By Don Wright
Special to the Herald
It was a star-studded field of 16 for the Killeen Open on Sunday. Leading the group was four-time Killeen Open champ Mike Scroggins. Also making the cut was 2002 Killeen Open champ Paul Fleming. Chris Barnes, winner of the Motel 6 Roll to Riches $200,000 purse, the largest in PBA history, and 2000 Killeen Open champ was hoping to add another eagle to his trophy case. Chris Johnson, 2004 PBA Rookie of the Year, PBA Hall of Famer Mark Williams and the 2004 Southwest Region Player of the Year, Nathan Bohr, all hoped to take home the $3,000 top prize.
The first to win three games in the best three out of five advanced to the round of eight which pitted Mike Scroggins against his twin brother and fellow professional bowler Mark. Prior to the match there was a lot of kidding and someone said, "Feel the love." But the match became very serious as both professionals fought for the chance to advance. In the best two out of three, Mike topped Mark two games to none.
Bohr also won 2-0 against Wes Malott of Round Rock. Johnson advanced beating Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo., and Barnes bested Rick Lawrence of Celina.
It looked like Scroggins was headed for his fifth title until he went up against Bohr. Bohr was locked in and the match wasn't even close, with Bohr winning the single match 257-177. In the second semifinal, Barnes had little problem with Johnson, winning 227-188, setting up the final match between Barnes and Bohr.
Both Barnes and Bohr had a great shot to the pocket, but Barnes couldn't put strikes together and Bohr took advantage of each miscue. But it came down to the 10th and final frame. Barnes could have doubled in the 10 and shut out Bohr, but was only able to muster a spare and strike. That opened the door for Bohr, ensuring a victory if he could strike on his first ball. Strike he did and he defeated Barnes 231-225.
Dick Atkinson, proprietor of Hallmark Lanes, made the trophy presentation and Pete McCordic, Southwest Region PBA Manager, presented Bohr with a check for $3,000.
For Bohr this was an exciting win. On hand the entire weekend were his parents and grandparents and they know as well as Bohr that he only has a few more weeks before he starts his first year as a touring professional on the National Tour. Bohr earned exemption through the regional points system and will start his inaugural year on tour in Tulsa, Okla., Oct. 26.
His parents, who went to nearly all his regional stops, are excited about his future, but also a bit disappointed that they won't be able to see as many of his stops. They plan to make Oklahoma and hopefully the PBA Phoenix Classic in Arizona. Unfortunately the 2005-2006 schedule does not have a stop in Texas.
The Southwest Region heads for Fort Worth where they will compete next weekend at Cowtown Lanes.
Next year will be the tournament's 10th anniversary in Killeen.