Joe Wolf changed partners for this year’s Holiday Trios Handicap Tournament at Mt. Hawley Bowl, but ended up in the winner’s circle for the second straight year.
He teamed with Gary Strait Jr. and Will Keiser to take home the $1,000 top prize over another sold-out field on Sunday.
The top-seeded, winning trio topped Bob Baker, Eddie Flanigan and Andy Stone in the title match, 731-632, with each team receiving 12 pins of handicap.
Last season Wolf won the event with his mother, Rhea Wolf, and Flanigan.
Strait rolled his 23rd 300 game and led the winners with a 1,012 four-game qualifying pinfall total, including 12 pins of handicap.
Keiser was close behind with a scratch 997 total, while Wolf added 943, including 32 pins of handicap. That gave the team a pinfall total of 2,956.
Baker, Flanigan and Stone, who split $500 for second, qualified second with 2,925.
John Hinkle rolled the high three-game set in the tournament, opening with games of 268, 267 and 298 for an 833 series. One of his teammates, Tyler Freeman, opened the tournament with his first career 300 game.
Hinkle, Freeman and Drew Furkin placed fourth, while the family trio of Josh Barnwell, Benny Barnwell and Tommy Barnwell finished third.
The Barnwells beat Hinkle, Freeman and Furkin, 664-635, to open the stepladder finals. Baker, Flanigan and Stone then eliminated the Barnwells, 737-711, to advance to the title match.
The team of Bill Maher, Tim Wolfmeyer and Mike Davis finished fifth, missing the finals by one pin with 2,890. Kevin Tockes, Tony DeVita and Harley Bollinger were sixth, one more pin behind at 2,889.
JUST MISSED: In the Bill Mastronardi/Striketown Bowl Masters traveling league, the Roxy’s Lanes team had a shot at taking over the high four-man team game in the nation on Monday night at Sunset Lanes in Pekin.
But all four bowlers left a 10-pin somewhere in the 10th frame and finished with a 1,081 opening game, which is currently tied for third high in the nation.
Jason Jones of Bloomington struck on his first ball in the 10th, then left a 10-pin, which he missed for a 267 game. Paul Lippens followed with a 299, leaving a 10-pin on his fill ball.
Gary Alstott had the front nine strikes, but then left a 10-pin in the 10th, spared and struck for a 279.
Anchorman Harley Bollinger left a 10-pin on his first ball in the 10th and missed it for a 236.
Team #19 from Warner Robins, Ga., leads the nation with a, 1,122 game. Primo V3 from Chester, Va., is second with 1,082, and Just us from Stockton, Calif., is now tied for third with Roxy’s with 1,081.
The T-Shirt House team of Benny Barnwell, Steve Martin, Bill Maher and Rob Johnson is tied for fifth high four-man team series in the nation with their 2,961.
BACK IN FIRST: Roxy’s Lanes regained the lead in the Masters with a 28-22 decision over Maxxx Revs Pro Shop. Jason Jones finished with a 769 series, Paul Lippens added 746, Gary Alstott 704 and Harley Bollinger 654.
The team is just nine points ahead of T-Shirt House, which dropped a 33-17 decision to Linn Lanes to fall out of first place.
Roxy’s and T-Shirt House will meet on Monday at Mt. Hawley Bowl in the final position round match of the first half.
JOHNNY CAMPOS is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at 686-3214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.