Pro bowlers roll into town

Friday, May 4, 2007
Jackson's Main Street Lanes has served as co-host for the Missouri State USBC Open Bowling tournament. National bowling stars Pete Weber, far right, and Michael Minehan, third from right, joined Lester Maevers, from left, Landon Maevers, Ruth Maevers and Jim Maevers, second from right, for a photo after bowling in the tournament recently. (Contributed photo)

Imagine Albert Pujols showing up to play some ball at Capaha Field. Or Tiger Woods coming to town to take on some of the state's best golfers.

The Missouri State USBC Open Championships is the kind of event that has lured top professional bowlers to compete alongside anyone and everyone from the state who entered.

Professional Bowlers Association standout Pete Weber and recent tour winner Michael Mineman were among the bowlers in Cape Girardeau and Jackson on April 21 and 22 to compete in the 10-weekend state event, which continues through this weekend.

They bowled side by side during team competition play at Main Street Lanes in Jackson.

Main Street is co-hosting the state tournament, which began Feb. 24 and concludes Sunday, along with West Park Lanes in Cape Girardeau.

The tournament has attracted as many as 400 bowlers on some weekends during its run, which included a break for the Easter holiday. The final weekend of play should include about 190 bowlers.

"I think it's been very positive for bowling in Southeast Missouri," said Jim Maevers, proprietor of Main Street Lanes. "I've heard a lot of bowlers say they are appreciative of both centers. The tournament has been run very well and received very well.

"I don't know if people in Cape Girardeau and Jackson are aware how many bowlers have come here for this event."

The Cape Girardeau USBC Bowling Association is hosting the state's open championship for the first time. The organizers of the state tournament will meet later this month to discuss future plans.

The tournament allows bowlers to compete in team, singles and doubles divisions. It is open to men and women and includes scratch and handicap scoring. In each competition, bowlers are scored in a three-game series.

In such a limited sample of competition, the ability of bowlers like Weber and Mineman doesn't have much of a chance for separation.

"It's like bringing a golf pro to a local course," Maevers said. "Here's Pete Weber and Mike Mineman, who have PBA tour exemptions for next season, bowling with the Average Joe's. That's the cool part about bowling. You have very good bowlers to the guys on the next level.

"Mike and Pete did draw a crowd and had pictures taken."

Weber, who won the U.S. Open in March, rolled a 717 series in the singles play to rank 26th in the scratch scoring. In doubles, he and teammate Jason Timmerman scored a 1,294 to stand 60th in scratch scoring.

Weber is 29th in the all-around scratch scoring list with 2,071 pins in his three different series.

Mineman stood in 102nd place in the singles scratch scoring with a 664 series.

Leaders in the scratch scoring heading into the final weekend are: in singles, John Pretre of St. Louis USBC, 811; in doubles, Michael Wedemeier and Robert White of St. Charles USBC, 1,508; in team, The Ratz of St. Louis, 3,517; and in all events, Wedemeier, 2,218.

Jeff Williams of Cape Girardeau USBC is 17th all-around with 2,104 pins; while John Wendel II is seventh in singles with 756.

In handicap scoring, Pretre leads the singles with an 869; Greg Smith and Clifford Parker of Scenic Rivers USBC lead the doubles with a 1,584; Kurt Fuemmeler of Glasgow USBC leads all-around at 2,325; and The Ratz lead the team scoring at 3,544.

Whit Terbrak and Chris Jannin of the Perryville USBC are 12th in handicap doubles at 1,479.

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