he world’s best senior bowlers will be in Manassas Aug. 2-5, competing for a prestigious title and $8,000 first-place prize.
The 2003 Professional Bowlers Association Senior Tour will make its debut in Manassas as Bowl America hosts the PBA Senior Manassas Open.
This will be the first time that PBA has conducted a competition in Prince William County during its 55-year-history and the 14th time in Virginia.
The event will be the eighth event of 11 tournaments on the PBA Senior Tour schedule. The Senior Tour includes nine standard and two major events.
More than 140 of the world’s top senior bowlers will be competing in the tournament including Hall of Famers George Pappas, Teata Semiz and Dave Soutar. In addition, other tour stars entered in the tournament include Bob Chamberlain, Bob Glass, Dale Eagle, Steve Neff, Ernie Schlegel and Ron Winger.
“This is the biggest thing to take place at the Manassas Bowl America since it opened in 1959,” said Dean Atchley, manager. The Best Western Battlefield Inn is serving as the guest hotel for the bowlers.
Atchley said the Manassas facility hosted a regional tournament a year ago and PBA officials were so impressed they wanted to know if he was interested in hosting a national tournament.
“We worked for six months to get everything worked out and now we are all set. This tournament is much bigger than the regional as it had only 70 bowlers as opposed to double that number in the national event,” Atchley said. Table settings will be available as well as bleacher seating.
Ticket prices for the tournament are $2 per day or $5 for an all-events pass, good for access during the entire tournament.
Fans can attend the pros’ practice session on Aug. 2 and can participate in the Pro-Am competition that follows.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for fans to compete alongside the pros, as well as get autographs and photographs with the stars of the PBA Senior Tour,” said Atchley.
Several area bowlers will be entered in the tournament, including Virginians Richard Holmes of Reva, Joseph Sulich Jr. of Centreveille, Jim Weyand of Springfield and Greg Wilhelm of Stafford.
Competitors from Maryland include Eddie Blocker Jr. of Seabrook, Jim Brown of Columbia, Richard Felten of Rockville, Colin Gilyeat of Waldorf, George Jones of Gaithersburg, Roy Lemerise of Columbia, Ross McDonald of Clarksville, Hollis McMullen of Rockville, Johnny Peak Sr. of Laurel, Ronald Smith of Clinton and Greg Zwitch of Marriottsville.
The schedule of the open events includes:
— Pro Ams: Youth Pro Am, Aug. 2. at 12:30, 3:00, 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. and Adult and Senior, same times.
— Pro Practice: A Squad practice Aug. 2. from 8 to 9 a.m. and B Squad practice 10:30-11:30 a.m.
— Qualifying: A Squad bowls eight games at 10 a.m. Aug. 3 and B Squad bowls eight games at 5 p.m. B squad bowls eight games Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. and A squad bowls eight games at 5 p.m. and tournament team is cut to top 32.
— Round of 32: 16 best of five matches beginning Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. with 16 advancing.
— Round of 16: Eight best of five matches Aug. 5 beginning at 1 p.m. with eight advancing.
— Round of Eight: Four best-of-three matches Aug. 5 immediately following round of 16.
— Round of Four: Two best of three matches at Aug. 5 at 7 p.m.
— Championship: Best-of-three matches Aug. 5 immediately following round of four.
The winners of the two major senior events, Eagle and Soutar, will be entered into the 2003 PBA Tournament of Champions.
Manassas Bowl America, which has 44 lanes, is located at 9000 Mathis Ave. Anyone interested in bowling in the Pro-Am or attending any portion of the event may call (703) 368-2161 for more information.