Vinnie Atria triumphs GBT Jackson Open


    Generations Bowling Tour #3

    Jackson Lanes in Jackson, Mich. (Oct. 14-18, 2006)

    2006BGT03VinnieAtria.jpg Vinnie Atria is ready to say his ailing back is completely healed. In the championship match of the GBT Jackson Open Wednesday night here at Airport Lanes, Atria, Louisville, KY defeated Roger Bowker, Ocala, Fla., 206-161, to earn the $13,500 top prize. Bowker collected $8,800. Atria was also the first Classic division player (60+) to win on the three week old Generations Bowling Tour.

    Atria has been out of action since late July with back problems, and missed the first two weeks of the tour practicing and getting back in shape. "The back feels pretty darn good now," he said after the win.

    In the title match, Atria opened with a turkey, and held a 21-pin lead at the halfway point. In frame 6, he left a 10-pin and missed it. Bowker took advantage and got spare-strike in frames 6-7 to narrow the margin to 11 pins.

    Frames 8 and 9 proved to be Bowker's undoing. He tossed two 6 counts – a 2-4-8-10 and a 1-2-8-10 and missed them both. Atria then simply stayed clean to claim the victory.

    "I just didn't know where my ball was going," said Bowker. "On the first one, I obviously pushed the oil down and it never made it back. On the other I just didn't throw it good at all. He gave me a chance and I just didn't get the job done. That's about all I can say."

    "I was fortunate that he evidently didn't have as good a look as I did on that pair," said Atria. "The pair was much tighter than the others we bowled on."

    Atria is well known as a top megabuck champion and top amateur, former Team USA player, and now he has proven himself against some of the best pros in a long 40+ game format. "This is very high on my list of great wins, probably 1 or 2," he said. "To be honest, I've always wondered how I would do against these guys myself. This is a great feeling."

    Next week, the GBT moves to Southwyck Lanes in Toledo, Ohio for the fourth stop of its inaugural eight city fall swing.

    GBT Jackson Open - Championship Round

    Jackson Lanes in Jackson, Mich. (Oct. 14-18, 2006)

    Championship Match
    Vinnie Atria def. Roger Bowker, 206-161
    Atria earns $13,500, Bowker gets $8,800.

    Senior Division (50-59)
    1. Roger Bowker, Ocala, Fla., 457 (2 games)
    2. David R. Patchen, Oregon, Ohio, 183 (1 game), $4,000
    3. Mitch Jabczenski, Novi, Mich., 458 (2 games), $2000
    4. Bob Chamberlain, The Villages, Fla., 220 (1 game), $1,550
    Playoff Results:
    First Match: Jabczenski def. Bob Chamberlain, 235-220
    Second Match: Bowker def. Mitch Jabscenski, 255-223
    Third Match: Bowker def. David Patchen, 202-183

    Classic Division (60+)
    1. Vinnie Atria, Louisville, Ky., 237 (1 game)
    2. Ray Johnson, Battle Creek, Mich., 657 (3 games), $4,000
    3. Pete Couture, Cocoa, Fla., 209 (1 game), $2,000
    4. Roy E. Buckley, Westerville, Ohio, 202 (1 game), $1,450
    Playoff Results:
    First Match: Johnson def. Buckley, 205-202
    Second Match: Johnson def. Couture, 238-209
    Third Match: Atria def. Johnson, 237-214

    Patchen and Atria earn No. 1 seeds for GBT Jackson Open Finals

    2006GBT03DavePatchenVinnieAtria.jpg David Patchen's beer delivery truck may be parked for a while. For 27 games, he's been delivering bowler's favorite brews, but the past two weeks, he's been delivering strikes in Generations Bowling Tour events in Clinton Township and Jackson, Michigan. Patchen (pictured left) is the #1 seed in tonight's stepladder finals here at Airport Lanes. He won the GBT Detroit Open last week.

    "After last night I was fourth," said Patchen, "and I just wanted to make the top four this morning. Everything went nice and smooth today. I'm still rolling off the high from last week. It's been really good."

