Bowling: Al Dobrowolski wins P-T Men’s Tournament title in first try
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent May 26, 2013 9:16PM
Al Dobrowolski of Hammond bowls during the Post-Tribune Men's Awards Tournament at Stardust Bowl III Sunday, May 26, 2013, in Dyer, Ind. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media
P-T Men’s tourneys
Stepladder: Chris Muldrow def. Chuck Podkul 211-196; John Verbich def. Muldrow 234-164; Al Dobrowolski def. Verbich 194-161; Dobrowolski def. Jason Schipper 211-168
Stepladder: Bob Nikolich def. Jimi George 203-176; Gary Clark def. Nikolich 178-161; Clark def. Jim Helmecy 212-174
Updated: June 28, 2013 6:45AM
DYER — Whether he was feeling comfortable with his shot during qualifying or not so comfortable in tournament play, Hammond’s Al Dobrowolski stuck to one basic goal during Sunday’s Post-Tribune Men’s Awards Tournament at Stardust Bowl III.
“I tried to take out all of the outside elements and just focus on keeping the ball in play all the time and making my spares,” said Dobrowolski, who opened just three times in the four-game qualifying block and just once in the stepladder finals on his way to a 211-168 victory over top-seed Jason Schipper in the championship match.
“I was fortunate enough to stay out of disaster, leaving makeable spares that I primarily picked up,” he said.
Dobrowolski was clean in the final match, jumping out to an early 21-pin lead over Schipper after the second frame and building from there. Schipper, meanwhile, was plagued by three opens in the match. However, Dobrowolski said he wasn’t as relaxed with his shot in his two stepladder final matches — even after changing balls from a Colombia Freeze to an Ebonite Pursuit.
“The Pursuit was a step up from the Freeze, and I felt I needed that surface to get a better reaction,” said Dobrowolski, who was bowing in his first P-T tournament after winning a handful of King of the Hill sport shot events. “I was never comfortable out there. I was just able to be composed enough to make all my spares. I was able to keep the ball in play like I did in qualifying.”
The split that Dobrowolski picked up in qualifying, a 4-6-10, came at a pivotal moment during the fourth game when his 194 allowed him to qualify one pin ahead of John Verbich, four ahead of Chuck Podkul and 12 ahead of Chris Muldrow.
“I didn’t know what the cut line was at the time,” he said. “I just knew that I needed to get every pin that I could. Fortunately, I converted it. The tournament was definitely a grind and a lot of work, but it was fun,”
Schipper, the son of recent Lakeshore Bowling Association Hall of Fame inductee Jeff and younger brother of two-time P-T Tournament champion Billy Robinson, said he experienced a few jitters because Sunday’s final match was his first.
“I definitely threw the ball better in qualifying than in match play,” he said. “I was just trying too hard (in the finals) because it is the first time I was in that spot. I’ll definitely learn from this experience.”
In the first stepladder match, Muldrow defeated Podkul 211-196. Verbich rolled to a 234-164 win over Muldrow only to fall short against Dobrowolski 194-161.