Bill McCorkle is a man truly dedicated to the tribute to professional bowler and Professional Bowlers Association founder Dick Weber, according to David Small, the proprietor of Pro Bowl West.
McCorkle, a native of Westerville, Ohio, defeated Pro Bowling Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia 244-173 to take first place Sunday in the inaugural PBA50 Dick Weber Super Senior Classic held at Pro Bowl West.
McCorkle partnered with a professional production company to make a video on Weber’s life, accomplishments and contributions to the bowling community. With the positive response that the video received, it was only appropriate that McCorkle win the tournament.
John Weber, Dick’s son and PBA tournament director, was happy with the results.
“Bill winning was fitting since he did the video of my dad,” he said. “I was hoping he was in the running and it was fitting that Johnny was, too, because he’s a good friend of the family.”
McCorkle, who had a string of four consecutive strikes to open the final game, has been a PBA member for 40 years and Sunday’s win was the first national tournament victory of his career.
“That’s probably a record of some type,” he said, laughing. “Most of the guys who don’t win quit or they’re good enough, they win all the time. I finally put it together, and Johnny Petraglia was the tournament leader and for me to beat him in the final was really special.
“I got really emotional in the seventh frame because I was thinking about winning.”
For Petraglia, from Jackson, New Jersey, being the leader heading into the championship meant the tournament was a success.
“This weekend was terrific,” Petraglia said. “Anytime you’re in the title match, it’s a good week.”
Dave Patchen of Oregon, Ohio, started as the fourth seed heading into the four-game stepladder final and defeated No. 5-seed Mike Henry (258-190) and No. 3 Don Blatchford (207-202) to move up to third before losing to McCorkle in the semifinal (212-195).
“Just to throw strikes and hope for the best,” Patchen said of his goals during the final games. “I got lucky, the other guys messed up, I stayed clean for two games and I won those two. I got an open (frame) this game, and it cost me.
“First tournament in 2 1/2 years, so I’m happy with it.”
Bob Shank was the Fort Wayne area’s top local participant. He finished 17th in the 128-bowler field. “This weekend went fantastic for me,” he said of the result. “I don’t practice, I never bowl in the summer time. A buddy of mine, Roy Buckley, called me and says, ‘Why don’t you bowl this weekend?’ So I came out and tried it and got lucky, bowled good.”
With the conclusion of the Dick Weber Classic begins the PBA50 Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic that runs through Wednesday.