By Don Wright
Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo., found himself in seventh place after the semifinals of the Killeen Open with two former champions, Chris Barnes and Mike Scroggins, comfortably in front of him.
Thirty-seven bowlers showed up at 8 a.m. Sunday for five games of qualifying to determine the 16 bowlers that would advance. When they completed the five games, Swanson was seeded sixth overall, and his first match was against the defending champion, Nathan Bohr. Swanson defeated Bohr 3-1 with games of 247-235, 233-226, 237-269 and 208-203.
In the round of eight, Swanson was pitted against Dino Castillo and defeated Castillo 2-0 with games of 225-208 and 242-166.
Swanson then beat Michael Austin in a single-match game, 268-181, taking him into the championship game against Kevin Mitchell of Tulsa, Okla.
The championship round started fairly even for about four frames until Mitchell missed a 10-pin spare and Swanson put two strikes on the scoreboard. The following frame Mitchell threw what looked to be a solid pocket hit only to come away with the 7-10 split.
"That took the wind out of my sails," Mitchell said.
It certainly opened the door for Swanson, who took advantage of Mitchell's bad luck and easily defeated him.
For Swanson it was his 12th PBA Regional title and earned him the $3,000 first-place prize money and the Killeen Open eagle trophy.
During the three-day event, local bowlers participated in a pro-am and the unofficial standings were posted at Hallmark Lanes.
The Special Olympians once again had a large contingent. Capturing first-place was Paul Fisher.
Fisher combined with his professional bowlers for a total of 1,544. Just 10 pins back was John Kilpatrick who, along with his pros, finished with 1,534. Wendy Dillon was third with a combined score of 1,533.
Tiana Clark and her pros topped the youth bowlers with 1,686. Mitchell Salak was second with 1,681 total pins. Michael Clark finished third with a 1,665 combined score.
Chris Brown captured the adult pro-am with a score of 1,685
Pat Justice was second with 1,651, followed by Bobby Davis with 1,623.
The 10th annual Killeen Open was the most successful event in its history. The pro-am events were the largest in the decade as was the field of professional bowlers.
Included among the cheering spectators were Manuel (Bud) Herron, president of the Greater Killeen-Fort Hood USBC Association. Suzie Wollek, Association Manager for the GK-FHUSBCA and directors Barbara Ervin, Bonnie Atkinson, John Dixon, Sharon Jeffers, Connie White and Wanda Clark.