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Jurek shooting for his second Obie after three runner-up finishes

PBA Tour veteran Jack Jurek, a three-time runner-up including last year, will bid for his second title Sunday when he takes on Lockport’s Sean Dietz in the winners bracket final of the 56th annual George A Obenauer Masters at AMF Lancaster Lanes.

Hard to believe, but Jurek has not won the Obenauer in this century. His lone title came in 1999 when he defeated another Tour pro Joe Ciccone for the championship.

His losses in the final have been to Brad Angelo, another Tour pro, in 1994 and again in 2001. Last year, he lost to Dana Voytovich, a first time winner.

Jurek averaged 218.75 in his four match-play wins in the Obenauer after qualifying second with 1,730 (216.25). Saturday, he knocked Tony Dolan from the unbeatens, 636-597.

Dietz (4-0) advanced with a 631-557 triumph over Kevin Bienko, the 2017 champion.

Mike Zarcone and Tom Sorce, this year’s top qualifier, each survived three elimination matches on Saturday night and will play in the bracket final on Sunday. The winner will face the loser of the Dietz-Jurek match in the semifinal.

The matches in each bracket will be at 1 p.m. followed at 2 p.m. by the semifinal. The championship finals will be at 3 at the Transit Road facility.

Eliminated in Saturday’s final two matches were former champions, Bienko and Tony Dolan. Zarcone handed Bienko his second loss, 721-600. Sorce topped Dolan, 608-580.

Zarcone, the 2014 winner, has had to fight an uphill battle. He began qualifying with a 744 four-game set, the 65th best score in the round, then shot 879 to land in the No. 14 spot. He lost his first match to Bill Truman, 603-548. Like Sorce he has won five matches in a row.

Two sentimental favorites, Truman and Niagara Falls veteran Mike Hanes, fell by the wayside on Friday. Hanes, a tournament fixture since he first won in 1979 again in 1985 and 2005, had won his first match on Thursday then fell to Bienko and Steve Kosut.

Truman, who was runner-up in 1982, shot an 883 on the second night of qualifying to make the field in the No. 19 slot. He knocked off Zarcone, who was coming off a successful City Tournament, in his first match. Then the former Buffalo Voyageurs Muny League star fell to Mike Johnson of Grand Island and Andy Ochal of Kenmore.

Interestingly, Matt Zasowski of Kenmore was eliminated Saturday by Zarcone, whom he teamed with to win the handicap and scratch doubles titles in the City Open Championship, which ended May 11. The Z Men shot 1,566.

Zarcone also won scratch singles with 816 and scratch six-game combine with 1,567 and was fourth in scratch all-events with 2,225. Steve Dorobiala was the scratch all-events champion with 2,257.

Lisa McMorrow was the only handicap double-winner in the City Women’s Championship. She won handicap singles with 812 and handicap six-game combine with 1,523.

Kristina Szczerbinski and Carrie Racsumberger took the scratch doubles title with 1,329. Szczerbinski won six-game combine with 1,411 and all-events with 2,256. The scratch singles went to Sarah Germano, who shot 708.

Liz leads Queens qualifiers

Western New York native Liz Johnson, a two-time past winner, averaged 230.8 in the Saturday’s third block of qualifying to become the No. 1 seed going into match play Sunday in the USBC Queens Tournament in Wichita, Kan.

Her 15-game qualifying pin total was 3,447 (229.8 average). Right behind Johnson were New York State residents Shannon Sellens of Long Beach with 3,374 and Danielle MacEwen of Stony Point at 3,343.

Johnson, now living in Palatine, Ill., won the Queens title in 2009 and 2015. She was second in 2017 and third in 2018.

PWBA Hall inducts three

The Professional Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 16 years in Wichita.

Wendy Macpherson and Leanne Hulsenberg were inducted for Performance, and Donna Conners was selected in the Meritorious Service/Builder category. This is
the first class to join the hall since 2003, the year the PWBA Tour ended.

Hulsenberg captured 26 PWBA titles from 1987 through 2002, including the 1999 USBC Queens and the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open.

Macpherson won the first of her 20 PWBA titles in 1986, capturing the U.S. Women’s Open as an 18-year-old high school senior to become the youngest bowler to win the event.

Conners is the founder and executive director of the annual Professional Bowlers Association/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament.

Anne Marie Duggan received special recognition. Duggan and Virginia Norton were elected to the PWBA Hall of Fame in the Performance category in 2003, and Duggan helped bridge the 16-year gap between the hall of fame classes.

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