Larry Laub, winner of the 1979 Fair Lanes Open, knocked down 1,763 pins last night and got 210 bonus pins to move into the lead after eight games of match play in the $110,000 Fair Lanes Open at Capital Plaza in Hyattsville.
Laub, 38, of Santa Rosa Calif., a veteran of 19 years on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, overtook Mal Acosta of Hayward, Calif., on the final game of the night to lead by 5,812-5,797. Two more rounds of match play are scheduled today before the field is cut to the top five for Saturday's nationally televised finals.
Acosta, who began last night with a perfect game, had led after the sixth and seventh games, then Laub passed him.
The 300 game was Acosta's second in the last three weeks, and it was the second 300 rolled at the Fair Lanes tournament yesterday. Tom Laaskow, who finished fifth in overall standings yesterday with a total score of 5,721, rolled a 300 in the qualifying rounds yesterday morning.
"Maybe this means 300 games are coming my way," Acosta, 29, said. "I sure hope so, but I was nervous out there."
Finishing third overall last night was Henry Gonzalez of Colorado Springs with a total of 5,763. Tommy Hudson of Akron, Ohio, winner of the 1977 Fair Lanes Open, was fourth at 5,749.
"I think my game was better here tonight than it's been in the last couple of years," Laub said. "I was never really in any trouble. My worst game was 185 and my next worst game was 190. As long as I can keep the ball straight and get a good carry on it, I'm in good shape. I only get in trouble when it starts hooking on me."
Laub won seven of his eight games last night, losing only to Acosta, 224-208. That was in the sixth game each bowled last evening.
Hudson, who was second going into the match competition last night, took the lead after the first game and held it until overtaken by Acosta.
"I haven't been bowling as well as I would like this year," Hudson said. "I guess I just ran out of gas at the end. But I'm sure glad to be this close. I'll get a good rest and I'll have a shot at it tomorrow."
Ken Fernandez, who was leading when the field of 160 bowlers was cut to the top 24 after yesterday afternoon's qualifying rounds, lost all eight of his games last night and dropped to 17th place with a total 5,520.
Among the bowlers who failed to make the cut were Earl Anthony, winner of this year's PBA National and bowling's top money winner with more than $1 million in career earnings, and last year's Fair Lanes Open winner Wayne Webb. Anthony finished 37th at 3,702 and Webb 40th at 3,690. Anthony earned $860, Webb $830.
Match competition will continue today at 11 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. The final five will bowl for the $15,000 first prize Saturday at 3:30.