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By PHIL GULICK
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 23, 2000
Steve Hoskins was having a mediocre year on tour until midway through the PBA's Lone Star Open in Pasadena, Texas.
Hoskins pulled his game together, led the field until the final qualifying round and went into the finals in third place. He defeated Ocala's Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Ryan Shafer in the three-man semifinal shootout to advance to the championship match against tournament leader Doug Kent.
Hoskins beat Kent 246-236 to win his 10th career title, and his first this year, and earn $19,000 at the tour's final stop, which will be shown at 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.
"Winning my 10th victory is huge, definitely a benchmark in my career," Hoskins said. "There are few people who have won 10 titles and haven't ended up in the Hall of Fame, so this means a lot to me."
Kent started the match with an open frame but struck in the next three frames for a narrow lead. Hoskins also started slowly, but he reeled off six straight strikes and picked up the 10-pin on his final ball for the victory.
Williams was third, Shafer fourth and Brian Himmler fifth.
COUCH RICHER: Clermont's Jason Couch took home the richest check of his career and his eighth title Nov. 7, winning the Brunswick Tournament of Champions, worth $60,000, for the second straight year.
Couch defeated Shafer 198-166 and became the first pro to defend this title. Clermont's Norm Duke finished third, Steve Jaros fourth and Williams, bidding for his sixth player of the year honor, fifth.
Danny Wiseman defeated Chris Barnes 252-232 to win the Columbia 300 Open in Austin, Texas, last week. Couch was sixth, and Hoskins finished 23rd.
DAVIDSON, AGAIN: Dede Davidson survived the battle of left-handers to win the Sam's Town Invitational in Las Vegas, the PWBA's final stop of the year. Davidson defeated Tiffany Stanbrough 182-179 for her second title of the year and $14,400. All five finalists were left-handers.
Davidson averaged 239 for the tournament, rolled a 300 game and became the fourth woman to win the triple crown (U.S. Open, WIBC Queens and Sam's Town Invitational). Aleta Sill finished third, Sebring's Kendra Cameron 14th, Cocoa's Kim Adler 19th and Boynton Beach's Allyson Allmang 24th.
Cara Honeychurch won the Storm Shootout and $23,000, beating seven other top-flight contenders. Honeychurch bested Bowlers of the Decades Betty Morris, Lisa Wagner and Wendy Macpherson, plus the top four players on competition points on the 2000 tour.
The Shootout airs at 1 p.m. today on ESPN2, which has announced it will televise all 23 tour events next season.
Macpherson was the year's top money winner with $108,525, becoming bowling's second female millionaire.
COUNTRY LANES: Mark Gerberich, PBA commissioner for five years, resigned as head of the tour's new Akron, Ohio, headquarters. Gerberich was reassigned after three former computer executives bought the PBA in April. ... Duke climbed ahead of Williams and Barnes to shoot into contention for player of the year. Duke was the tour's top money winner with $126,555. ... The 2001 WIBC National Championship in Fort Lauderdale has a new Web site, www.WIBCtournament.com. ... Eight-time PBA tour winner John Mazza retired.
- Information from other news organizations was used in this report. Phil Gulick can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.