Barry Gurney of West Hills, possibly the best bowler to come out of the San Fernando Valley and still going strong at 71, will be among the strong contenders in this weekend’s West Coast Senior Tour competition at Southpoint Lanes in Las Vegas.
The left-handed Gurney placed third in last month’s Laughlin Cup in Laughlin, Nev. He advanced past the qualifying round and won two matches before being eliminated by eventual champion Jonathan Ferrell of Scottsdale, Ariz.
And in January, Gurney finished fifth in the Super Senior division at the WCST’s stop in Montclair, Calif. Entering his 10th and final game in the preliminary round, Gurney was off the board of qualifiers. But after bowling a sizzling 252, he slipped into the final round as the ninth qualifier with a 205.3 average.
“That was kind of nice to come through under pressure,” Gurney said.
Gurney has won 18 WCST tournaments – ranking sixth. Kevin Gannon of Lakewood is No. 1 with 39 championships.
Gannon is expected to be another top contender at Southpoint although he was a subpar performer last month at the WCST event in the Orange County city of La Habra, Calif. Gannon, the WCST’s all-time money winner, failed to qualify for the finals.
He finished 26th out of the 33 entries during qualifying, averaging 199.4
But Gannon did place first in the Montclair tournament.
Right-handed Don Blatchford of Santa Monica also is expected to make a strong bid at Southpoint.
He was the winner at La Habra, showing the form that he displayed last year when he was the WCST Super Senior bowler of the year with five tour championships. Blatchford was seventh at Montclair.