In the Pocket: Grind 64 tournament is for serious bowlers only

Warning: The Grind 64 tourn­ament is for serious bowlers who don’t mind extremely challenging condit

Warning: The Grind 64 tourn­ament is for serious bowlers who don’t mind extremely challenging conditions and a large entry fee, as long as there is a chance to win a huge paycheck.

Dan Furman and Tom Donato Jr. are running the Capital Region’s newest tournament, and it features what can only be called a monster prize fund. Although the entry fee is $150 — quite hefty by local standards — top prize is $8,000 guaranteed, based on 400 entries. Second place is worth $4,000, third and fourth place are worth $2,000 each, and fifth through eighth place finishers are guaranteed $1,000 each. The prize fund extends to the top 66 bowlers. Places 33 through 66 are guaranteed $450.

“I wanted to have a tournament where scores are low and you bowl for a great prize fund,” said Furman, who is also one of the area’s top scratch bowlers. “Originally, my idea was to have 64 bowlers in the finals, and that’s where the name Grind 64 came from, but then we switched the format.”

There will be 14 four-game qual­ifying squads beginning May 15 and running through May 22. One in six bowlers per squad qualifies for the finals. Each squad qualifying leader receives a first-round bye in the finals, which begin May 22 at 6 p.m. at Spare time Clifton Park.

All the finalists, except for the squad leaders, will bowl four more games, after which there will be a cut to the low 18 bowlers. Then the 14 squad leaders join with the top 18 for make a round of 32 for head-to-head match play. Each match will be two games.

Qualifying squads will be held in Burlington, N.J.; Windsor Locks, Conn.; Rome; Redwood Lanes; and Spare Time Clifton Park.

The tournament is open to all men and women bowlers, except for PBA Tour-exempt bowlers.

“What we want is a competitive tournament for the serious bowlers,” said Furman. “I’ve bowled on the U.S. Open oil pattern before, and it was extremely challenging. I’m not talking about this year’s U.S. Open pattern, which was quite a bit easier. I’m talking about the original U.S. Open pattern that was a flat 40 feet of oil.”

Furman said 80 percent of the entry fee will go directly into the prize fund.

“If you do the math, everything makes sense,” he said. “Plus, we’re going to run some $50 sweepers for five paid spots into the tourn­ament. That’s a big savings. It gives the bowlers a chance to get into this tournament without paying the $150 fee.

“Although we’re going to New Jersey, Connecticut and Rome, we’re still bringing the finals back to the Capital Region. We’re bas­ically targeting all of the East Coast. I think if there’s enough talk about this tournament, it should do well. We made sure that we’re not conflicting with any PBA Regionals or New England Bowling Association tournaments. Even though we’re getting into the late spring, the guys who are serious tournament bowlers still compete at this time of year, and there should be quite a following for this kind of prize fund.”

Furman compared the Grind 64 to a typical PBA regional event, and pointed out that non-members pay $280 to compete in a regional, while regional pros who are PBA members pay $220.

“We will bowl on one of the toughest conditions available, and it’s not an easy thing to do. That’s why I think we will get a lot of the best bowlers competing in this,” he said. “We’ll also get plenty of pros like Brian LeClair and Doug Kent, as long as they are not currently exempt.”

Furman said that either he or Donato will be at every qualifier to make sure the U.S. Open oil pattern is being used and that the qualifiers are run smoothly. He is confident he can draw the necessary 400 entries to make his event successful.

The 27-year-old Furman is orig­inally from Amsterdam and grad­uated from Broadalbin-Perth High School. He recently built a house in Niskayuna.

Furman’s career highlight is his victory in the Northern Bowlers Association’s Bob Guild Memorial Championship in 2009. He also has one NBA doubles title and a Huck Finn tournament victory under his belt.

“To me, I’m a tournament bowler. Perfect games and 800 triples don’t make much difference to me,” he said about why he doesn’t keep track of those personal statistics. “I enjoy competing in tournaments with tough conditions. That’s what’s fun for me, and I think a lot of other bowlers feel the same way.”

