Do You Recognize These Masked Men?
This so far unidentified pair stormed through the Covid curtailed Central Pairs tournament. The Pairs on Saturday found these guys with an insurmountable lead going into the last game, which they lost to a team that was happy to win. The team of Bob Schneider and Brian Schieble finished second with Jim and Randy Grzybowski in third. Instead of the usual two day events, both the pairs and the singles had to be played in one day each. The length of games and formats of the two events had to be far different from what they would be in normal times. Nevertheless, it was great to be playing bowls again.
The Singles on Saturday also saw these two taking the lead with left guy winning and right guy in second after a very close game. Bob Schneider came in third. Of course the guy on the left is Tony Baer and on the right is Rob Behncke. It was Rob’s birthday, so his family arranged Hawaiian themed party for him.
Bob & Brian
A few intrepid bowlers braved the bug to kick off the season with the Potlicker Cup. After a hard fought round robin, the team of Bob Schneider and Brian Schieble defeated Jim and Randy Grzybowski for the championship.
Central player observing social distancing and face mask use.
Long time Central Division member Steve Nelson is the newest member of the Hall of Fame. He was recognized both for his accomplishments on the greens and his contributions to US and Central Division Bowls as a division office and councilor. In 2018 Steve managed Team USA to its first overall victory in the North American Challenge. Oh yes, he was also the Central Division webmaster for a number of years. On the greens he is a two time US National Champion and competed at a high level in several international events. In 2011 he was ranked #22 in the world by World Bowls after a fifth place finish in the Champion of Champions tournament. Steve is now competing in the Southeast Division and bedeviling his opponents there instead of beating up on his old Central Division buddies. Congratulations Steve! (PS: We love you, but don’t hurry back.)
Here’s Steve and his partner Carl Landgren being presented with the Potlicker Cup by Ken Degenhardt after two of their wins. Steve has won many other division championships.
US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Rob Behncke found himself in a four way playoff for first place after the round robin in the singles event at the beautiful Golden Gate Park venue in San Francisco. All the Central Division players had to cope with the varying playing and weather conditions, but on the day of the playoffs the temperature dropped to somewhere in the high 60’s after it being in the 90’s a day or so before. A cold breeze made it even harder on the spectators… hmm… maybe on the players as well. Anyhow, Rob could not prevail against the Northwest’s Chris Davis who, in turn, could not prevail against the eventual champion Charlie Herbert. The Central Division team was: Anna Witt & Rebecca Nguyen – pairs , Olia Behncke – singles, Jim Grzybowski & Leif Andresen -pairs, and Rob Behncke – singles.
Bob Schneider and Hall-of-Famer Joe Zinna, both Central Division members, teamed up with Frank Souza and Phil Luth to capture first place in the third flight of the US Open. Winning any flight at the Open is a great accomplishment. Other Central members who competed on the immaculate Arizona greens were Jim Grzybowski, Randy Grzybowski, Leif Andresen, and Anna Witt.
CENTRAL OPEN PAIRS
Joe Zinna & Bob Schneider
The US Lawnbowling Hall of Fame’s newest member shows that he still has what it takes. Joe Zinna teamed up with Bob Schneider to win the Central Division Pairs. Giving Bob and Joe a close run for the title was the team of Max Cavender and Jim Cavender. Joe Zinna was awarded his Hall of Fame plaque in a brief ceremony at lunchtime for which Central Division president Anna Witt provided sub sandwiches and three different kinds of cake! Oh yes, she also gave Joe the award.
CENTRAL OPEN SINGLES
Leif, Max, & Bob
Two very close games decided the singles contest. Max Cavender and Bob Schneider were both undefeated going into the last 18 point game. Max was up 17 to 16 when a close measure went against him to tie the game at 17. On the last end, Max drew close to the jack, but Bob then drew it dead. Max’s last bowl went a little bit wide giving the win to Bob. Leif Andresen outlasted Rob Behncke to win by two shots to finish in third place.
Grzybowski and Andresen Qualify in Pairs
Cavender, Andresen, Grzybowski, & Schneider
Going into the final game of the round robin, the one loss team of Jim Grzybowski and Leif Andresen were up against the undefeated team of Bob Schneider and Jim Cavender. A close game resulted in a win for Jim G. and Leif to finish in a tie for first. In the playoff the following morning Grzybowski and Andresen were able to win their second straight game against Schneider and Cavender, who are both multiple time national champions. Carl Landgren and Mark Mathwig finished in third place.
Anna Witt and Rebecca Nguyen will be the women’s representatives at the National Championships. Kudos to Bob Schneider and his greenskeeping crew for the great condition of the greens which were running in the 13-14 second range.
Behnckes Will Be Packing for San Francisco in Singles
Rob Behncke withstood a determined challenge from the veteran Carl Landgren to eke out a victory in the men’s singles. Carl won the closely contested first game, but was unable to maintain his momentum in the following two games. Rob was able to prevail in the double elimination playoff. With the temperature pushing 90 degrees, both players seemed to wear down towards the end of the three game final. Rob and Carl also had to deal with many pesky fly(er)s. An Air Show was going on featuring the USAF Thunderbirds. Despite the “Thunderous” noise, both players somehow managed to keep their focus and play great bowls.
Along with Rob, Olia Behncke will be playing in the women’s singles. They follow in the footsteps of other married Central Division entrants such as Edie and Bert McWilliams, Dora and John Stewart, and Lois and Ken Degenhardt. Good luck to all.
Max Cavender and his dad Jim cruised through the competition to win the Potlicker Cup on its 20th anniversary. This is the first win for both. Max did his usual masterful job as skip while Jim played steady lead bowls and provided some fatherly lawn bowling wisdom to his son Max. Jim was around for the original event 20 years ago (by way of explaining the headline),
The Cavenders were undefeated going into the last game against the one loss team of Bob Schneider and Joe Zinna. Behind on points going into the game, Bob and Joe needed to win by eight shots to take the title. Max and Jim won to remain undefeated and close out the tournament. Bob and Joe’s loss dropped them into third place behind the one loss team of Leif Andresen and Carl Landgren.
After a long hard winter we are finally gearing up for a new Lawn Bowls season, so its time to put away the surfboards. Here is the 2019 schedule. Entry forms will be found by clicking the individual event.