Amateur bowling champion Jonathan Ferrell said Saturday that he’s decided on his vacation plans for the summer.
He’s heading for Beavercreek, Ohio.
Ferrell acknowledged that Beavercreek wasn’t at the top of his list. “My first choice for a vacation is Hawaii,” Ferrell said, “and I guess my second is Beavercreek, Ohio. My friends might even go with me and support me.”
Ferrell found it difficult to resist visiting Beavercreek, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, and rated among the top 100 places to live by Money magazine. After all, Ferrell earned free entry into the high-priced Proprietors Cup, which will be held July 10-14 in Beavercreek, by claiming the championship in the first-ever Laughlin Cup last week.
The Laughlin Cup was sponsored by Whittier-born Dustin Markowitz and former San Fernando Valley resident Eric Forkel of Bowling Evolved, a rapidly expanding website.
Entry fee for this year’s Proprietors Cup is $550.
“I was debating at the beginning whether I was going to bowl [at the Proprietors Cup],” said Ferrell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., resident. “But I kind of think I owe it to myself to do it.
“I’m 45 years old and don’t have a lot of years of competitive bowling left so I want to see what I can do out there.”
This will be the second time the Proprietors Cup will be held. Last year, Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, was the surprise winner. She claimed the $15,950 first prize with a 226-182 victory over Brandon Novak of Columbus, Ohio. There were 55 competitors and entry fee was $1,100. Pluhowsky bowled a 299 and 300 in back-to-back games en route to the championship.
Like Pluhowsky, Ferrell also was a stunning victor, defeating highly touted David Haynes, 217-179, in the Laughlin Cup’s championship match at Riverside Lanes in Laughlin, Nev.
Haynes, the so-called “King of Las Vegas,” was the top qualifier for the finals at the Laughlin Cup and is a five-time PBA regional champion. Ferrell was the second-leading qualifier.
“I’m pretty sure [Haynes] could beat me any day of the week,” said Ferrell, “but I felt I had nothing to lose.”
Ferrell, who picked up $500 for the victory along with free entry into the Proprietors Cup, is no slouch himself. The right-handed marksman scored a 244, 177, 246, 225 and 222 for his first five games at Laughlin. Then he defeated longtime Valley standout Barry Gurney of West Hills, 190-159, to advance to the finals.
Ferrell, born in Fountain Valley, Calif., has been bowling for 37 years and putting up top scores all along. But as he relates, “it took me 30 years of bowling to get my first 300.”
After that, the floodgates opened and he rolled five 300s the following season. He now has 10 certified 300s.
“I was averaging 225 in league and I was being asked, ‘How do you average 225 and not roll a 300?’ ’’
Asked which was the bigger thrill – his first 300 or the championship of the Laughlin Cup – Ferrell said that was a tough question.
He finally picked the Laughlin Cup title.
“A 300 is one game, but this took an entire day of bowling well,” Ferrell said, “and especially with all the pressure at the end bowling against David Haynes.
“I haven’t had a trophy since junior bowling. And this trophy is 3-feet tall and I’m just 5-5. The trophy is almost as big as me.”