Dave Bernhardt brings a lot of firepower to the Brunswick World Team Challenge so it wasn't a big surprise when his team led the first day qualifying Saturday at Thruway Lanes.
Bernhardt's Turbo 2-N-1 Grips team of Chesterfield, Mich., named for the company he owns, bowled a 3,234 in the second round to total 6,049 and overtake Jim Mee's Pro Shop. The Jamestown team led the morning session with a block of 2,995. Mee's team finished with 5,996.
The top teams return this morning at 9 for a nine-game round robin of Baker System Scoring and the top three teams meet in a stepladder final at 3 p.m.
"We always bowl good in the second block," Bernhardt said. "The guys on this team are 'crankers' and as the oil settles down we do better."
Bernhardt's crankers include touring pro Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., Senior PBA pro Gene Stus, regional pros Steve Fehr and Ted Hannahs, Bernhardt and Mark Moore of Detroit.
"We try to stay close (to the field) in the morning. We don't always make a lot of strikes early but these guys all have a good shot," Bernhardt said.
Fehr, last year's ABC Masters champion, had the Turbo's only 600 in the morning block -- a 603 -- under the difficult ABC lanes conditions but the team had four 600s in the afternoon with Hannahs at 685, Learn 675, Fehr 666 and Stus 629. Bernhardt, replacing Moore in the second round, had a 579. Their afternoon scores were 1,069, 1,051 and the big 1,114.
Mee's team and Carl Kinyon's Allie Brandt Lanes of Lockport were the only two local teams to make the top 10.
"A key for us was getting off to a good start," Mee said. "We had a 967, which isn't exceptional, but I looked around and didn't see anyone doing much better."
Mee was right. The only higher score in the opening game was 1,002. He said his team is made up of friends, and with a smile, he added, "and they're all pro shop customers."
They all bowl in the same Jamestown Bowling Association league but for different teams.
R.J. Williams led the team at 646, Mee had 613, Paul Geiger 597, Scott Williams 393 and Jeff Zaffino 553. Geiger is from Hinsdale, while the Williams brothers and Zaffino are from Jamestown's nearby city of Warren, Pa. Mee's men were consistent with blocks of 2,995 and 3,001.
In today's format, each bowler rolls two frames per game, first and sixth, second and seventh, etc.
Kinyon's Brandt team of Pat Healey Jr. (663), John Meczynski, Bob Foss Jr. and Ron Sutton, was fourth after the morning block and fourth after four games.
"We had a bad fifth game (866) and that kind of put us on the bubble," Kinyon said after Allie Brandt's slipped to eighth.
"We just hoped we were on a bad pair (of lanes in the fifth game) and we would be all right for the next one," Kinyon said. They rallied with a 955, led by a 254 from Foss, and held on to eighth place.
"He picked us up and had the game we needed," Kinyon said.
The Lind Shoes team, 1993 national champions from Buffalo under Brunswick sponsorship, rallied from 22nd to 16th to 10th but an 896 final game left them in 12th place, two spots shy of qualifying.