    Patchen averaged 253.7 for his 8 games Wednesday morning, winning 7 of his 8 matches, and he did it with a 20-year-old bowling ball. "I got my antique Ebonite Turbo urethane ball out," he said. "That ball works great on this short oil pattern on synthetics."

    In the Classic division, Vinnie Atria (right) held on to the top spot he's enjoyed all week in his first GBT event. Atria averaged 235.5 in the final round, and after losing his first two matches Wednesday, reeled off six straight wins. He finished with a 279-189 victory over Pete Couture in the position round 24th game.

    "I really felt good this morning. I had a great shot early, but I got three pocket 10's the first two games. From that point I bowled pretty good. I hope I've got two more good games left in me," said Atria.

    Joining Patchen in the final four in the Senior division are Roger Bowker, Bob Chamberlain and local favorite Mitch Jabczenski Novi, Michigan. Jabczenski narrowly defeated Henry Gonzalez 259-246 to earn his way into the stepladder finals.

    After Tuesday's hard luck round where he averaged 254 to win only three matches, David Ozio's luck didn't get better Wednesday morning. He averaged only 209 and lost 7 matches to finish in sixth place.

    In the Classic division, Atria, Pete Couture, Ray Johnson of Battle Creek, Michigan and Roy Buckley will roll for the Classic division crown, and the winner will face the senior division winner for the Jackson Open Championship and $13,500. The runner-up will earn $8,800.

    Senior Division (50-59) after 24 Games of Match Play (40 games overall)

    Other Cashers:
    15. Mark Weller, Jonesville, Mich., $1,000
    16. John Milletics, Sandusky, Mich., $1,000
    17. Sal Bongiorno, Hollywood, Fla., $1,000
    18. Mark Estes, Grapevine, Texas, $1,000

    Classic Division (60+) after 24 Games of Match Play (40 games overall)

    Other Casher: 11. Teata Semiz, N Brunswick, N.J., $1,000

    Ozio back on top in Jackson GBT; Atria keeps Classic Division lead

    2006GBT03DavidOzioVinnieAtria.jpg David Ozio (left) survived a bombing Tuesday night in the second Round of match play in the Generations Bowling Tour Jackson Open at Jackson's Airport Lanes. Ozio averaged 254.3 for his eight games, but only won three of his matches.

    In his first two matches, Ozio shot 278 and 252. His opponents, Roy Buckley and John Bennett, shot 288, 288. In games four and five, Ozio rolled games of 257, 238. His opponents, Bob Chamberlain and Pete Couture, tossed games of 278 and 267. And in game 7, he lost to Henry Gonzalez 259-250.

    "It was just one of those nights," said Ozio, who took comfort in the fact that he regained the lead he had lost in the morning round to Chamberlain. "I'm sure it's happened before, and it will happen again. There are also times when guys shoot 50 under against your 400 over and you win all 8."

    "I had an incredibly good look," he said. "Ball reaction was excellent. The first game I shot 278 and lost to Buckley's 288, but the way I look at it, that's the same as shooting 248 with a win. That's the way you have to look at it. As long as you are staying in the hunt, maybe the tables will turn. Maybe tomorrow will go my way. You know what? I just praise the Lord and move on down the road."

    In the Classic division, Vinnie Atria (right) continued to lead, although he also managed only three wins in his eight matches Tuesday evening. Atria was very steady, with a low game of 200 and a high of 237 in round two. His last match was against Ozio, who took out a little of his frustration for a 269-216 win against Atria.

    "I'm pooped!" said Atria, who is not used to bowling 16 games in one day. "I did not bowl that good tonight. I didn't shoot myself in the foot, I just didn't put anything big together. I was fishing, or I was a fish out of water – I was looking for something. I just could not piece it together. I threw the ball pretty good, but I don't know if I had the right ball in my hand or even if I played them right," he said.

    "The mornings have been better for me, so hopefully, I can execute in the last round and things will work out," he said. "When you are bowling a one game match, anybody can win. You just have to catch the right guy at the right time and get a break or two. You just never know, but I know I'm throwing the ball good enough to win."

