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Local bowlers win in pro-am


Larry Robinson and Dick Lynch finish atop their divisions in Milwaukie Bowls Dave Husted Pro-Am no-tap tournament

Two bowlers from Milwaukie were winners in the recent Dave Husted Pro-Am no-tap bowling tournament, held at Milwaukie Bowl.by: JOHN DENNY - Larry Robinson, 74, had a three-game series that was 229 pins above his average, and it earned him first place in the Super Senior Division of the Dave Husted Pro-Am Tournament.

Larry Robinson, 74, and his professional partners finished on top in a 58-bowler field in the Super Senior Division, for bowlers 70 and over; Dick Lynch, 65, finished first in a field of 61 bowlers in the Senior Division.

Robinson had no-tap games of 167, 210 and 227, for a 604 series. His three professional partners — Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Andy Solberg of Vancouver, Wash., and Craig Tuholski of Troutdale — combined for an 807 series.

Lynch had no-tap games of 266, 242 and 244, for a 752 series. His professional partners — Blaine Weninger of Happy Valley, Andrew Graff of Las Vegas, and Solberg — combined for an 815 series.

The no-tap format credited bowlers with a strike any time they got an actual strike or when they got nine out of the 10 pins on their first ball.

by: JOHN DENNY - Dick Lynch“A lot of it us luck,” said Lynch, a retired engineering designer for the Port of Portland. “Drawing good pros and luck on how you do. I don’t have a great average, so I was really lucky.”

Two of the pros that Lynch bowled with, Weninger and Graff, placed second and third respectively in the PBA Dave Husted Open, which was held in conjunction with the pro-am. Warren finished atop the 58-bowler professional field, averaging 249, with a total pinfall of 4,984 for 20 regulation games. Weninger tallied 4,882, for a 244 average; Graff tallied 4,751, for a 238 average.

Lynch, who has lived in Milwaukie for the past 40 years, says he took up the game of bowling 30 years ago, accompanying his wife Geri as they competed in a mixed league.

Dick and Geri have ben regulars in the Early Comers League at Kellogg Bowl, and they’ve bowled in the Super Bowl summer league at Milwaukie Bowl the past two summers.

“I don’t get into the serious leagues,” Lynch said. “It’s just for the fun of it, the enjoyment of having a night out.”

Lynch says he carried a 167 average in the Early Comers League last winter, but he isn’t satisfied.

“I used to get the league awards for low average and low game,” said Lynch. “But I’ve been working on my game with Jeff (Combs) and Dave (Husted) at Milwaukie this past year, and it’s helped.”

The no-tap format agrees with Lynch. He and his wife won first place in a doubles no-tap tournament at Milwaukie Bowl last spring.

Lynch boasts an all-time high game of 256 and a high series of 650.

Lynch has other hobbies besides bowling. He says he also enjoys camping, fishing and hunting; he and his wife own a couple of horses, which they board in Gresham; and he is a member of the Portland-based Austin Healey Club.

“I own a 1961 Austin Healey that’s in many pieces and is in the process of being restored,” Lynch said.

Handicap pivotal

for Larry Robinson

“I won it on handicap,” Robinson said of his victory in the Super Senior Division of the pro-am. “The 167 was better than my league high for all season.”

Robinson’s 604 no-tap series was 229 pins over his average.

Robinson bowls in the Humana Senior League at Milwaukie Bowl, where he carries a 125 average and an 85-pin-per-game handicap.

His background in bowling dates all the way back to the mid-50’s, when he worked part-time as a “pin boy” at St. John’s Bowl, while a student at Roosevelt High School.

“It was dangerous (being a pin boy),” Robinson recalls. “Sometimes pins would fly up, and you had to work real quick. Sometimes bowlers wouldn’t wait until you got out of the pit.

“I did it for two years and there were some close calls, but I never got hit.”

Robinson also remembers when pins were made of wood, instead of plastic.

Robinson has bowled pretty regularly since 1965, when he was named most improved bowler for his league while he was in the military, stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

He once rolled a 257 at Jantzen Beach Bowl, and nine years ago he rolled a 609 series at Hollywood Bowl.

A retired retail graphic artist, Robinson has lived in Oregon for most of his 74 years.

This year’s Dave Husted Pro-Am was Robinson’s first tournament victory.

“I bowled in the pro-am tournament three years ago and didn’t do so well,” said Robinson. “I had K-Mart shoes. They fell apart while I was bowling and I had to use house shoes.... I practiced this summer (in preparation for this year’s pro-am), and I think that helped.”

Robinson says he enjoys bowling “because it’s something to do in the winter, and I’m better at this than I was at golf.”

When he isn’t bowling, Robinson said he enjoys hiking. He also belongs to a local gym, where he lifts weights and does aerobics “a couple of times a week.”

This year was the 34th consecutive year that Milwaukie Bowl has hosted a pro-am.