Labor Day is associated with cookouts, fairs, a day away from work to visit family and friends ... and bowling.
Peru’s Illinois Valley Super Bowl hosted the Professional Bowling Association’s Midwest Region Players Invitational over the holiday weekend with the final day of matches Monday.
After earning a No. 5 ranking during Sunday’s qualifying in a field of 48 bowlers, David Beres won his sixth regional title by defeating seven-time regional champion and No. 2-ranked Tom Hess 225-205.
Beres won $6,000 and a paid trip to the World Series of Bowling with his first-place finish.
“Besides the money, you got the top players from the region, so it’s always nice to beat a strong field,” Beres said. “It’s actually one of my favorite regionals over the summer. It’s got to be at least 10 years that I’ve been coming down here. This place has treated me well.”
The native of Waukesha, Wis., was only ahead of Hess 118-108 heading into the seventh frame until the frame turned frightful for Hess’ championship hopes.
“This is going to sound kind of cocky, but I think I bowled a better game,” Hess, a native of Urbandale, Iowa said. “The pins just didn’t go along with it. I missed the pocket one shot and my one shot that I missed the pocket was a 2-8-10 split. When I let go of it, I thought I had a shot to make it, but the pins just didn’t bounce out. You can’t do that against a bowler of Dave’s caliber.”
Super Bowl Pro Shop manager and NewsTribune employee Joe Zokal made Monday’s cut of 16 with 2,450 pins in the 12-game qualifier.
At the No. 16 spot, he was matched up against No. 9-ranked Nathan Michalowski of Burlington Wis.
Zokal, who was bowling in his seventh regional of the year. won the first game 216-212, but then fell to Michalowski, who lost to Beres 201-195 in the semifinals, in the next three games of their best of five series.
The local bowler may have lost out early on Sunday, but to make it to the final day was a victory.
“It felt great to advance to the next day — it was the first time I did it,” Zokal said. “I bowled in regionals before and I’ve cashed, but I’ve never made it to the second day. I was really excited and couldn’t wait to bowl (Monday).”
Scott Weber, of LaSalle, finished at No. 29 in Sunday’s qualifying.
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.