Earl Anthony won 13 of 16 individual matches today to earn the top seed in the five-man final of the $120,000 Fair Lanes Open at Woodlawn. In 16 games, Anthony was either at or over the 200 mark 15 times, and accumulated 1,375 quality points, 227 better than second-place Pete Couture.
Also qualifying for Saturday's televised final (3:30, WJLA-TV-7) were Butch Soper (1073 points), Ray Shackelford (868) and Art Trask (864). Each bowler receives one point for each pin over a 200 game, plus 30 bonus points for winning individual matches. Each bowler gets 15 points for a tie.
Anthony, in seventh place following Thursday's qualifier, seemed to mystify his challengers with his calm and deliberate style. His gray ball sweeping toward the pocket from the left side of the lane became a familiar sight to his opponents and the gallery of 400.
Couture, 37, won all eight of his evening matches, averaging 231 over that span. Included in his streak was a 245-222 victory in the position round--the final game of the night.
"That last game was meaningless," said Couture. "I just wanted to stay ahead of Soper. By keeping in second place, I only have to bowl two games tomorrow."
Shackelford, 34, from Fredericksburg, Va., defeated Soper in his position round game with a 210. It will be Shackelford's first appearance in a PBA final. Shackelford will meet Trask in the first round of the single elimination Saturday.
Anthony's top seed is not always advantageous, as seven of the past 10 have gone down in front of national television audiences. Anthony, who leads the PGA in average by more than four pins, says he is concerned about that Saturday trend but isn't "worried."
"I just have to go out and bowl my game," said Anthony. "It would help to put some strikes together."
Part of his game is getting the lane adjusted to his ball. In warmups, Anthony will throw additional balls if there is an excess of oil on the lanes, getting the wood conditioned to his delivery. However, if his ball is behaving properly, he won't throw the additional practices.