Marion Indiana's Ronnie Russell picked up his 8th PBA Regional title Sunday when Country Club Lanes hosted the 2nd PBA Central Region Country Club Open, presented by Motiv. Russell led Saturday's qualifying round of eight games, averaging 223.75 on the PBA's 32 foot Wolf pattern, with the top 12 making the cut to Sunday's 12 game Round Robin Match Play round. Several local competitors joined Russell in the match play round with Mishawaka's T.J. Schmidt qualifying 4th, Northridge High School Jr. Michael Schlabach qualifying 5th, Goshen's Chris Hartung qualifying 8th and Millersburg's Jeremy Delcamp qualifying 9th.
Russell continued to dominate throughout most of the grueling match play round Sunday. While his lead was as little as 50 pins at the midway point of match play, he turned it on the last six games and pulled away to a comfortable 274 pin win over Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio. Munster's Eugene McCune was 3rd, and Nick Kokenos from St. Clair Shores Michigan was 4th. Schmidt held on for 5th place for the top local finish, Delcamp finished 7th, Hartung finished 10th and Schlabach finished 12th.
Russell has one PBA National title to go with his 8 regional wins. After 10 years and 142 tournaments, Russell captured his first PBA Tour title during the 2012-13 season, earning a berth in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions. He defeated Sweden’s James Gruffman, 224-210, to win the Brunswick Euro Challenge in Munich, Germany. He also finished eighth in U.S. Open and fourth in Earl Anthony Players Championship. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Jackrabbits team in the 2013-14 PBA League Team competition, which was televised on ESPN.
The event drew 46 competitors mainly from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Bowlers came from as far as Tennessee, West Virginian and even Arizona. Local PBA member and Motiv staff member Brain Nicodemus hosted the tournament, along with Country Club Lanes proprietors Dave and Amy Claxton, as well as Chuck Wilson.