For more information or to res­erve a qualifying spot, contact Furman at 339-6785 or Donato at 788-0771. You can also visit


The inaugural NorthEast Senior Tournaments have a new format that should boost entries for its third event of the season.

According to tournament co-dir­ector Jim Burton, the next event will be held May 7 at 11 a.m. at Sunset Recreation. It will be sponsored by National Planning Group.

Not only will this tournament be run on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, but also the entry fee has been sliced from $100 to $50. All bowlers who qualify for match play will be guaranteed $100. One in four bowlers will advance to match play in their own age division: 50-59, 60-66 and 67-plus.

Burton also said that qualifying has been cut down from five games to four. For reservations, visit [email protected] or call Tom Newman at 496-8814.


Chris Barnes, the Professional Bowlers Association’s newest member of the elite Triple Crown club, will take on the pride of Col­umbia, S.C., in the Lumber Liquid­ators PBA Tour season finale Sunday in a unique contest that may be decided by a one-ball roll-off.

Barnes, a 13-time PBA Tour winner from Double Oak, Texas, will meet two-time Tour titlist Dick (formerly known as Ritchie) Allen and non-titlist Randy Weiss, both from Columbia, in the championship round of the Lumber Liquid­ators Dick Weber PBA Playoffs at Woodland Bowl at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Sunday’s championship round will begin with a three-player, one-game eliminator round, with the lowest scoring player elim­inated. The top two will then bowl a “best-of-two-game” championship match that could result in a one-ball roll-off for the $50,000 first prize if the two survivors split the two games.


* Qualifying for the Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial Tournament continues Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Town ‘N Country Lanes and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Spare Time-Latham. The live finals will be held May 1 at Town ‘N Country Lanes. Call Jeff Segel at 439-7628 for reservations. Top prize is $4,000, guaranteed.

* The Blizzard Bowl wraps up Saturday night at 9:45 at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee is $60 per four-person team and it includes a buffet. Call Boulevard at 374-4171 for more information.

* The Northern Bowlers Assoc­iation’s final tournament will be the Bob Guild Memorial Championship April 23 at 9:30 a.m. at Del Lanes. Only bowlers who have competed in three NBA events this season are eligible.

* The Capital District All Star league is looking to expand for next season. The league has three-person teams and uses a pro-scoring system. It bowls Thursday nights at 8:45. Next season, there will be a weekly team series prize of $75 per team, as well as a weekly elim­inator, clean pot and brackets. Call Mike Smith at 365-2392 or Sportsman’s Bowl at 355-4330 for more information.

* The Sportsman’s Majors is also looking to expand for next season. The league bowls Monday nights at 6:20. The format is four-person teams. Call Steve Renzi at 399-2942 for more information.

* The Tuesday Night Men’s League at Sportsman’s Bowl is looking for members for next season. The league bowls at 6 p.m. and has four-man teams with handicap. If interested, call Tony at 356-4567.

* Rolling Greens is forming a mixed summer league Tuesday nights at 7. It will run for nine weeks, beginning May 3 and ending June 28. The four-man teams will have a 90 percent handicap. Entry fee is $7 per week. Call 381-4848 for more information.

* The Rolling Greens Classic is looking for bowlers with at least a 190 average to compete for the 2011-12 season. A league meeting will be held Aug. 30 at 8:30 p.m. at the lanes. The league draft will be held Sept. 6, and the league will begin Sept. 13 at 8:30 p.m. Call Dick Peckham at 355-7807 for more infor­mation.

* Sportsman’s Bowl will host a PBA Experience League this summer on Thursday nights, beginning May 5 at 7 p.m. The week will run for 10 weeks. League bowlers will get the opportunity to compete on the Cheetah, Shark, Chameleon, Viper and Scorpion patterns. Dues are $10 a week for this three-person-team league. Call Sportsman’s at 355-4330 for more information.