    The top four names in the Senior division did not change in the evening round. Bob Chamberlain is second 55 pins behind Ozio, Roger Bowker, with a 300 game in round two is third, and Dave Patchen is fourth.

    In the Classic division, Ray Johnson still holds second behind Atria. Bill Keenan remained in the third spot, and Pete Couture moved up from 7th in the morning to grab the fourth spot Tuesday evening.

    The third and final Round of match play will roll at 10am Wednesday morning, and the top four in each division will advance to a stepladder finals beginning at 7pm.

    Senior Division (50-59) after 16 Games of Match Play (32 games overall)

    Classic Division (60+) after 16 Games of Match Play (32 games overall)

    Chamberlain and Atria lead after first Round of match play

    Bob Chamberlain, The Villages, Florida arrived early in Jackson to practice and make a few changes in his game. Tuesday morning, it paid off, as he rolled to the top of the GBT leaderboard after the first Round of match play.

    Chamberlain struggled early, then made a wise ball change to finish strong, rolling a 290 in game 7. He shot 1842 for the round, and posted a 6-2 match play record.

    "I got off to a pretty slow start. I couldn't carry the first two games," said Chamberlain. "Then I ran into a lot of trouble and shot 160. I switched balls and went on a pretty good run 260, 240, 230 and then got the 290 in there. After I changed balls, it got pretty easy," he said.

    "I made quite a few adjustments this week," he added. The first couple of weeks, I was too low in my stance. This week I'm standing a lot higher and it's giving me a lot more extension on my armswing. I came in Friday and practiced 14 games, and really pushed myself to make changes and it really helped this week. Same plan tonight. The lanes are pretty nice, so hopefully they will be about the same tonight."

    David Ozio is in second in the Senior division, followed by Detroit GBT champion David Patchen in third and qualifying leader Roger Bowker in fourth.

    In the Classic Division, Vinnie Atria maintained his lead with a 1903 total and a 5-3 match play record Tuesday morning. He capped the round with a brilliant 280 final game.

    "I'm holding up pretty good," said Atria. I'm really surprised my stamina is this good. I work out a little bit, and it's paying off. I just hope I can maintain my focus as well as it's been, and if I do, I should be okay. The lanes sure suit my game. We'll see how tonight goes, and hopefully we'll do another interview after tonight's round," he said.

    Round two of match play begins at 6:00 pm Tuesday. At the conclusion of 24 games of match play, the top 4 in each division will advance to Wednesday's stepladder finals, which begins at 7:00 pm.

    Senior Division (50-59) after 8 Games of Match Play (24 games overall)

    Classic Division (60+) after 8 Games of Match Play (24 games overall)

    Bowker breaks through to lead qualifying in GBT Jackson Open

    2006BGT03VinnieAtriaRogerBowker.jpg Roger Bowker (right) had a great morning round Monday in the second 8-game qualifying block of the Generations Bowling Tour Jackson Open and his 3840 held up through the afternoon to make him the #1 seed in the Senior division going into Tuesday's round robin match play.

    Michigan favorite Bob Chamberlain made a big move Monday afternoon to claim the second spot, rolling a 1933 series. First round leader David Ozio dropped to third after going 1833 in the afternoon round. Ozio has been the top senior player all three weeks of the tour thus far.

    "Everybody is rooting for me now," joked Bowker. "Maybe we'll get some more bowlers out of it because he (David Ozio) can be beat just like everybody else. He's a great bowler and a great competitor and you've got to tip your hat to him, but we've got a lot more games to bowl. I can't see the future, but we're just going to try to shoot some scores and get the job done," he said.

    In the Classic division, Vinnie Atria (pictured left) held on to his first round lead by rolling an 1813 in round two, anchored by a big 277 game in his 15th game.

    "It's going very well," said Atria. "I never would have dreamt I'd lead my first tournament. I hope I bowl well in the match play and catch some people at the right time."

