BY JILL WINTERS
Clifton, Va.- John Marsala made professional bowling history on Tuesday night at the PBA50 Bud Moore Classic. When he stepped up on lane 14 inside Bud Moore Lanes and flushed his seventh strike of the championship match in the foundation frame against Brad Angelo, he felt relief and a lot of emotion.
“Tears were coming and that made it really hard to throw the first one in the tenth,” he said after closing out Angelo in the title match. “It made me feel like I belong out here and I can compete with the Hall of Famers.”
The lefty was in control of the entire match starting off with a spare followed by six strikes-in-a-row on his way to the 255-226 victory. In the fifth frame, Marsala got a brief scare when the seven and 10-pin stood for a moment and then almost simultaneously fell to the right, as part of Marsala’s important string of strikes.
“I was a little fast on that shot and when that fell for me, I had a bunch of momentum,” he said of that key moment in the match. “My Phase II, it read the right part of the lane and I knew this was the ball to use.”
The stepladder finals were held on two lanes inside the home of tournament sponsor, Bill Moore. Parker Bohn III, Amleto Monacelli and Walter Ray Williams Jr. were sitting just off to the side of the lanes watching this unique match along with spectators.
Marsala had never bowled in a tournament with fans sitting so close to him before and it was an experience he will never forget.
“The atmosphere was fantastic,” he said. “I made history and my name will always be associated with this moment.”
In the first stepladder match, lefty Mitch Sacks defeated Dan Knowlton 237-225. Sacks then ran into a bulldozer facing Angelo the No. 3 seed. Angelo started the match with the first 11 strikes-in-a-row leaving a 10-pin on his final shot to win the match 299-238.
Angelo, who led the tournament after day one, then moved on to face Lennie Boresch Jr. Angelo continued to roll. He started off with a spare followed by eight straight strikes en route to the 257-204 win to meet Marsala in the title match.
“This is the completion of a whole dream we had and after tonight, I hope the whole world knows about my dad, Bud,” Bill said. “John is a great friend and he bowled awesome. This event is just a stepping stone, and we hope to get to pull it off again next year.”
Marsala plans to compete in the rest of the PBA50 tournaments this season now that he is in the point race and conversation for Player of the Year.
“I came out here to win and I’ve proven I can do it,” he said.
PBA50 BUD MOORE CLASSIC FINAL STANDINGS:
- John Marsala $ 7,500
- Brad Angelo $ 4,000
- Lennie Boresch Jr. $ 3,000
- Mitch Sacks $ 2,500
- Dan Knowlton $ 2,000
View the full PBA50 Bud Moore Classic standings: PBA50 Bud Moore Classic | PBA
Match 1 – Sacks def. Knowlton 237-225
Match 2 – Angelo def. Sacks 299-238
Match 3 – Angelo def. Boresch 257-204
Championship match – Marsala def. Angelo 255-226