As the three-month Women's International Bowling Congress tournament draws to a close, Augie Karcher, for one, is impressed with the level of play from California bowlers.
Karcher is the retiring publicity director for the tournament and has observed play since 1968. This year's tournament will have seen 51,000 bowlers compete for $1.05 million in prize money between April 3 and Tuesday evening at the Tustin Lanes and New Kona Lanes in Costa Mesa.
"Usually in Division II play, the locals at any of the tournaments do pretty well," Karcher said. "But in the lower divisions it's the national bowlers who emerge. This time, the locals have made their impact at Division I and in the Open (bracket)."
Going into the final week of play, Sally Gates of Palmdale and Marilyn Frazier of Lancaster lead the Open Division doubles play with a combined score of 1,260.
Robin Romeo of Van Nuys and Maria Lewis of Manteca are tied in the Open Division All-Events competition with 1,877 points, and Dana Stewart of Morgan Hill leads the singles with 698.
Other highlights of the tournament include:
--Opening ceremonies, April 3, at Tustin Lanes. Tustin Mayor Frank Greinke rolled out the first ball and an honor guard from a nearby Marine base saluted the WIBC tournament.
--Women's National Intercollegiate bowling championships held at the New Kona Lanes in early April. Vicki Parker of Indiana State edged Dolores Ellis of Texas Tech by four pins, 1,690 to 1,686, over eight games to win the title. With that victory, Parker will represent the United States at the AMF World Cup in Copenhagen in October.
--The WIBC annual convention at the Anaheim Convention Center in late April. More than 3,450 delegates adopted 14 amendments to the WIBC's Bylaws and Rules and awarded Tampa the 1990 WIBC tournament and convention.
--The 26th annual Queens Tournament at New Kona Lanes in May. Cora Fiebig defeated Barbara Thorberg in the final game, 223-177, to become the event's oldest winner at age 51. Fiebig won $7,000 and Thorberg $4,000. Defending tournament champion Aleta Sill tied for ninth place.
--Rose Walsh's 300 game on May 29. Walsh, 60, a grandmother from Pomona, rolled only the second perfect game in the tournament's 67-year history. She entered the game with a 156 average.
--Last day of bowling, Tuesday. It will take the WIBC about two more weeks to determine official final results in all events and distribute the $1.05 million in cash prizes.