A bowler from Alabama with a name that's easy to remember is the fourth-round leader among the vintage performers of the sport.
When Jimmy Certain finished the round in the $55,000 Pacific Senior PBA tournament at Cal Bowl Wednesday, he said, "I certainly had a good round."
That he did, winning five of six matches on games of 241, 247, 248, 248 and 210 to take a 39-pin lead over John Handegard of Lake Jackson, Tex. Each match victory is worth 30 bonus pins in match play.
The 24 semifinalists have another six matches left to decide the top five bowlers for the nationally televised championship rolloff on ESPN at 9 tonight.
Certain, 51, of Huntsville, Ala., bowled on the Professional Bowlers Assn.'s regular tour for more than a decade. Since joining the seniors three years ago, he has won two titles. He was Senior PBA bowler of the year in 1989.
"I try not to use the word \o7 sure \f7 in conversation because people like me to say \o7 certain\f7 instead," Certain said.
He is one of just a few using the cranking style of delivery among the generally smooth-stroking 50-and-over set.
"A cranker gets more revolutions on the ball and better pin carry," he said.
"Bowling is a guessing game. You pick out the right ball for the lane conditions and you bowl well. I've used five different balls so far in this event. I guessed right on the one for match play."