No professional bowler did more to bring the sport down to the ordinary beer-league bowler dimension than Tom Daugherty last Saturday.
Not many of us can envision ourselves averaging 225 or more in a seven- or nine-game block under tournament conditions or shooting a 65 like Tiger Woods on a championship-caliber golf course.
Most of us, though, can image a nightmare game or round on the lanes or the golf course.
Daugherty joined our humble ranks when he shot 100 at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas, Nev., last week. What's more he did it on national television, in one of the sport's major tournaments against an opponent (Mike Koivuniemi) who came within one 10-pin of bowling a perfect game.
Watching Daugherty struggle made you uneasy at first, but before long you could only laugh at his misfortune.
It was the same with the crowd at Red Rock.
"I don't think they knew what to do," Daugherty said. "But after the fifth frame, when I got another split. I just laughed about it. After that the crowd did, too."
"It's not like I chocked," Daugherty said. "Because I never had a real chance to win."
Daugherty's game was an oddity for more than the score. If memory serves, he never missed the headpin. Also, he did not miss any one-pin spare, because -- amazingly -- he had no single-pin spares to shoot at.
In fact, he had no spares in the game. Just two strikes.
He opened with a split, struck then had six more splits before he struck again. To reach 100, he needed to get two of the four pins in a 4-6-7-10 split in the 10th frame.
Daugherty pointed out that he hit at least one pin with every ball.
"Think about it," he said. "That's almost a mathematical impossibility. To do that and only get a 100?"
Daugherty, who owns a pro shop near Tampa, Fla., earned $50,000 for his misery. "I made $500 a pin today. That's more than Mika made, pin for pin," Daugherty rationalized.
Koivuniemi pocketed the winner's share of $250,000.
Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga was the only Western New York pro to advance to Friday's match play rounds in the PBA One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Calif.
The 24-year-old 2010 Obenauer Masters champion averaged 224.43 through 14 rounds of qualifying with rounds of 1,547 (221 average) and 1,595 (228). Ciminelli had only two games under 200 (a 197 and a 194) and a high game of 258.
Missing the cut were: Brad Angelo of Lockport, who tied for 36th with 2,954; Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, 46th, 2,882; Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, 55th, 2,783; and Joe Ciccone of Buffalo, 61st, 2,734. Johnson made the tournament field by tying for fifth in the Tour Qualifying Round with 1,507 for seven games.
Such notables at Walter Ray Williams and Chris Barnes also missed the match-play cut. Finals will be on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Most of the pros will stay out west for the USBC Masters, Feb. 7-13 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
*Monday is the application deadline for the Empire State USBC Bowling Association's college scholarships. The Empire State USBC, the New York State USBC Women's Bowling Association and the New York State USBC Youth Association are offering $27,000 in scholarships. A joint application and two other forms can be downloaded from bowlny.com and then mailed to the address that is indicated on the forms. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*ECC sophomore Janna Law finished 30th to lead the Kats at last weekend's Blue & Gold Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Law had a high game of 247 as the ECC women's team finished 35th. On the men's side, David Zajac (Niagara Falls) shot a 267 on his way to a 108th-place finish. The men's team finished 56th.
*The Amateur Bowlers Tour WNY Branch will hold its Fourth Anniversary Tournament, a combined handicap singles event, at AMF Thruway Lanes on Sunday. First place carries a guaranteed prize of $1,200. Qualifying squads will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. High game on each squad will win a Storm ball. Also, all entries will be eligible for a drawing for a pair of club level tickets to a Sabres-Maple Leafs game plus parking, a $400 value.
*Robert Orsini of Cheektowaga won last week's ABT stop at Bowl-Lanes defeating top qualifier Rob Stewart of Rochester, 280-208, in the title match. Orsini eliminated Joe Doxbeck of Buffalo, 241-151, in the semifinal.