Tommy Hudson of Akron, Ohio, became the first to win two Professional Bowlers Association tournaments this year as he outdueled Bell of Santa Maria, Calif., 246-194, to win the $75,000 Fair Lanes Open yesterday at Springfield.
Hudson is now the second-leading bowler on the tour with $43.143. Known on the tour as TV Tommy Hudson had finished fourth, third and second in previous tournaments besides winning the Monroe-Matic in early March. Hudson picked up the first prize of $8,000 and a huge trophy for his triumph.
"I'm more aggressive on TV, I think," said Hudson, referring to his six straight strikes to open the final game that eventually led to Bell's defeat. "I was hitting the shots and I felt good. If I had bowled like that all week, I would have been worn out, but for one game, you can push."
Hudson was in ninth place coming into the last round Friday night before winning seven of his final eight match games to vault into the lead and the No. 1 seed for the televised final.
Hudson watched the other four finalists dueled for the right to play for the title.
No. 4 seed Ernie Schlegel of Yonkers, N.Y. outfitted in a bright blue and gold sequin suit and sunglasses, defeated No. 5 Cliff McNealy of San Lorenzo, Calif, 214-186. Bell then defeated Schlegel, 192-167, and No. 2 Louie Moore of Columbus, Ohio, 259-247, in the most exciting game of the afternoon, to earn a berth in the final.
"I have no complaints," said Bell. "Tommy just came out at me. It was just his turn. I had it going against Louie (Moore) but I missed a couple badly against Tommy and that was it".
Bell won $5,000
He also earned the respect and admiration of the week-long tourney crowds as he battled from 14th to eighth to third and the final matches.
Bell rolled a perfect game in the position match game against Tim Harahan Friday night.
In his match against Moore, Bell fell 30 pins behind when Moore opened the game with seven straight strikes. But Moore picked up a spare and a strike before leaving a 2-10 split in the 10th frame. Moore picked up the two-pin and shook his head in dejection as he walked back to his chair.
Bell found the pocket in the sixth frame and closed out with six perfect attempts.
0134 Bell was not the same bowler against the 29-year old, 6-foot-1, 195-pound Hudson.
Hudson opened with a strike. Bell left the 10 and four pins on his first two frames, but picked up the spares.
What little chance Bell had of winning quickly evaporated as Hudson reeled off his string of six strikes.
Hudson wrapped up the game when he picked up a spare to take an insurmountable advantage, 206-154.
McNeay and Schlegel had earned spots in the final five earlier in the tour while it was Bell's first trip. All three bowlers showed some signs of the jitters. Schlegel's opening 216 score was quickly followed by a disastrous 167 as he failed to pick up a strike on his final nine attempts.
Bell began muttering to himself in his match against Schlegel when he continuously left the 10-pin standing on his first ball. "I haven't done that all week." he said.
When he found the groove against Motre, Bell flashed a small grin and said, "about time I did something right".
Hudson said, "Winning the two tournaments is the greatest thing that has happened to me."
Hudson, who had four serious stomach operations as a youth and was given the last rites twice by the Roman Catholic church, piled up a total of 9,590 pins after three days and 42 grueling ames.
"It's a lot of pressure, but it's the way I make my living," he said "I'm lucky to be alived."