, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, 1,200

38, Don Helling, St. Charles, Mo., 1,200

39, Bill Beach, Sharon, Pa., 1,200

40, Fred Jaskie, Greendale, Wis., 1,200

41, Tom Wright, Millbrae, Calif., 1,150

42, Don McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,150

43, Johnny Petraglia, Staten Island, N.Y., 1,150

44, Ed Ressler Jr., Allentown, Pa., 1,150

45, Paul Colwell, Tucson, Ariz., 1,100

46, Randy Lightfoot, St. Charles, Mo., 1,100

47 John Denton, Midland, Texas, 1,075

48, Jim Frazier, Spokane, Wash., 1,050

49, John Wilcox, Shavertown, Pa., 1,050

50, Tim Harahan, Hawthorne, Calif., 1,000

51, Dale Glenn, Northridge, Calif., 1,000

52, Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill., 1,000

+Surina replaced Laub at the start of match play when Laub withdrew because of a pulled muscle in his leg. Surina was penalized 24 pins and entered match play with a total of 4888. He and Laub share money for 25th and 17th places.

*Alternate. 24-game qualifying leader - Burton, 5368. 24th place - Spigner, 4921. PRO-AM CASHERS Paul Colwell, Earl Anthony, Don Johnson, Jay Robinson, Mark Roth. Bonus Awards (High Block) - Burton (2), Mark Roth, Wayne Zahn, Tommy Hudson, Bill Spigner. (High Game) - Mark Roth, George Pappas, Dave Frame, Mike Berlin, Matt Surina, Bill Spigner. #George Pappas rolled a 300 game.

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