Team of Locker and Gruss wins mixed duckpin handicap event

The second annual Best of Bowling Mixed Doubles Duckpin Handicap tournament drew 124 doubles teams from the mid-Atlantic area to Riviera Bowl the last weekend in April.

While the official prize list with a $2,000 first-place guaranteed prize has not been released by the Baltimore Duckpin Bowlers Association, it appears that the winners of the event are Sandy Locker and Wayne Gruss.


The team of Locker and Gruss prove what every bowler should know but that many do not realize -- when a tournament is a handicap event anyone can be a winner. It's not necessary to have a high average, to have bowled for decades, to be a super bowler or to throw world-record figures.

The only thing necessary is to enter the event and bowl over your average. No matter what average bowlers carry they have a chance to win in a handicap event.


Locker lives in Riviera Beach and bowls in a single league at Riviera Bowl, the Sunday Mixed and "subs on Saturday when I can."

"Until last season I hadn't bowled in about 10 years," Locker said. "So it was just like starting over again."

In her first season back, Locker is averaging 109.

"I was so nervous in the tournament I couldn't sit still," Locker laughed. "But my partner [Gruss] kept saying 'you can do it' and since he was bowling good I settled down."

She settled down and fired a 393 series.

Gruss, a Pasadena resident, bowls in the Thursday Men's Commercial league at Riviera Bowl.

Bowling for about six years, he carries a 122 average. He has a career-high game of 208 and a high set of 452.

Because the handicap was 80 percent of 300 for the team and their combined average was 232, Locker and Gruss were awarded over 150 pins for the three-game series.


Gruss's scratch total for the event was 436; the team, with handicap, totaled 988.

'We bowled in the first squad on the first day [10 a.m. Saturday]," Gruss said. "The center wasn't too crowded and it seemed like I could keep a good rhythm.

"I think that it helped a lot that a really good bowler was on the lanes next to me [Joe Cigas from the Washington area] and I was trying to keep up with him. And since both Sandy and I were bowling pretty good we kept each other pumped up."

Tournament news

The Parents-Coaches Association is playing host to the second annual Scholarship Tournament today at Bowl America Odenton.

Here's a chance to see the finest youth tenpin bowlers in the area. There will be a four-game qualifying round with the five top qualifiers meeting in a stepladder finals.


* Memorial Day weekend will have the National Amateur Bowlers Inc event at Crofton Bowling Centre over four days, Friday through Monday, May 27-30.

First-place prize money is a guaranteed $3,000.

Information: (410) 721-2401.