Daniel Gassera has repeatedly demonstrated that he is one of the top bowlers in the area, and he "proved" it again at Sarasota Lanes on Sunday, when he outlasted a top-notch field of 24 to win a Prove It Challenge tournament championship.
The 17-year-old Port Charlotte righthander became the seventh different winner in the seven Prove It events conducted so far, and he held off a challenge from defending champ Saul Insignares, who fell short by 16 pins in an attempt to become the first two-time victor.
With a six-game net pinfall of 1,321, including 30 "bonus pins" for a match-play victory, Gassera earned the first-place prize of $410, while Insignares ended with a net score of 1,305. Rounding out the list of cashers were John Thompson, Jason Ferrill, Charles Fletcher and Jesse Hawver.
Insignares narrowed the final margin in the closing three-player rolloff when he posted a 212 game, while Gassera rolled a 205 and third-place John Thompson had a 191.
"The (37-feet Kegel Kode 4137 lane condition) pattern is the easiest we play on, and the scores reflected it," said tournament director Chuck Souzer, while noting that the event had its highest-ever cut score. "Then, the lanes got tougher, and the scores came down."
"All I was trying to do was keep my feet slow," said Gassera, who already has 17 USBC-certified perfect games to his credit. At the end of the four-game qualifying, Gassera claimed the top seed by one pin (874-873) over Ferrill, while other qualifying scored were posted by Thompson (861), Fletcher (835), Insignares (834) and Hawver (800).
In the subsequent match-play round, Gassera defeated Hawver 212-172, Insignares bested Ferrill 199-181, and Thompson topped Fletcher 211-191.
Prior to Gassera and Insignares, previous Prove It Challenge champions were James McCleland (August), David Shedrow (July), Jon Rakoski (June), Aaron Albritton (May) and Dennis Beagle (April).
Next tournament (coupled with Demo Day) scheduled for Nov. 17
The next Prove It Challenge will be held on Sunday, Nov. 17, in conjunction with Ebonite Four Brand Demo Day at Sarasota Lanes.
Demo Day, hosted by Bowling Services Pro Shop, will feature three sessions -- beginning at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. -- at a cost of $20 per session. You must pre-register, by calling Saul Insignares at (941) 364-4892, in order to take part in one of the sessions, and each one is limited to a maximum of 20 participants.
A technical staff will be on hand to help a bowler pick the right arsenal, along with providing the opportunity to demo all of the new products and equipment offered by Ebonite International. For additional information, call (941) 586-3647.
As for the Prove It Challenge tournament, it will begin at 2:30 p.m., following completion of the last Demo session, and pre-registration will be conducted from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m. For complete details, you may visit the tournament Web site by clicking here.
The final frame: Fred McAllister
One of the area's most-avid bowlers, Fred McAllister of Sarasota, who for years competed in at least three leagues a week, died recently at the age of 71.
McAllister carried a 181 average in scratch league competition at AMF Bradenton, although he did most of his bowling at AMF Gulf Gate until he quit league bowling after the 2007-08 season. His high game was a 296, rolled as part of a 726 series at AMF Gulf Gate in 1998.
He was a member of the board of directors of the Sarasota-Manatee County Bowling Association from 2004 to 2006, and he was a member of the championship Division A team -- Fish's Four, also consisting of Dennis Zahrndt, Sam Steiner and Bill Herald -- in the SMCBA senior tournament in 2005.
He'll be missed by many friends, family members and the area bowling community.
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