Kirkpatrick leads foursome in this week's 700 chase
Larry Mason

Sept. 28, 2004 - Joe Kirkpatrick fired this week's highest 700 series, a 737, followed by Dickie Harrison's 726, Bruce Michaelson's 713 and Cliff Whitney's 709. The quartet kept the new string of unbroken 700s in tact for the fifth consecutive week.

Kirkpatrick rolled his first 700 series of the fall season Thursday night, rolling games of 193, 279 and 265. Joe tossed 26 strikes, five spares and left two open frames. Kirkpatrick's series moved him to fourth place on the high series list, and helped to raise his Thursday average to a 210, which moved him to ninth place on the average list. Joe's second game, a 279, fell one pin short of being perfect when he left a single pin in the fourth frame. It would have been Joe's second perfect game of his career. It did move Joe into third place on the high game list behind leader Mike Gilliland's perfect game, and Wes Campbell's second-place 297 game.

Dickie Harrison collected his first 700 series of the season with a 726 on Thursday night. His effort resulted in his moving into seventh place on the high series list. Dickie's series was made up of games of 223, 278 and 225. His second game, the 278, shoved him into third place on the high game listing where he is tied with David Vansickle, David Strain and Darreyl Dixon. Harrison improved his Thursday average to a 209, good enough to claim 10th on the high average list, where Turk Morgan and Greg Pullen join him. Dickie put together 20 strikes, 10 spares and one open frame in claiming his 726.

Ironically, the guy who finished in third place this week, Bruce Michaelson, had one more strike, two more spares and one less open frame that the number two finisher, Harrison, but finished 13 pins behind Dickie in total pins: 726 to 713. Michaelson rolled games of 227, 218 and 268 to book his second 700 of the season. The series increased his Thursday average to a 219 and bumped him up to fourth place on the high average list, tying him with Classic Lanes' maintenance guru, Campbell. Bruce's 268 took over 10th place on the high game list, a position he doesn't have to share with anyone else. Michaelson's highest series, a 717, fills the No. 9 position on the high series list.

Whitney registered his second 700 of the season on Thursday night, shooting games of 237, 225 and 247 to finish the night with a 709. It was not only Cliff's second of the season, but was also his second in a row. He shot his first 700 series last week, during the same Tuesday night mixed league. There must be something about Tuesday that is to Cliff's liking. As the result of his back-to-back 700s on Tuesday, Whitney finds himself averaging 220, which places him in third position on the high average list. This week's 709 series moved him to 10th place on the high series list. Cliff is now only one of four men who have who have rolled more than one 700 series this season. Whitney's highest game is the 247 that he shot this past Tuesday.

A number of individuals came very close to hitting the 700 mark during the week, and a few of those were worthy to mention. First would be Buddy McClendon's 692 from Thursday night play. Buddy shot games of 267, 181 and 244 in collecting his highest series of the season, which, by the way, moved him into 13th place on the high series list. Buddy is averaging 191 on Thursday night, and his high game of 267, shot on Thursday, places him 11th on the high game list, where he joins Neldon Smith and Tommy Fletcher. Mac shot 21 strikes and eight spares on Thursday, and had only one open frame.

Jason Keller put together games of 245, 245 and 200 to complete Thursday's action with a 690 series, his highest of the season thus far. His series moved him up to 14th position on the high series list, and helped to raise his Thursday average to a 208, which is good enough to claim 11th place on the high series list. In the latter case, Smith and Vansickle join Jason. Keller's highest game to date is a 259, but we can expect to hear a lot more from the Keller camp before the season is over. Keller rolled 26 strikes and covered four spares Thursday, but he left five open frames; two of those were splits.

Bobby Brown rolled his highest series on Thursday night when he registered a 687 with games of 272, 211 and 204. Like Keller, Bobby rolled 26 strikes, had one less spare, three, with the same number of open frames, five. Only one of Bobby's was a split, however. Bobby is averaging 190 on Thursday night, ranks 15th on the high series list by virtue of his 687, and is in eighth place on the high game list with his 272. On the high series list, he is tied with Koy Cline. You might have noticed that both Keller and Brown shot the same number of strikes as did Kirkpatrick, the week's top shooter, but Joe covered more of his spares, resulting in fewer open frames. It would seem that one's ability to cover one's spares is every bit as important as striking is. I think there is a lesson to be learned in this, somewhere. Still, Bobby's was a stellar performance, worthy of mention.

On the ladies' side of the ledger, we find, once again, Tammy Haley. You may recall that she was our top lady bowler two weeks ago. This time around, Tammy fired a 614 series made up of games of 208, 182 and 224. Tammy is currently averaging 187, which ranks third among the ladies. She trails leader Laura Ballard by five sticks, and second place holder, Debbie Carter, by two. Tammy's 642 series of two weeks ago is the highest shot by a lady so far this season, and her highest game, a 232, ranks fourth among the women. Linda Henry is first in the latter department with a 247, followed by Amy Sharp's 245, and Debbie Carter's 233.

Brian Stegall has been bowling with us for a number of seasons now, but it wasn't until last Thursday that he put it all together and shot his highest ever series, a 653. He also shot his highest ever game, a 266. His high game moved him into 12th place on the high game list. Three more pins would have given Brian a century patch from the American Bowling Congress for being 100 pins over his single game average.

One of our bowlers is a member of a team that comes from Greenville every week to join us at the center. His trip was worth it this past Thursday. Ronnie Wooten shot his highest-ever series on Thursday night, a 642, with impressive games of 204, 181 and 257. Ronnie was averaging 161 at the time. In that Ronnie was 159 pins over his series average, he will receive a 150 patch from the guys at the ABC headquarters. Not a bad night's work.

Others who shot well this week include: Jerry C. Thompson (670), Dixon (669 Sunday/649 Thursday), Larry Siegert (667), Mark Smith (667 Thursday/650 Sunday), Campbell (663), Jesse Haggerty (656), Gilliland (650 Tuesday/636 Thursday), Russ Nuss and Danny Burns (649), Ray Howser (645), Alan Roberts (644) and Terry Kozeluh and Keith Ethridge (640).

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Larry Mason writes a weekly column on the bowling leagues at Classic Lanes. His column appears on Tuesday.

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