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Hugh Miller wins PBA Senior South Shore Open

Hugh Miller reacts after throwing strike during finals PBA Seniors South Shore Open held OlympiLanes Hammond Thursday August 9 2012.

Hugh Miller reacts after throwing a strike during the finals of the PBA Seniors South Shore Open held at Olympia Lanes in Hammond on Thursday August 9, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 11, 2012 6:25AM



HAMMOND — Though he didn’t bowl in the first three events of the 2012 PBA Senior season, seven-time national champion Hugh Miller was still in the running for senior bowler of the year with a good performance at this week’s PBA Senior South Shore Open at Olympia Lanes.

After defeating Rick Minier 198-172 in Thursday night’s championship match for his third senior title, Miller is much closer to that accomplishment.

With the victory, Miller now has 36 points in the player of the year point system, just 12 behind Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., with one stop left next week in Decatur, Ill. Against Minier, who defeated Johnny Petraglia, Lenny Boresch, defending champion Harry Sullins and Tom Baker to reach the final, Miller overcame an open in the eighth frame to win for the first time in Hammond.

It’s a bit of redemption for the lefty, having lost at Olympia in 2008 to Tim Kauble in the senior division of the Lake County Golden Anniversary Championship.

“I finished fifth in the Senior U.S. Open, second at Senior Masters and second at Brentwood this year, so I was feeling good about my game coming into this week,” said Miller, who also has 34 national regional titles.

“I knew mathematically I had a chance for bowler of the year. Walter Ray is still the man to beat, but sometimes it’s more fun to be the hunter than the hunted. It makes it more exciting for next week.”

In the semifinals, Miller was clean against Mike Edwards, rolling eight strikes and a four bagger to close out a 237-177 victory. Miller bounced back from the first two frames where he left the 10-pin both times. He had doubles in the third and fourth and sixth and seventh frames.

In the other semifinal, Minier was clean through seven frames, with four strikes, against Baker before being grounded by a 4-6-7 split in the eighth frame, which opened the door for Baker to win with a double in the 10th. But Baker left the 2-8 on his first shot to let Minier off the hook.

“The guys out here know who I am despite not bowling that many tournaments over 30 years, and I’ve kept myself in decent shape,” said Minier, who won the 2007 Senior U.S Open. “I’m out here to win; it just wasn’t enough tonight.”



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