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Hometown favorite Eugene McCune wins PBA50 South Shore Open as “Amateur”

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Eugene McCune of nearby Munster, Ind., a 31-year member of the Professional Bowlers Association before “retiring” at the end of the 2016 season, won the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by Hammer at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Thursday with a convincing 259-202 victory over leading PBA50 Player of the Year contender Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix.

Featured photo from left: South Shore Sports Promotions Sports Development Manager Rick Flutka, Eugene McCune, and Olympia Lanes proprietor Nick Loxas.

“This is the first time since I retired I’ve bowled three days in a row,” McCune (right) said. “I was really surprised after the way Mike spanked me twice earlier in the day. He’s the best there is on the senior tour right now.”

McCune, who won three PBA Tour titles in 600 events and another 23 titles in 365 PBA Regional events, made a decision to not renew his PBA membership because of his work load and lack of time. While he won in his first PBA50 Tour event, he won’t get credit for a title because he’s not a PBA member.

“I work all of the time and the odds of making a show aren’t easy out here,” said McCune, who turned 50 in June. “These guys are still good; if they can get the ball to the pocket, they’ll strike all day long.

“It’s not a lack of desire to compete; it’s a financial decision now,” he added. “It’s always good to win, but right now it’s all about the money. I looked at the finals like bowling pot games – the first game was for $4,500, the next one for $7,500.”

Despite losing in his bid for a third PBA50 title this year, Haugen extended his PBA50 Player of the Year points lead.

“Eugene isn’t a member, so that means no one gained points on me,” Haugen (left) said. “He out-bowled me, and if I couldn’t win, no one was a better story than Eugene. I always say, if a guy out-bowls me, I’m happy to shake his hand and tell him I’ll get him the next time.”

In the opening match, PBA50 Tour rookie Greg Thomas of Irmo, S.C., threw an early turkey that proved to be the difference in a 225-197 win over PBA Hall of Famer Bryan Goebel (right) of Shawnee, Kan., who didn’t throw back-to-back strikes until the 10th frame.

In the second match, Bob Learn Jr. (left) of Erie, Pa., the 2017 South Shore Open runner-up, gave Thomas an opening when he left the 4-6-7-10 split in the fifth frame, but Thomas missed a 9 pin in his seventh frame and failed to strike on his next three shots, handing Learn a 209-203 win.

McCune advanced to the championship match with a 248-215 victory over Learn in the semifinal match after Learn left a 7-10 split on his first shot and a 3-4-6-7-10 split on his second, failing to convert both. McCune struck on seven of his first eight shots and never trailed.

The tour’s next stop is the PBA50 Security Federal Savings Bank Championship presented by Track at Dave Small’s Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind., beginning Saturday and concluding on Tuesday, July 31.

After a brief respite, Xtra Frame on FloBowling resumes live coverage with the PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic, presented by Roto Grip, in Anderson, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the PBA50 Cup, presented by DV8, from Wyoming, Mich., Aug. 9-12, the concluding event of the PBA50 season.

PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling wraps up the “senior tour” regular season with the PBA60 Dick Weber Championship for players 60 and older, presented by 900 Global, at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne, Ind., Aug. 14-16.

All of the PBA50 Tour’s events will be covered from start to finish live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling. For subscription and schedule information click here.

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2018 PBA50 Tour Schedule & Champions

PBA50 South Shore Open, presented by Hammer

Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., United States (July 23-26, 2018)

n-denotes non-PBA member; ss-denotes PBA60 player.

Championship Round:
1, n-Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 507 (2 games), $7,500
2, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 202 (1 game), $4,000
3, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 424 (2 games), $2,500
4, Greg Thomas, Irmo, S.C., 428 (2 games), $2,000
5, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 197 (1 game), $1,750

Playoff Results:
First Match: No. 5 Thomas def. No. 4 Goebel, 225-197
Second Match: No. 3 Learn def. Thomas, 209-203
Semifinal Match: No. 2 McCune def. Learn, 248-215
Championship Match: McCune def. No. 1 Haugen, 259-202.

Modified Match Play Round 2

Players with position, hometown and 6-game total, including match play bonus pins)

1, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 6-0, 1,711
2, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 4-2, 1,619
3, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 5-1, 1,540
4, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 2-4, 1,481
5, Greg Thomas, Irmo, S.C., 4-2, 1,477

Missed Cut:
6, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 4-2, 1,432, $1,500
6, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 4-2, 1,432, $1,500
8, ss-Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 3-3, 1,391, $1,500
9, ss-Christopher Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 3-3, 1,361, $1,250
10, Chris Gibbons, Madison, Wis., 2-4, 1,352, $1,250
11, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2-4, 1,347, $1,250
12, ss-Tom Baker, King, N.C., 2-4, 1,342, $1,250
13, Scott Greiner, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 2-4, 1,337, $1,250
14, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3-3, 1,318, $1,250
15, ss-Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 2-4, 1,298, $1,250
16, Mark Sullivan, Indianapolis, 0-6, 1,236, $1,250

Modified Match Play Round 1
(other cashers after five games, including match play bonus pins, $1,100 each):
17, n-ss-Leroy Johnson, Chicago, 3-2, 1,130
18, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 2-3, 1,112
19, Steve Kenyon, Grosse Ile., Mich., 2-3, 1,108
20, ss-Darryl Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1-4, 1,085
21, ss-Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., 2-3, 1,072
22, n-John Chapman, Canada, 1-4, 1,062
23, ss-Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 3-2, 1,044
24, ss-Henry Dawson, Elma, Wash., 2-3, 1,030

Other Cashers
(after five-game cashers’ round, $1,000 each):
25, ss-Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 1,085
26, ss-Tom Carter, Columbus, Ohio, 1,077
27, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,076
28, Jeff Johnson, Freeport, Ill., 1,072
29, Don Herrington, Ballston Lake, N.Y., 1,057
30, Ernie Segura Jr., Taylor, Mich., 1,040
31, ss-Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 1,019
32, ss-Bruce Hall, Westborough, Mass., 998
33, ss-Warren Nelson, Hemet, Calif., 971
34, ss-Lee Brosius, Ashburn, Va., 958

Herbert Bickel

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