* Team 1-Agnes, comprised of Judy Dagostino, Marianne Hogle and Dee VanDyke, won the Monday’s Funnies league. VanDyke rolled a 702 for her first 700 triple.

* Rolling Greens will host the Scotia-Glenville Pop Warner No-Tap Tournament Saturday and Sunday. Handicap will be 75 percent of a 1,100 team average. All prizes will be returned on a 1 to 10 ratio. Entry fee is $60 per five-person team. For more information, call Rolling Greens at 381-4848.

* The 78th annual Schenectady USBC Bowling Association’s City Championship Tournament will be held April 27 through May 7. The team event will be held at Rolling Greens on April 27 at 10 a.m., April 29 at 6:30 p.m., April 30 at both 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., May 1 at noon and 4 p.m. and May 2 at 6:30 p.m. The doubles and singles tournament is scheduled for Tippy Lanes in Ballston Spa on May 4 at 6:30 p.m., May 5 at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., May 6 at 6:30 p.m. and May 7 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Entry fee is $20 per person for the team, doubles and singles events. All-events is an additional $5. Handicap will be 90 percent of 240. First place in the team handicap event is $1,200, and first place in the team scratch event is $600. For more information, contact tournament directors Steve Renzi (399-2942) or Lloyd Denny (355-5632).

* The 87th annual New York State Open Championships will be held at Fishkill Bowl on Route 82 in Fishkill on Saturday and Sunday, as well as on May 1 and May 14-15. Entry fee for the five-person team event is $175 per team. Singles and doubles events are $35 per person. Handicap will be 100 percent to 230. For more information, contact Mike Pettinella at (585) 343-3736 or at [email protected]

* Jordan’s Birthday Bowling Bonanza, to benefit Camp Fowler Christian Camp and Retreat Center, will be held May 15 at 3 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee is $20 per person or $100 for a five-person team. Fee includes shoes, games, pizza, music, prizes and more, including a silent auction. To register, call Hank Dodge at 377-9569, Jordan at 469-8560 or contact [email protected]

* Joe VanDerLinden came up a bit short in his quest for a national high-average record. He finished the season in the Edgewood Ind­ependent league at Towne Bowling Academy with an average of 253.1. The national record for a four-man team league is 253.7. VanDerLinden also competes in the City League.

* Iroquois Lanes proprietor Jeff Voght ($630) of Canajoharie placed 12th and Bill Neumann ($620) of Rensselaer 13th in the PBA East Reg­ion Roto Grip Open at Catskill’s Hoe Bowl. Rounding out the local cashers were Brian LeClair of Athens (25th) and Len Reyngoudt of Catskill (29th). Each won $400. In other PBA East Regional news, Karl Wolf and Tom Yadanza, both from Saratoga Springs, cashed for $625 each in the Rossi Lanes Senior Open in Elmira.

* Ricky Rovelli of Albany defeated Matt Olson of Schenectady, 237-220, in the final event of the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour at Towne Bowling Academy. Rovelli won the point championship with 175 points. Tyler Mochrie of Colonie was second in the points chase, and he won high average (210).

* Dan Derizzo’s perfect game during the NBA’s Clifton Park Open on Sunday was the first 300 of the season for that organization.

* The Towne Bowling Academy Summer Sport Doubles League, formerly known as PBA Doubles League, is now forming. Dues are $20 per week for 10 weeks. USBC sport compliant oil patterns will be used. There will be an organ­izational meeting Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The league starts the following week, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. Call Towne at 355-3939 for more information or to reserve your spot.

* Redwood Lanes will feature a doubles league next season, beginning in September. The league will bowl on Monday nights at 6:30, and will have four divisions of six teams. There will be a $100 membership fee, plus $3,000 in added sponsor money from Cutting Edge Beauty Salon. The league will offer $25,000 in prize money. Entry fee will be $22 per week. The league will bowl 32 weeks, plus a week of tournament play. There will be an organizational meeting May 19 at 6 p.m. at Redwood Lanes. For more information, call 869-3581 or Tom at 496-7812.

Categories: Sports

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