Jim Zima bowling column: Willow Creek Classic entries on pace to top 2012

12:48 AM, Feb. 4, 2013  |  Comments
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The 38th annual Willow Creek Classic bowling tournament kicks off a three-month run at Willow Creek Lanes on Feb. 16, and early entries indicate an increase in entries and prize money from last year.

Last year, 1,302 teams from a five-state area (Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois) competed in the event that offers a $20,000 first prize, and 3,633 competed in the optional singles event.

"On paper we look to be ahead of last year," Willow Creek proprietor Jeff Lee said. "If the deposits (on early entries) keep coming in, we will be stronger."

Last year the tournament paid out $408,031 in prize money - $99,465 in the team event, $23,615 in singles, $30,735 in prizes on the lanes and $242,016 in optional bracket play.

For the first time last year an area team won the event when the Bug Off Pest Control No. 6 team from Algoma posted a 2,484, including 1,000 pins of handicap. The team was comprised of Dan and Wendy Haas, Neal and Deb Neumann and Greg LeMay.

The Haas and Neumann couples compete as a team in the Pinsplitters League at Willow Creek.

"Their (Bug Off Pest Control) win makes a point that every team has a chance to win. The previous tournament (2011) was won by a team bowling scratch, and last year Bug Off had the maximum of 1,000 pins of handicap," Lee said.

This year's event will have handicap divisions in bracket play for the first time.

Previously, all bracket play was scratch. The tournament will continue to have the scratch brackets available.

There will be two handicap divisions, the Classic Division for bowlers with a 200 or higher average and the Major Division for bowlers with a 199 and lower average.

The handicap for the two divisions will be 100 percent of 235. The handicap for the main team event will remain the same at 90 percent of 225.

The tournament runs through May 16, and entries can be filed until the final day of the event. The cost to enter the team event is $170 while the cost for the optional singles event is $8. Entry blanks are available online at WillowCreekLanes.com or by contacting the lanes at (920)465-0966.

Kewaunee: Last month Les Lauscher authored an 803 series on games of 237, 266 and 300 in the Kewaunee Major at the Kewaunee Bowl. It was the first 800 rolled at the Kewaunee Bowl since Kewaunee joined the Green Bay-Bay Area/USBC Bowling Association.

Senior women: Saturday is the deadline for entering the Green Bay Area USBC Women's Bowling Association Senior Ladies 8-pin Tap Tournament that will be held Feb. 16 at Riviera Lanes.

The handicap event for GBWBA membership bowlers age 50 and older is set for 2:45 p.m. with registration at 2:15 p.m. Entry fee for the event is $10.

Handicap will be based on 90 percent of 200 and if bowlers did not have an average last year, their current 2012-2013 average will be used.

For entry forms and reservations, contact one of the following committee members: Mary Pautz at (920) 469-1495 or Phyllis John at (920) 498-1207.

Highlights: Justin Doxtater, Ashwaubenon Westside Businessmen League, bowled a 709, including a 299 single, for his first national honor count in adult league play. ?Becky Mencheski, Ashwaubenon Hometown Café Women's Classic, earned a USBC triplicate award for bowling three games of 233. ? Kris VanLaanen, Ashwaubenon New Additions, also earned a triplicate patch with three games of 133.

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