Bruce Combs and Ron Elliott, both of Sarasota, and Joe Poirier of Port Charlotte were the only area bowlers to capture Top 10 positions in the 44th annual Florida State Senior Handicap Championship Tournament in Ocala, according to final, unofficial standings posted Tuesday (Feb. 5).
Elliott tied for the No. 8 position in 50-54 six-game (singles-doubles) all-events with 1,407, and Poirier was tenth in 70-over singles with 737.
Also, although he was competing with a team out of Maitland, Chuck Souzer of Sarasota was a member of the Lucky Louie's Bar team that finished in the runner-up spot in the scratch team competition with 2,694 after winning that event in 2012. Others on the team, which finished seventh on the handicap leaderboard at 2,731, were Mark Scime, Len Biondi and George Gomez.
Two area players -- Willie Kinchen Jr. and Dave Baker Jr., both of North Port -- posted Top 20 finishes in two events. Kinchen was 12th in 50-54 singles (1,384) and tied for 14th, with partner Bill Magruder, in doubles (1,417). Baker placed twice in the 50-54 category: 11th in singles (715) and 19th in six-game all-events (1,347).
Others from the Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte County area among the Top 20 include: Bill Bickley of Sarasota, 13th in 65-69 singles (733); Larry Butler of Sarasota, tied for 16th in 60-64 singles (728); and Bill Grimm of North Port, tied for 18th in 70-over singles (726).
In addition, two area teams were on the four-player leaderboard: Butler's Gang of Sarasota, 16th at 2,673, and Buckeyes of North Port, 19th at 2,655.
First-place winners in each handicap category
William Brown of Jacksonville and Billy Mack of Gainesville were the only two-event winners. Brown, competing in the 55-59 age category, was first in both singles (826) and six-game all-events (1,544), while Mack won 50-54 six-game all-events (1,497) and the one-division nine-game scratch all-events (2,257).
Topping the four-player team standings was an Ocala contingent called High Hopes with a score of 2,890, while the doubles champs were Robert Leon and Lewis Rivers of Tallahassee at 1,579.
Other leaders in singles, by age category: Gene Pinczewski of The Villages (70-up) 793; Louis Grant of Pembroke Pines (65-69) 796; Tim Ballas of Ocala (60-64) 788; and James Wright Jr. of Eustis (50-54) 774.
The other all-events leaders, also by age divisions: Don Wells of Palm Harbor (70-up) 1,491; Lloyd Balogh of Lakeland (65-69) 1,503; and Rosa Carreras of Mirimar (60-64) 1,475. The nine-game handiap all-events crown was captured by Vito DeBlasi of Ocala with 2,294.
Next year's state senior tournament will be contested at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill. To view all of the final, unofficial standings of this year's tournament, click here.