    On the 277 game, he said, "I moved a little deeper and softened my speed, and I should have done it four games earlier. I was just glad I fumbled around and found something for the last three. I don't remember the last time I bowled 24 games of match play or 16 in one day, so I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow night. I'll just have wait and see; so far so good."

    Pete Couture also made a move with an 1877 in round two, and Jackson event promoter and hometown favorite Mel Wolf rolled two big games at the end to make the finals in 8th place.

    Senior Division (50-59) after 16 Games of Qualifying (Top 14 advance)

    Classic Division (60+) after 16 Games of Qualifying (Top 10 advance)

    Ozio and Atria keep first day lead in GBT Jackson Open

    2006GBT03DavidOzioVinnieAtria.jpg David Ozio (left) is on a roll. All three weeks of the new Generations Bowling Tour, he has been at or near the top in every round, and it continues in the GBT Jackson Open at Jackson's Airport Lanes.

    Ozio, bowling in Squad A, averaged a huge 244.1 for his first eight game block Sunday morning, opening with a big 275 game to anchor his 1953 total.

    "Today, I went to the bag of tricks and just used one finger and played out to shoot 300 over the first seven games," said Ozio. "It gave me a good ball reaction just pointing it up from the outside. I thought I would have to move in after about four games, but I didn't move until game eight and shot 240," he said.

    In the Classic Division (60+) Vinnie Atria (right), Louisville, Kentucky is making his first GBT appearance count. Atria averaged 238.6 playing the outside angle Sunday morning. He rolled a 279 in game two.

    "Playing the outside angle is my bread and butter," said Atria. "I don't carry well inside of 15. I can play it, and hit the pocket; I'm not uncomfortable anywhere on the lane, but I just carry better outside. Today, I was a little right or left of five, and I'm glad I could take advantage of it. I hope it will stay all week," he said.

    2006BGT03LarryGraybealKerryFulford.jpgR-L Kerry Fulford, Gatesville, Texas and Larry Graybeal, Elizabethton, Tennessee were the best Squad B bowlers on the first day of qualifying, but they couldn't quite catch Ozio and Atria.

    Fulford averaged 236 to lead Squad B for a third place overall spot and Graybeal averaged 222 in the Classic division to earn a sixth place finish after day one.

    "I started with the wrong ball, but switched in game two for a 270, then got into a little trouble when the transition hit, but found it again at the end," said Fulford. He finished with a 259. "Tomorrow morning, I hope I can find the right piece of equipment to line up with early during practice and maintain the loose arm swing," he said. "In the morning, I'll go a little more outside, but not too much, because I want to stay away from the dry," he added.

    Graybeal was very steady all afternoon, rolling a high of 259 in game two and a low of 190. "I started with the right ball. I picked a weak ball and just went straight down 12," said Graybeal. "In the later games, I moved in to around 15. In the morning, I'll go to a more aggressive ball and try to play the same line," he said.

    Ozio and Atria will bowl again Monday afternoon. Ozio has earned the No. 1 seed for the top 4 finals in the Senior Division in both previous events, but hasn't won in the stepladder finals. "I'm going to back into one eventually," he said. "I go out full throttle, but they are averaging 240 against me in the stepladder. It's a matter of luck. Both guys in the final are going to throw good shots, so you have to have a little better ball reaction, a little luck, and a little better carry to win. That's what it takes. I'm hoping this is my week," he added.

    Atria didn't bowl the first two GBT events, but plans to follow the rest of the swing. "I've been down in my back since late July," he said. "I started practicing about two weeks ago. I wanted to start earlier, but just couldn't. I'm a little surprised how well my stamina held up today, and I was concerned about my mental game. I usually bowl 5 or 3 game blocks in events like the megabucks, so this was a real test physically and mentally, but I'm very happy right now. It's worked out pretty darn good today," he added.

    Round two rolls Monday with Squad B on the lanes at 9am. Squad A will bowl at 1:00pm, after which the top 24 (14 Senior division and 10 Classic division) will advance to the match play finals beginning Tuesday.

    Senior Division (50-59) after 8 Games of Qualifying

    Classic Division (60+) after 8 Games of Qualifying