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'One of the best stops we have' | Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green hosts PBA 50 tournament

Qualifying will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday in Bowling Green, the first of three groups to compete. The top third of scores will then advance to Sunday's Finals.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Some of the biggest names in bowling have converged to Bowling Green this weekend, for the 25th Annual Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance Agency Central/Midwest Classic. Part of the PBA 50 Tour, nearly 100 of the nation's best will compete at Al-Mar Lanes. 

Although the minimum age of the event is 50 years old, six PBA Hall of Famers are among the field of participants.

"Bill Wammes runs a great tournament out here," Emilio Mora Sr. of Defiance said. "It's one of the best stops we have."

Mora is one of a handful of locals competing in this Regional Tournament. Perrysburg's Ronald Reitzel also making the short trip to BG.

"I've cashed here two or three times here," Reitzel said. "This is going to be a tough shot for me with a long pattern, but we'll give it a try."

Mora adds "I'm 72 years old now and I've cashed about four or five times out here in this tournament. I'm just going to try and play my game, hit my shot."

Cashing in won't be an easy throw, with a talented lineup filling the lanes. Among the big names, will be PBA Hall of Famer Chris Barnes. 

"I heard great things about it, 25th anniversary," Barnes said. "All my friends from up here, in this part of the country have talked about how great this has been for a long long time." 

The two-time PBA 50 Title holder will be playing inside Al-Mar Lanes for the first time in his career.

"The one thing that's changed from my 20s is my expectations, I've tried to eliminate some of those expectations," Barnes said. "I just really want to play well and if things go right, I'd like to think I have a chance to win."

The excitement level in BG, certainly warranted, even among those who are sharing the spotlight this weekend.

"Monday through Friday, I run every day just to compete with these guys," Mora said. "Lift weights and all that, so I can compete...In my mind, I still think I have it but we'll find out."

Reitzel adds "To rub elbows with Peter Weber, Parker Bohn III and Walter Ray Williams...there's so many great bowlers here in Bowling Green, it's going to be a great weekend."

Qualifying will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, the first of three groups to bowl. The top third of scores will then advance to Sunday's Finals, when a champion will be crowned.

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