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Bowler Steve Heinzman aims for second WCST title in a row

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Coming off an improbable first-place effort, Steve Heinzman will try to rack up his second straight West Coast Senior Tour title during a tournament Saturday at Del Rosa Lanes in San Bernardino.

Heinzman, a 63-year-old left-hander from Parker, Ariz., claimed the tour’s season-opening event in stunning fashion last month in Montclair, Calif.

Heinzman recorded his first WCST title after qualifying last in a 48-player field the previous month in Laughlin, Nev.

Heinzman earned the championship the hard way, defeating heralded Kevin Gannon, 235-203, in the championship match. He won $625 for his first-place finish. Heinzman reached the finals by qualifying eighth (219 average) and then won his four matches in the finals.

He edged San Juan Capistrano’s Mike Rausch in the semifinals, 248-245.

Heinzman overcame a 40-player field, a robust turnout. “We started to attract bowlers who haven’t been with us for a few years,” said Dick Sanders, the WCST’s owner and director.

Sanders added: “Our prizes are not big, but bowlers look for competition, not prize money.”

Sanders expects at least 30 bowlers to take part in Saturday’s competition, which will start at 11 a.m. Bowler entry fee is $135.

Heinzman will face stiff competition in Saturday’s 60-and-over event. Gannon, a Lakewood resident, has signed up for the tournament and is the WCST’s all-time money winner.

And Don Blatchford of Santa Monica, the tour’s Super Senior bowler of the year for the past two years, also has signed up to bowl in San Bernardino.

For more information, contact Sanders at 760-363-6064.

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