Texan Ozio has Senior Division early advantage
Another eight games will be rolled today to see who advances.
By PAUL TRGOVAC
BOARDMAN -- Dave Ozio of Beaumont, Texas, averaged 237 for his eight games Sunday to take the lead in the Senior (50-59) Division of the 2006 Generations Bowlers Tour Boardman Challenge at Camelot Lanes.
Ozio knocked down 1897 pins and did not shoot a game under 200.
Vinnie Atria of Louisville, Ky., leads the Classic (60 and over) division as he shot 1755 (219 average).
Bruce Boyd, the proprietor of Crest Lanes in Warren, is sitting in seventh place in the Senior Division, while Dick Gran of Hartville is in fifth. Gran's uncle and aunt were the owners of Gran Lanes on Mahoning Avenue.
The pros will bowl eight more games today beginning at noon with the top 10 bowlers in the Senior Division, and top six in the Classic moving on to match play, which will begin Tuesday afternoon.
Ozio started the day with a 258 game and followed up with games of 225, 229 and 257, before shooting his low game of the day, a 202.
"I didn't have a lot of confidence with the ball I started with but it was working early. I went a few games then changed [balls] and it really made a better move at the pocket," Ozio said.
"I am still looking to improve though tomorrow," he said.
Ozio won the tournament last week in Toledo.
"The key is ball reaction. You have to try and create the best ball reaction that you can," Ozio said. "You have guys like [Mark] Roth right behind you chasing you every week."
Roth, of Fulton, N.Y., one of the all-time great pro champions, is sitting in third place with a 221 average. Kerry Fulford, a fellow Texan like Ozio, is second as he shot 1776 (a 222 average), including a 289 in his second game.
Kerry Painter of Henderson, Nev., is fourth at 1748, with Gran at 1723 in fifth.
"I know a lot people here, and have a lot of friends in the area. It is nice to have everyone rooting for me," Gran said.
Gran started with games of 212 and 278, then ran into some trouble as he had three straight games under 200.
"I struggled during the transition [when the lane condition changes] then regrouped in the last three games, and I got a few breaks which is always good," he added. Gran finished up with 221, 226, and 237.
Boyd had no game over 236, but knocked down enough pins to finish at 1701, a 212 average.
& quot;I didn't make the right transition today, especially in the games in front of the desk," he said. "I didn't move or use the right ball there."
Atria had seven games over 200 in his block, with a low of only 198.
"My mental game was a struggle. I even picked up my plastic spare ball for a strike one time. I think it is a little bit about being out here for three straight weeks and getting a little tired," Atria said. "I am just not used to bowling all these games. There is a big difference between 40 and 50 and 50 and 60."
Atria won the Classic Division at Toledo but lost in the title match to Ozio
Atria leads Derek Smith of Hicksville, Ohio, by 53 pins, while Dewayne Thompson (Fort Smith, Ark.) is third at 1696. Pete Couture of Cocoa, Fla., is fourth at 1679, Grady Crease of Olive Branch, Miss., is fifth at 1649, and Gary Dickinson of Edmond, Okla., is in the last cut spot, sixth with 1646.
Dickinson has a 28-pin lead on Allie Clarke of Zanesville, who had 1618 on the day. Clark used to own Kinsman Lanes and Portage Pro Bowl in Ravenna. Bill Bahny of Liberty is in 15th place with 1484.