Manassas Journal Messenger | Area bowlers get taste of professional tournament

An unscientific survey of the bowlers and spectators at Bowl America revealed that cheeseburgers are the most popular bowling alley food with chicken tenders running a close second, followed closely by pizza and beer.

Bowlers and spectators at the Professional Bowlers Association Senior Manassas Open graciously participated in the survey Saturday, even though food was not uppermost on their minds.

Most were there to watch or participate in the pro-amateur tournament held in conjunction with the open.

Joyce Cornwell, a league bowler at the bowling center in Manassas, said she enjoys the tournaments, though the lanes are less forgiving when the pros are around.

“I think the oil patterns are different,” Cornwell, 49, said during a break in the tournament Saturday.

“There’s little room for error. My ball doesn’t come up like it normally does,” said Wallace, a chicken tenders fan.

Her coach Larry Wallace, 56, translated.

“The ball’s not reacting. It’s not coming back to the pocket,” said Wallace, 56, who prefers cheeseburgers.

Pam Whorton, 42, of Manassas hung out Saturday at the tournament with Wallace and Cornwell and said she enjoyed watching the pros bowl.

“We want to be them,” said Whorton, who cast a vote for beer as her favorite food at the lanes.

Jeff Hoover doesn’t bowl, but his son Chase does, so the two came from Damascus, Md., to watch.

Chase, who has a high game of 247, often watches bowling on television and said he liked watching live bowling.

“I like the interacting with the bowlers,” Chase, 15, said as he watched the lanes from a set of outdoor aluminum bleachers installed in the lobby at Bowl America on Mathis Avenue.

Hoover said there were advantages to watching anything on television and Chase agreed that he missed instant replays. “The camera angles are better on T.V. You get a better view,” Hoover said.

Hoover prefers cheeseburgers from the snack bar while Chase goes for the pizza every time.

Les Smith doesn’t care how she gets her viewing pleasure as long as she gets to see the game.

“Anything that has to do with bowling, I’m going to watch it,” said Smith, who described herself as 60ish.

Smith said she liked watching bowlers such as Dave Soutar, Gene Stus, Bob Chamberlain, Teata Semiz, Dale Eagle and Mark Roth who she once watched on television before they moved on to the senior circuit.

She likes having them on her home turf. “I live here in Manassas and I bowl here, well, I show up and take my turn here. This is great,” said Smith, who is fond of cheeseburgers.

Linda Jenkins works behind the counter at Bowl America and though the place hops during a tournament, she gets an occasional break when she can be a spectator.

“It’s like watching somebody play baseball or — anything — their style and their approach,” said Jenkins, of Independent Hill.

“I like to watch any good bowler because it’s an acquired talent,” said Jenkins, who sticks exclusively to chicken tenders when choosing from the menu at work.

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