By PHIL GULICK
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 28, 2002
Randy Pedersen became a millionaire by winning the Pepsi Open on Sunday at Springfield, Pa., his first PBA title since 1999.
Pedersen of Hollywood defeated Chris Barnes 216-210, for his 13th career title and $40,000. He needed a strike in the 10th for the win.
"I never thought I'd win again," Pedersen said with tears in his eyes. "Last week was nice (sixth at the Banquet Classic), but I thought it was just going to be something to build on."
Pedersen, an ESPN analyst for the tour, became the 24th millionaire in PBA history, pushing his career winnings to $1,036,576. He also is the first to finish match play undefeated since single-elimination began last season. Pedersen moved to the top of the exemption list for the Tournament of Champions in three weeks at Uncasville, Conn., squeezing out Clermont's Norm Duke.
Barnes finished second for the third time this season and earned $20,000. The 1998 Rookie of the Year has 10 runner-up finishes and three titles in his career.
In the semifinals, Pedersen beat second-year pro Blaise Bedolla and Barnes beat Frank Guccione, another second-year player making his first finals appearance. Bedolla and Guccione tied for third and won $10,000 each.
Duke lost to Tom Baker in the round of eight. Ken Fishman of Lutz and Ricky Ward of North Fort Myers missed the first-round cut. Ocala's Walter Ray Williams Jr., 10-time winner Steve Hoskins from Tarpon Springs and Clermont's Jason Couch missed the second-round cut.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Little-known Eugene McCune won his first PBA title and joined the ranks of father/son champions at the Banquet Classic on Nov. 17 at Wyoming, Mich.
McCune defeated Williams 224-186 for the his first title in 15 years and earned $40,000.
"It's like throwing a billion monkeys off my back," McCune said.
McCune's father, Don, won eight titles and is in the PBA Hall of Fame.
Williams, who earned $20,000, has finished second to McCune a record seven times. Three weeks ago, Williams earned his 35th title, second on the all-time winners' list behind the late Earl Anthony with 41.
In the semifinals, Williams beat Tom Baker and McCune edged Duke. Baker and Duke each earned $10,000. Couch failed to make the first-round cut and Hoskins didn't get past the second round, finishing 43rd.
The tour is in Syosset, N. Y. for the Cambridge Credit Classic. The finals will be televised from 1-2:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPN.
CHALLENGE WINNER: The Orleans Hotel & Casino team topped 14 of the nation's top squads to win the ABC/Brunswick World Team Challenge Grand Championship at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas two weeks ago.
The winning team of Bryan O'Keefe, Adam Barta, Ron Nelson, Ted Hannahs, Bill Hoffman and David Haynes beat Lane 1 Bowling of Tempe, Ariz., 383-373 in the two-game Baker finals and won $10,000. Lane 1 Bowling received $6,000 for second place.
The Orleans advanced to the title round by defeating Brunswick of Pittsburgh, Pa., 400-340. Brunswick's team of Jeff Poholsky, Robert Alexander, Roger Kossert, Doug Becker, Bruce Hollen and Mike Chontos received $3,500 for third.
Kegel Training Center of Sebring, with Larry Barwick, Sam Zurich, Mike Tagariello, David Tessman and Norm Titus finished ninth and earned $1,600. The Brunswick and Kegel squads qualified for the Grand Championship during regional play at Seminole Lanes in Pinellas County.