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By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 11, 2001
Although the recent North Suncoast cold snap has kept some golfers off of the links, Pasco County bowling centers have been buzzing with perfect game after perfect game.
There have been nine of them in the past month.
Eric Knopp of Zephyrhills dazzled the crowd at Unity Lanes on Dec. 28 with a 300 game during the K&K Glass league. Knopp wasn't done. He bowled another 300 the following night at the His and Hers league.
Jim Riviero has had a hot touch during the past three weeks as well. He sandwiched a 299 between two 300s during the Thursday Scratch Trio at Hudson Bowl. Bill Spicer added a 300 at Hudson Bowl during Thursday Scratch Trio on Dec. 18.
The Men's Scratch Trio at Lane-Glo Lanes North has been responsible for more 300 games than any other league in the past several months. It was more of the same during December.
John Howell bowled a 300 and an 802 series Dec. 13. Jeremy Storms narrowly missed matching Howell, finishing with a 299 on the same night.
Three bowlers at Lane-Glo Lanes North hit the 300 mark.
Larry Cooper Jr. closed 2000 with a 300 Dec. 29 during the Friday Night Mixed league. James Lulatowski hit 300 during Monday Merchants on Dec. 19. And Bob Deprez bowled his 300 Dec. 12 during the Twin Cities league.
TOP BOWLERS: Daniel Bennett just missed a 300 on Dec. 19. He finished with a 299 during the Monday Merchant's league.
Four women bowled better than a 700 series this month at Lane-Glo Lanes North. Debbie Penman bowled a 733 during Friday Mixed league on Dec. 29. Denise Timmons bowled a 718 during the Scratch Women's league on Dec. 13. Val O'Niel and Cathy Henry nearly matched Timmons that night. O'Niel finished with a 705 while Henry had a 703.
BETTER EARLY THAN NEVER: Elly Dalfonso got one of his New Year's resolutions out of the way quickly. The 73-year-old collected his first hole-on-one at Meadow Oaks on Jan. 4. Dalfonso used a 7-wood to cover the 120-yard 15th hole.
"He was very excited," Meadow Oaks pro Alex Koskos said. "He really was."
RECORD SETTER: Rich Powers tied the course record at Meadow Oaks on Jan. 6. Powers shot a 60 during a men's point game.
Powers is only the second player to shoot a 60 at the current Meadow Oaks course. Glen Gabriel did it in 1999.
HOLE-IN-ONE CORRECTION: Silver Oaks golf pro Tim Holt credited 13-year-old David Ruff Jr. with the first hole-in-one at the new Dream Nine. Ruff did have an ace on the regular course Dec. 13. But another 13-year-old, Tommie Bush, shot the first hole-in-one at the Dream Nine.
UPCOMING GOLF EVENTS: Silver Oaks will be putting $10,000, $2,400 for first place, up for grabs Jan. 29 for the inaugural Silver Oaks Open. The 18-hole, stroke-play event will tee off at 8 a.m. Registration is $125 per person. Cash prizes will be available through 15th place, with that finisher collecting $130 based on 100 entries.
Call (813) 788-1225 or (800) 853-GOLF for more information.
A new minitour for professional women will make a stop in Dade City later this month. The Lady Players Tour will play an event at Scotland Yards on Jan. 29 and 30.
The fledgling tour is trying to fill the time until the Futures Tour starts up again in March. Call (352) 567-7600 for more information. UPCOMING BOWLING EVENTS: Unity Lanes will host the West Coast Seniors Scratch Tournament on Sunday. Bowlers 50 and older can compete for $20. Call (352) 782-5511 for more information.
Leisure Lanes will offer a $500 first prize during the Jan. 27 Eliminator. The entry fee is $40. Bowling begins at 10:30 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. Call (727) 868-0204 for more information.
The city tournament will be at Unity Lanes on Feb. 10 and 11. Call (352) 782-5511 for more information.
-- Compiled by Wayne Grumet, who can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at (352) 521-0290.