TRABER TAKES TOP SEED FOR PBA BRACKET FINALS

Dale Traber averaged 239 in his eight Monday qualifying games, totaling 3680 pins in 16 games, to lead the field into today's match-play at the Miller Lite PBA Decatur Senior Open at Spare Time Lanes.

"I played smarter than the day before," Traber said. "When I saw the ball go high Sunday, I waited to make a move. Today [Monday] I moved left immediately and it paid off."

Traber may be the most unheralded world-record-holder in sports. Traber has earned more regional pro bowling titles (43) than anyone else. Categorically, Traber has won 35 regular regionals, six senior regionals and two National Resident Pro titles.

"I kind of like being under-the-radar," said Traber, currently in third place on the 2009 PBA Seniors point list.

Earlier this season, Traber captured two national crowns on the West Coast swing, winning in Brentwood, California, and then later in Las Vegas at the USBC Senior Masters.

"Vegas was really good to me this year, also winning the Team and Team All-Events in the USBC Open Championships," Traber said. "I like the grind-out conditions where I may be able to outsmart the others."

Like many seniors, Traber has a full-time job, and in Dale's case, he works a pair of occupations. Traber has been with JCPenney in Wisconsin for 32 years, and he is now working with a teammate to refurbish bowling centers.

SEEKING ONE "MOHR" TITLE

Ron Mohr, a 53-year-old right-hander from Eagle River, Alaska, fired a 16-game total of 3481 to qualify 20th for today's match-play showdown.

Mohr, the current PBA Senior points leader, was able to successfully back up his 1765 Sunday score, made eventful by a one-game delay due to a mechanical failure. Mohr will face Antioch's Russ Freeman in his first match at 9am this morning.

During this past off-season, Mohr decided to overhaul his game, changing ball manufacturers and the way he would approach tournament play.

"Storm (Bowling Products) makes great equipment, but it is more effective for bowlers who need a skid-snap reaction," Mohr said. "I learned that you have to play straighter on most Senior patterns, so I switched to Ebonite and worked harder to match up my game with the lanes."

Mohr's ascension to the top began in the final qualifying game in the first tournament in Jackson, Michigan. "I was too close for comfort to the cut number, so I made a move to the right and shot 300 to earn a bye in match-play," Mohr said.

When confronted with a similar problem the following day, Mohr again moved to the right and was able to top Bill Henson and James Stanley to take the first title of the 2009 national senior campaign.

The next week in Dayton, Mohr kept up the pace, qualifying sixth to earn a pair of walkovers and eventually defeating Brian Voss 211-206 to earn his second consecutive title. Mohr finished 6th, 5th and 3rd in the next three events and retook the point lead with his third-place effort in Hammond one week ago.

Mohr uses Las Vegas as his base in the lower-48, with additional support from K & K Bowling supply to defray the huge travel expenses. "I also have an incredible wife, Linda, who allows me to do this. She makes this all possible."

BAKER LOOKING TO END DROUGHT

The winner of the Mohr-Freeman match will face 13th seeded Tom Baker, the 55-year-old PBA Hall of Famer who has spent the past four seasons on both the PBA Seniors Tour and the Lumber Liquidators Tour.

"My vehicle will be two years old next week, and it already has 43,000 miles on it," Baker said. During this time, Baker estimates that he has traveled around 30,000 miles per year.

Baker captured Player-of-the-Year honors in his first three senior seasons, and he earned the first monumental big tour exemption with his emotional win in the 2004 PBA World Championship. Baker has been able to enjoy the best aspects of both tours.

"It's more relaxed on the Senior Tour, but I look forward to the competition on the younger tour," Baker said. "The younger bowlers don't ask about mechanics because our styles are so different. But they do ask me about what it takes to win. I like it when they come up to me (in a complimentary way) and say, 'when you need to make a shot, you make it'."
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Final Results of the 2018-2019 Open Championships (City Tournament)

80th Annual Decatur USBC Open
Championship: Feb. 16-Mar. 10, 2019 - at Spare Time Lanes
"ON THE PODIUM":

Handicap Singles

  • Daniel Goebel - 793
  • Cory Hollis - 768
  • Michael Abel - 756

Scratch Singles

  • Phillip Barry - 747
  • Shawn Reed - 738
  • Jason Queen - 729

Handicap Doubles

  • Tom Adcock/Jason Queen - 1533
  • Garrett Strohl/Jarid Thompson - 1488
  • Bob Gray/Frank Bilyeu - 1458

Scratch Doubles

  • Tom Adcock/Jason Queen - 1533
  • Tim Frey/Phillip Barry - 1372
  • Patty Dodd/Bennie Holman - 1358

Handicap All Events

  • Cory Hollis - 2285
  • Bryson Poe - 2210
  • Jason Queen - 2168

Scratch All-Events

  • Jason Queen - 2168
  • Tim Frey - 2156
  • James Heckwine - 2113

Handicap Team

  • Nic Riley (Nic Riley, Ben McCoy, Michael Wilcox, Jon Alford, Phillip Barry) - 3634
  • Dad's Team - 3535
  • Bring Back Pla-Mor - 3406

Scratch Team

  • Nic Riley (Nic Riley, Ben McCoy, Michael Wilcox, Jon Alford, Phillip Barry) - 3567
  • Bring Back Pla-Mor - 3406
  • Balls Deep - 3187

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