"New" was the theme of this year's 6th annual Don Glover Masters Scratch Tournament Saturday and Sunday, at Regency Bowling Center. The event had a new location, a new, higher guaranteed first-place share ($3,000) and this year's champion, Eddie Van Daniker, was new to the tournament.

The event was dedicated to the memory of PBA great Tony Reyes, who died Sept. 28 due to injuries suffered in a car accident. Reyes, who has bowled in the Glover tournament several times, was also friends with a lot of our local bowlers as well as Glover tournament bowlers.

Saturday's two qualifying squads drew a total of 45 entrants -- an improvement from last year's field. Dave Wodka, from Henderson, Nev., was the leader in the "A" qualifying squad with 1,324. Wodka's first game out was a 257. Bakersfield's Zack Newman came in second (1,258). Others from Bakersfield who made the cut were Carlie Medina III (1,237), Jess Stayrook (1,236), Mike Mayo (1,195) and Donald Benner (1,187). Kiel Jordan, Fresno, and formerly of Bakersfield (1,251). The "B" squad's leader was Mason Sherman of Woodland Hills with a 1,239. Two from Bakersfield made this squad's cut: Joe "JP" Smith (1,158) and Aris C. Anadilla (1,124). Aris' dad, Aris Anadilla, missed the cut by three pins. The Top 20 from qualifying squads "A" and "B" then bowled again on Saturday to cut the field to 10 for the semifinals Sunday morning. Donald Benner posted games of 217-196-217-212 and was sitting in fourth until rolling games of 191 and a sixth game of 144 which dropped him from fourth down to eleventh just missing the cut by three pins.

Dave Wodka again led the way for the Top 10 with a 1,290. Wodka, who has won a national Tour title plus (14) regional titles and placed second or third in the last couple Glover events, is also the district sales manager for Ebonite International. Bakersfield was fortunate to have two bowlers, Stayrook and Newman, in the mix. Stayrook, who just recently moved back to Bakersfield has six national tour titles and one major and is one of only three bowlers to pick up the 7-10 split on national TV. Newman has been a steady competitor in the Glover events every year placing in the top 10, placing third in 2011. The field was set and the match play semifinals were bowled to determine the top five for the stepladder finals.

Seeded fifth was Tony Knuth of Oceanside against fourth seed Mason Sherman of Woodland Hills. This match was close with both bowlers having a double going into the 10th but Sherman took the match 193-171. Next up for Sherman to face was third seed Jess Stayrook, the only lefty in the top five. Sherman started stringing strikes in the sixth that shut Stayrook out of the match 230-196, even though Stayrook ended with a turkey in the 10th.

Sherman progressed on to take on second seed Eddie Van Daniker of Chatsworth. This was again another close match but Sherman had a split in the 9th which cost him and he was defeated 189-202 which lead the way for second seed Van Daniker to bowl top seed Dave Wodka in the final match. Van Daniker started the game hot with a double while Wodka, 41, started out steady but threw a split in the fourth frame and then a missed single pin in the fifth put his game in trouble. Although neither Wodka nor Van Daniker, 26, were stringing strikes, it was a double for Van Daniker in the eighth and ninth that sealed the deal. Van Daniker defeated Wodka 203-174. Van Daniker became the 6th Glover Masters Scratch champion.

Van Daniker has been bowling since the age of 4 and is from Maryland, but for his 22 years of bowling, what a resume! He has one Regional Title/Southwest Region. He won All-Events for both the 2012 CUSBC Open Championships (where his 800 series helped him accomplish that) as well as the Las Vegas Open (with a 300 game). He is currently on the Storm & Roto Master Staff along with Turbo Grips. He has 95 300 games and 37 800 series--his highest 877. Although he's not a leftie, Don Glover would have been so proud to have him win his event! Van Daniker said he "thought this tournament was very well run and would like to thank the Glover Tournament Committee for having this event." He felt the lanes were "very challenging", but "nice scoring" although "spares were at a premium!" Be sure to watch as Eddie Van Daniker will be bowling in the upcoming World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas, Nov. 2-11 (he started Tour in 2006). He was at the tournament with wife Nicole, and they are expecting a daughter, Mckenzee, who is due right after the World Series event is over!

2012 6th annual Don Glover Masters Scratch results:

Sat. & Sun., Oct. 6-7, Regency Bowling Center

1. Eddie Van Daniker, Chatsworth, $3,000

2. Dave Wodka, Henderson, NV - $1,500

3. Mason Sherman, Woodland Hills, $1,000

4. Jess Stayrook, Bakersfield, $700

5. Tony Knuth, Oceanside, $600

6. Rod Tramp, Porterville, $500

7. Derryck Mertz, Fremont, $450

8. Zack Newman, Bakersfield, $425

9. Chad Uyehara, Fresno $400

10. Jason Heggemeier, Castaic, $375

11. Donald Benner, Palmdale, $295

Thanks to our 2012 Glover Masters Event Sponsors: Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, Hi-Standard Manufacturing, GASSCO, Phantom Radio/Len Nicholson, The Bowlers Edge Pro Shop, and Fabrications by Addington.

Remembering John Matteson

Local league bowlers were shocked to hear the news that we lost John Matteson, 42, suddenly on Sept. 20 due to heart complications. He was a member of three leagues this season--Stockdale Men, Mexican-American Men and was president of the Gambler's Anonymous league. He was recognized at this year's GEUSBC (Golden Empire United States Bowling Congress) Awards Banquet as he picked up the 7-10 Split last season.

Although his services have already taken place, there is still another sport function coming up that he has been involved with. Besides his love for bowling, he was also an avid softball player, as are many of our bowlers, so his softball friends put together the "Johnny 'Smokestack' Matteson Memorial Tournament that will be taking place this coming Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14 at Franklin Fields in Taft. Saturday's tournament is for Men teams and Women teams; Sunday is Coed teams. Entry fee is $150 (all of this goes directly to family). This fee is for three guaranteed games with prizes for first place. For further information, contact Joey at (661) 805-3215.

Bowlers needed!

League bowling seems to be struggling in many communities across the USA and even worldwide. If you have finally decided to bowl this year, but still haven't found a team or league to bowl in, check in at any of the local bowling centers. All of them have single openings or even team openings on many of the nights during the week.

Blame it on the economy or blame it on an election year, whatever the case may be, bowling is way off on league bowler count so far this season. Once seen as a recession-safe sport, many of bowling's industry leaders are even puzzled with the continuous decline of the past couple years.

Although league bowling may seem to be taking a dip, many other specialty bowling parties and open-play numbers are holding their own and even seeing some increases. Whatever the case, maybe bowling will always have its place as a competitive sport and recreational game. Long live bowling! Let's all call out a friend who hasn't bowled in a while and get them back in the game today.

Educating bowlers

Bowlers need educating although some seem to know it all! With the changes in the game, equipment, lane conditions and even their physical ability, most bowlers need updates as to what's going on. Also equally as important is the training and teaching of the game for beginners, no matter what their age is.

Educating bowlers is a good thing. The more they understand about the game, the more fun they should have, and the better the chance of them becoming a lifetime bowler with family and friends. Plenty coaching is available to local bowlers. Check with any of our local bowling centers to find out who their coaches are in-house. Last but not least, the educational books on bowling's many publications can be found online or at local bookstores.