HAMMOND | A couple of local bowlers are still very much alive after the opening squad of the PBA50 South Shore Open at Olympia Lanes on Tuesday.
Orland Park's John Dudak rolled a 1,693 (93 pins over a 200 average), while and Griffith's Rick Woloszyn posted a 1,674 (+74). Those scores were good enough for 20th and 27th, respectively.
"I'm still in the mix and that's the main thing," Dudak said. "I wasn't throwing the ball that good (Tuesday), but but just to grind it out and keep in contention I guess I'm pretty happy about that."
A pair of big-name professionals in Pete Weber (+260) and Mark Williams (+237) ran away from the pack. Darryl Bower turned in the group's third best round at +163.
Woloszyn made an adjustment to his throwing motion after having a hard time early. It worked and he maintained a good pace for his final four games.
"Once I found that comfort zone I felt like I was able to put the ball where I needed to," he said. "Early I was bad, but I finished pretty good late."
Woloszyn said that he's got a better understanding of what it takes to win a high-profile event after bowling some PBA regional stops, a few national stops and the U.S. Open in Las Vegas in the last year.
"I've learned that if you just stay within yourself and just play your game and keep working to find it, eventually it will come," he said. "It finally did come (for me) in about the fifth game."
Dudak said he never really got a good grip on the shot, but he was able to struggle through his eight games without posting a score lower than 193.
"Sometimes the ball would hook too much," he said. "Sometimes it wouldn't."
Dudak missed Monday's practice rounds working his day job as an auto parts sales manager. He said a few rounds may not have given him a better judgement of the shot but still could have helped.
"(The lanes) don't always play the same in practice, but the real advantage to practice is to get the footwork right on the approaches," Dudak said. "The approaches, to me, were sticky."
Both bowlers said they expected to need about a +160 after today's qualifying rounds to make match play Thursday.
Also, Hammond's Kenny Parks is 43rd at +9, Valparaiso's Richard Hunt is 76th at -78 and Crown Point's Bill Idzior is 97th at -157.