Al “Shorty” Boller was found trying to end it all after missing a wide open draw on the last end of his $5 grudge match against his longtime nemesis Reginald Ulysses Upson, who chooses to go by his first initials…. aka RU Upson. After coming up short on an open draw for the winning shot, Boller gathered up his bowls, threw them a nearby pond, and ran off screaming into the shrubbery. Concerned fellow players found him about twenty minutes later preparing to hang himself. When asked why he picked such a short tree in his misguided attempt, he said “It was the only flippin branch I could reach!”
Boller was talked out of taking such extreme measures only because the club nominating comitee was so impressed by his decisiveness in the face of adversity and his stylish choice of lawn bowling outfits that they decided to make him club president.
Rob, Bob, Max, & Andy
WHO SAID IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN?
Bob Schneider and Rob Behncke of Milwaukee and the Central Division were undefeated and had an insurmountable lead before going into the final game against Max Cavender and Andy Klubberud of the Northwest. Max and Andy managed to hand Bob and Rob their only loss of the tournament. Cavender and Klubberud finished in second place.
This was Behncke’s first National Championship and Schneider’s fourth. Bob is closing in on the all time numbers of Central Division legend Ken Degenhardt whose total of five National Championships ranks second behind the great Neil McInnis who has ten. Perhaps there is something to be said for learning the game on Midwestern greens after all?
In the Singles event, former national champion Steve Nelson of Milwaukee finished strongly to tie for second place. 2013 women’s Pairs Champions Anna Witt and Rebecca Nguyen, also from Milwaukee, captured third place in that competition.
Anna Witt, on the right, who somehow finds time to be the President of the Central Division and a family physician as well as being a terrific lawnbowler, teamed up with Brenda Wright of the Southwest to finish in First Place in the 2nd flight of the Pairs event. She also joined Lorraine Hitchcock of the SE and a duo from Australia to earn second place in the 4th flight in the Fours.
Rob Behncke, on the left, joined an Australian family, the Christies – Ash, Tim, and Danyon for the Fours competition. Together they defeated a team made up of four current Team USA members to capture First Place in the 4th flight.
Meanwhile, erstwhile Central stalwart Max Cavender (who is currently on loan to the Northwest Division), joined Matt Bauchiero of the Southwest to finish in 2nd place in the Pairs Championship Flight.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the format of the Open, any team reaching the Championship finals has not lost a game going in. Reaching the finals in another flight means you have lost only one game. Considering the competition, which consists of some of the best bowlers from the US as well as many top bowlers from other countries, getting to the finals in any of these events is a great accomplishment.
Well Done to all.
Steve Nelson needed all of his experience in national and international play to get by his long time pairs partner Carl Landgren and win the 2015 Singles Playdowns. Both players were on their games in the 90 degree heat. The match featured 15 one point ends and a multitude of brilliant shots. On the last end, Steve was up 19-18 and lying three with his bowls within 12 inches of the jack. Carl then drew down inside Steve’s shot bowl. With his last bowl, Steve rolled Carl’s bowl out of the head for the two shots he needed for the win. Landgren finished in second place with Leif Andresen in third.
In the women’s event, Pat Wimmer won the double elimination match against second year bowler Min Waite. This will be the third year in a row that Pat has ably represented the Central Division.
Long time Central Division and Milwaukee Lake Park member Jack Behling passed away August 12th after complications from heart surgery. Jack started bowling at the Milwaukee West club and moved to Lake Park after the dissolution of the West club. He won numerous club and division tournaments along with his other bowling accomplishments. Here’s how Bowls USA describes his bowling career on its Hall of Fame page:
“Jack Behling was elected ALBA “Bowler of the Decade” for the 1990’s. At the USLBA National Open Jack has succeeded in every discipline: winning the Fours in 2006, the Triples in 1998, the Pairs in 1991 and 1992, and finishing second in the 2003 singles. At the US Championships he won the Pairs in 1995 and the Singles in 2006. As a member of team USA for fifteen years, Jack competed in the Asia Pacific games in New Zealand and Malaysia and at World Bowls in the UK, Australia, and Scotland. Jack is always willing to help other players-whether novice or veteran. He is keenly interested in all aspects of bowls and has served as Central Division Councilor and Milwaukee Lake Park LBC greenskeeper.”
Jack also won the US Championships (now renamed the National Championships) singles in 2010. He retired from the Milwaukee Fire Department where he reached the rank of Battalion Chief. A chief on the greens as well, he was known for his great ability and for his competitive intensity. Jack will be missed by his friends in Wisconsin and Arizona.
Bob Schneider &
Max Cavender edged out three time national champion Bob Schneider to capture the 2015 Central Division Singles title. Bob had a 10 to 5 point advantage in the 18 shot final, but Max played some dynamic bowls to even up the match at 12 and then forge ahead for the win. Both players traded shot after shot throughout the game which made it a very exciting and entertaining event to watch.
In the battle for third place, Steve Nelson played his usual steady and deadly bowls to defeat Anna Witt. Jim Grzybowski was at the top of his game and took out Rob Behncke for first place in Flight A. Pat Wimmer outlasted Glen Weber to win Flight B.
Rob & Bob
Bob and Rob do the Job!
Schneider and Behncke were undefeated going into their last game when they were narrowly defeated by the team of Leif Andresen and Jim Grzybowski. This put them into a playoff for the championship against the other one loss team of Carl Landgren and Crandall Hays. After an exciting game, Schneider and Behncke came out on top. Andresen and Grzybowski edged out Jim Cavender and Dat Nguyen for third place.
Anna & Rebecca
Witt and Nguyen Do It Again!
Anna Witt and Rebecca Nguyen didn’t lose a game in the round robin match-up for the ladies championship. They went into a double elimination playoff with the team of Pat Wimmer and Barb Hamm which had one loss. Anna and Rebecca took care of business in game one, giving Pat and Barb their second loss. Kathy Bohanon and Laurie Michael from the Chicago Lakeside club gave the top two teams some strong competition and finished in third place.
Landgren and Hays
Grzybowski and Andresen
Wimmer and Hamm
Bohanon and Michael
Anna Witt and Matt de St Aubin
Rob Behncke and Brian Scheible
The wife and husband team of Anna Witt and Matt de St Aubin won the Central Pairs in a close finish, prevailing despite a two shot final game loss to the team of Rob Behncke and Brian Scheible. Behncke and Scheible had to settle for second place thanks to a tie in game four against the veteran Carl Landgren and his partner Jack Britten. Leif Andresen and Jim Grzybowski finished the Round Robin event in third place. Witt and de St Aubin played steady bowls throughout the championship.