FAIRBORN — Like all true champions in any sport, Michael Haugen, Jr. adapted to his situation and came away a winner, July 15 at the PBA50Tour’s Fairborn Central Classic, presented by Roto Grip.
Haugen had entered last weekend’s event at Bowl 10 lanes as the Professional Bowlers Association senior tour’s national leader in the season points standings, money earnings and total tournaments where he’d at least gone home with a paycheck, and he was second in tournament bowling average.
But the Phoenix bowler had shipped his four primary bowling balls on to the tour’s next big national event — the River City Extreme Open, which takes place this weekend in Monticello, Minn. Stuck with two back-up bowling balls for the Fairborn Classic, Haugen did what every top athlete would do in that situation.
“The season has definitely been solid. I’ve bowled four regional tournaments in the PBA50 Tour, and I’ve won three of them. I won two in Ohio, I won a national tournament and I’ve also had three top-5s so far,” Haugen said. “I’m making good choices, things are going my way, I’m seeing the lane right. I’m just kinda riding the wave a little bit.”
Haugen emerged as the top qualifier in the 58-bowler field after Saturday’s rounds. Utilizing the Fairborn Classic’s tournament format where bowlers are rewarded for solid games throughout the tournament by accumulating bonus points as the tournament rolls through each day of competition, Haugen began Sunday’s final round with almost a 200-pin lead over second-place Ron Profitt, of Brookville.
Before Sunday’s final four competition between Haugen, Profitt, Horseheads, N.Y. veteran Ryan Shafer and Canton’s Tony Johnson, one of the competitors jokingly asked whether there might be a sniper among the Bowl 10 fans, in hopes of evening the playing field a bit for the finale.
Haugen would’ve probably bowled over the sniper as well.
With a tournament-best average of 223.83 over the two days of the 20-game event, Haugen finished with the Wright-Patterson Stealth Bomber trophy, and a check for $1,500. Haugen’s overall tournament pinfall was 4,434, Profitt earned $1,000 as the runner up with 4,248 pins, with Shafer third at 4,172 ($900), and Johnson fourth with 4,135 ($800).
“Fairborn has a bowling proprietor who loves the game and who does a great job in giving back to the community,” Haugen said of Bowl 10’s Dave Flemming. “The tournament was challenging, and I had to work for this. It wasn’t stand left, throw right, strike, strike strike. I had to adjust throughout the tournament.
“I used one ball pretty much for the whole tournament, and just made adjustments Old School. Throwing it hard, or slow, or spinning the ball, rolling it, catching it. Moving my eyes up and down the lane a bit. Because the conditions were so tough, and the scores were lower than normal, I was able to get away with that. I was fortunate to come away with this win.”
Flemming said the second year for the Classic went very well.
“We were very pleased with the turnout for the Pro Am, and we are very proud to have Michael as our champion and with the great bowling by runner up local pro Ron Profitt,” he said.
Rounding out the tournament’s top-10 were: Glenn Smith, New York; William Peters, Dayton; Ernie Segura, Jr., Taylor, Mich.; Dale Csuhta, Wadsworth; Neil Kassell, Beavercreek; and Larry Verble, Mason, Mich.
Flemming himself competed in the event and finished 18th overall. The tournament was sponsored locally by Fayette Drywall, of Dayton; S.A.R. Manufacturing, of Dayton; and Fairborn’s Cherp Home Inspections.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123. You can follow the PBA50 Tour on the PBA.com website.