|Photo courtesy PBA LLC|
KETTERING, Ohio (May 17, 2012) - Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia became the first player in PBA history to win a national tour or senior tour title in six decades by winning the PBA Senior Dayton Classic presented by Roto Grip at Ohio's Capri Lanes.
Petraglia, who won his eighth career Senior Tour title, also ended a three-year drought without a win by defeating reigning Senior Player of the Year Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska, 220-204, in the title match.
Petraglia, who was the top seed for the finals, started strong with the first three strikes but then ran into trouble in the fourth frame throwing a 4-6-7-10 split. He threw another split (3-7) in the seventh frame but was able to close out the match with four strikes and a nine-count which was enough to beat Mohr, who was also struggling.
"When I threw that first split it surprised me because I thought it was going to be a strike," said the 65-year-old Petraglia, whose last Senior Tour title came in the 2009 Sun Bowl In The Villages.
"Frankly, I was a little lost at that point. I really didn't make an adjustment until after that second split when I moved right on the approach, threw it a little farther left on the lane and trusted that it would come back and it did.
"I guess some things are meant to happen," he added. "Ron was having trouble on the left lane leaving three 10-pins which meant if I could get back to striking I could still win the match."
Overall, Petraglia and fellow PBA legend Dick Weber both have PBA titles in six decades, however, Weber's longevity mark includes a PBA regional title. Petraglia also owns 14 PBA Tour titles, winning his first at a national tour stop in Ft. Smith, Ark., in 1966 at the age of 19.
"I guess it shows how old I am," Petraglia said jokingly after achieving the milestone. "But this is very special to me because it's part of history and makes it all worth it."
"You know at my age, I was wondering if it was going to happen," he said. "There are so many great Senior Tour players and there are more great bowlers from the regular Tour who are becoming eligible so it doesn't get any easier. Another thing that makes it special is that there are some guys that might be able to tie this record in the coming years but probably not going to break it."
In the semi-final match, Mohr, trying for his first title of the season and eighth of his career, defeated Ron Profitt of Brookville, Ohio, 238-222, to advance to the title match. In the opening match, Profitt defeated recent hall of fame inductee, and last week's Senior Mooresville Classic winner, Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., 243-217. Learn beat Profitt in the championship match of that tournament, 203-196, for his first Senior Tour title.
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