By PHIL GULICK
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 26, 2000
Ocala's Walter Ray Williams Jr. broke out of a nearly two-year drought in grand style, winning the first two PBA fall tournaments and reclaiming the No. 1 spot on tour.
Williams beat Patrick Healey Jr. 225-217 to win the Track Canandaigua (N.Y.) Open, $20,000 and his 31st title on Oct. 10. Williams had finished second in two previous showings there. Wichita's Chris Barnes was third, and Steve Hoskins, a nine-time tour winner from Tarpon Springs, finished ninth.
The next week, Williams defeated top-seeded Bob Learn Jr. 215-177 to win the Brunswick Johnny Petraglia Open for the third time and earn $26,000. Parker Bohn III was third. Ricky Ward of North Fort Myers finished 11th, Hoskins was 15th and Clermont's Jason Couch was 17th.
Williams replaced Clermont's Norm Duke as No. 1 after Duke replaced Bohn earlier this year. It was Bohn who shoved Williams out of the top spot last season. Duke has won three events this year and is the leading money winner with $133,725.
The national tour was at Erie for the Flagship Open, which ended Tuesday. The tour moves to Indianapolis starting Saturday with the final from 8-9:30 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN. The Erie event introduced more format changes. The field was limited to 80 players with a pro tour qualifier for non-exempt players. The top eight players qualified for the final and competed in three three-man shootouts before determining the finalists. Roger Workman, Bob Glass and Johnny Petraglia were senior tour winners the past four weeks. Petraglia won the Columbia 300 Open at Naples and became the third player to win titles in five decades. Dick Weber and Bradenton's Dave Soutar are the others.
Workman moved closer to senior player of the year honors by winning the Gastonia (N.C.) Senior Classic, his second title of the year. Workman set the single-season earnings mark with $139,075, breaking Soutar's mark of $137,190 set last year.
Glass won his second title of the year in the Senior National Championship at Jackson, Mich. Defending champion Steve Neff of Homosassa Springs finished third.
Senior rookie of the year Mike Pullin closed out the year with a win over Workman at the Hammond (Ind.) Open.
NEW MILLIONAIRE: Carol Gianotti-Block defeated Wendy Macpherson 211-198 to claim the PWBA's Columbia 300 Open on Oct. 12 at Lancaster, Ohio, but Macpherson stole the headlines.
Gianotti-Block earned $14,400 for her 16th title, and Macpherson took home $7,700, enough to push her past the $1-million mark in earnings. It took Macpherson 14 years to reach $1-million. Aleta Sill became women's bowling's first millionaire last season, taking 20 years to do it. Sebring's Kendra Cameron finished fifth, and Allyson Allman of Boynton Beach was 32nd.
Tish Johnson ended a two-year drought by winning the North Myrtle Beach (S. C.) Classic on Oct. 5. She beat Cara Honeychurch 234-203 in the final after stopping U.S. Open champion Tennelle Grijalva in the semifinals. It was Johnson's 23rd title.
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard defeated Cheryl Daniels 213-161 to take the Three Rivers Open at Pittsburgh. It was Dorin-Ballard's 10th career win, her third this season. The tour's Greater Harrisburg (Pa.) Open ends today, then the tour moves to Rockford, Ill., for the Hammer Players Championship with the final at 8 p.m. Nov. 6 on ESPN2.
- Phil Gulick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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