Jim Johnson took an open mind to the Iowa state senior bowling tournament recently after struggling to score at home in Dubuque.

Johnson, 65, found his groove and won three championships at the tournament that ended Nov. 8 in Adel. He won the singles title with a 791 and the all-events crown with a 2,159. He also teamed with Bill Hall for a title-winning 1,455 in doubles.

“I’d been throwing the ball OK in Dubuque, but I just wasn’t scoring, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Johnson, who won the 2003 Big 10 tournament in Dubuque. “They had wooden lanes, which I didn’t frown upon, because they tend to be a little drier and that helps my game. I really liked the shot — I could play from the third arrow to the ditch and didn’t have to move much at all.


“I had good ball speed and kept it in my area the whole time. And I didn’t miss. It just got better and better as the day went on. I just kept hitting them.”

Lloyd Gronner finished third in singles with a 714 series.

Big 10 put on hold — The fast-paced Eagle Point Software/Brunswick Big 10 tournament has been put on pause in accordance with Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recent proclamation prohibiting recreational sports. That leaves bowling centers closed until at least Dec. 10.

When the event resumes, it will crown a winners’ bracket champ on the first night.

Greg Klauer will meet John Biver, and Randy Mackey squares off against 2015 champion Terry Cottrell in the semifinal round at Cherry Lanes. The winners of those matches will square off for the crown.

The past two weekends have featured two rounds of action, on Saturday night and Sunday morning, in a format impacted by the coronavirus. Spectators have been limited at the 64-man, double-elimination event.

Klauer defeated Joe Pregler, 698-646, and Andrew Gantenbein, 717-672, on opening weekend. Last week, he defeated Lonnie Brown, 723-698, and Jeremy Hefel, 624-565, to advance to the semifinals.

Biver opened the tournament with a 649-617 victory over Trevor Taylor and a 628-541 victory over Dan Atchison. He followed that with a 684-622 win over 2017 champion Jason Lanser and a 616-594 decision over Chris Pfab last weekend.

Mackey received a forfeit and defeated Steve Breitbach Jr., 672-614, on opening weekend. To reach the semifinals, he upended defending champion Stephen Habel, 721-556, and defeated Donny Breitbach, 607-559, last weekend.

Cottrell defeated Aaron Schumacher, 647-601, and took out Dan Kasper, 669-654, on opening weekend. He reached the semifinal round with a 659-629 victory over Zach Schultz and a 670-581 victory over Phil Breitbach last weekend.

Money round continues — The Big 10 consolation bracket currently has eight bowlers who will also square off at 5 p.m. tonight. Those matches include Lanser vs. Donny Breitbach, seven-time champ Bob Hochrein vs. Phil Breitbach, Schultz vs. Hefel and Gantenbein vs. Pfab.

Last week, Lanser became the second bowler to shoot a 300 game, joining Rick Jacobs for the high game in the tournament. Mackey still leads the way with a 795 high series.

It doesn’t get any closer — Hefel and Cory Deutmeyer tied their winners’ bracket match last weekend with identical 662 counts, so they had to go to a roll-off to determine the winner. Hefel threw strikes on all four shots. Deutmeyer struck on his first shot, but did not convert in the next frame, as Hefel advanced.