Tarkington makes nice showing at PBA Regional


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hundreds of thousands (if not more) of bowling fans perch in front of their televisions weekly to watch some of the best bowlers in the world vie for big paychecks both in size and amount. My brother refers to them as Happy Gilmore checks.

What many fans do not understand is what it takes to make it to the Professional Bowlers Association or to those televised finals events.

Baseball fans probably understand the levels of professional baseball, with the multiple tiers of minor leagues before getting the call to the majors. Locally, the players playing for the Norfolk Tides, are working to one day get a call to join the Baltimore Orioles.

Professional bowling has a similar program known as the regional tour. Most of the guys we see on television first cut their teeth on the regional circuit. I tried my hand at the regional tour in the early to mid 1990’s and learned real quick that my eyes were much bigger than my scores, so in 1996, I traded in my PBA card for a wife!

Mark Tarkington has been a card toten member of the PBA since he was 18 years old, and the now 43-year old righty recently had his best showing on the PBA lanes with a seventh place finish at the Aberdeen South Open at the Sandhills Bowling Center in Aberdeen, NC.

After an 8-game qualifying round of averaging 193, Tarkington needed a one game roll-off victory over Jeff Beasley of Garner to advance to the next round. After four more games Tarkington found himself in the top eight to qualify for some round-robin match play. There, he went 5-3 to make his final finish, seventh place, the best of his career. Congratulations, Mark!

Tarkington carried his big weekend over to Tuesday night where he topped the Fellowship League with a 290-679, followed by Boris Beatty’s 230-646, Chris Farrell’s 233-645, and Daniel Pledger’s 235-642. Lake Krehel and Troy Brickhouse added impressive games of 259 and 251 respectively.

Brittney Gaumond powered a 10-strike 244 final game to a ladies’ leading 582 series. Trailing only Brittney was Kaytee Simpson’s 201-582, Bobbi jo Tarkington’s 165-477, and Beth Marshall’s 165 game.

Ocie Manos bagged the top game and series of the two ladies-only leagues with her 183-494 during the All American Ladies League last Thursday morning. Stella Miller’s 168-448 and Carolyn Richardson’s 165-444 followed.

Patsy Sanders’ 156-451 led the Albemarle Rollers’ ladies, along with Delli Spaulding’s 140-412, Sharon Hunt’s 142-408, Pamela Griffin’s 169-408, and Sylvia Holley’s 144 top game.

The local youth league is closing in on the end of their season and tournaments and enjoyed a little Crazy-8 Moonlight bowling this past weekend.

A number of prizes were earned, but the top scores and choice of prizes belonged to Kaylee Winslow (846), Elizabeth Scaff (804), Ben Hawkins (772), Thomas Adams (743), Gaston Pinner (743), Lindsay Porter (738), Joshua Davenport (731), Madison Elliott (718), and Colby Judge (672).

After a hearty breakfast, the youth received their end of season trophies with top averages going to Ben Hawkins (167) and Elizabeth Scaff (118), and Most Improved Average going to Camryn Harris, who improved his average a whopping 27 pins during the season.

The youth will be back on the lanes this weekend as they compete for $500 worth of scholarships during the Fellowship League Youth Scholarship Tournament. This tournament is sponsored through an annual donation from the Tuesday night Fellowship League.

The summer leagues for Monday and Thursday nights begin this week and there’s still time to get your team entered in these. Just stop by the lanes anytime to get more information.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling!