FAIRBORN — Paul McCordic was hoping to just be competitive in the PBA50 Fairborn Central Classic, which had a stacked field including hall of famers.
Just be competitive? Ha.
The 63-year-old won the whole dang thing, picking up his first Central Region win and his seventh on the PBA Tour — not to mention $1,500 — in the inaugural event at Bowl 10 Fairborn.
“I can’t tell you what a big win this is for me,” McCordic said while holding his glass bowling pin trophy. “A huge thrill for me.”
His pinfall and bonus total of 4,530 bested Don Herrington by 27 pins, Tom Baker by 31 pins, and Walter Ray Williams Jr., by 91 pins. If those last two names sound familiar it’s because they are in the PBA Hall of Fame. Many consider Williams the greatest bowler of all time, while Baker has more than 50 wins as a professional.
“How cool is that,” McCordic said. “Just to be halfway competitive with them, that’s awesome.”
Heading into the semis it was McCordic’s tournament to lose. And he almost did. His 73 pin lead after 18 games shrunk to 27 with 10 frames left. But he regrouped just in time.
“I was just trying to get back to the basics and execute based on my keys,” he said. “I’ve been working on some things. It’s really neat to see the things I’m working on pay off.”
McCordic is also seeing his second stint on the PBA tour pay off. He originally joined when he was 19 and toured some in his early 20s. But it never quite worked out so he began a career in finance in the oil and gas industry and was able to retire about six years ago.
He gave bowling another shot.
“That’s kind of what the senior tour is all about,” he said. “Fulfilling dreams as a kid.”
And what kid doesn’t dream of beating a hall of famer?
— The tournament will be back next year, tournament director (and bowler) David Flemming confirmed.
“We’re thrilled, especially with the support of (Greene County News),” he said. “That crowd (for the qualifying) was because people knew about it.” He added that the bowlers were also appreciative of the large fan turnout.
An even better field is anticipated next year as another regional event will be held prior to the start of the national tour in Indiana. Flemming said having two regional events will draw more big names.
— Neil Kassel of Beavercreek advanced out of round robin match play and with one game left was in third place, ahead of Baker and Williams. However Williams outshot Kassel in the 18th game and made the semis by nine pins.
— Kettering native Jim Storts, a 1975 graduate of Fairmont West, had the tournament’s lone 300 game, which was thrown during qualifying rounds.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.