Edward Grace III of Howell won the Metro Detroit USBC Association Masters Tournament at Rosebowl Lanes in Roseville Sunday when he defeated Richard Rathburn Jr. of Roseville 703-672 to win the $4,000 first prize and the title. Rathburn settled for the second place check of $2,000.
Grace was the 26th qualifier with a 10-game total of 2,262. He averaged 234.3 for the entire tournament and 238.1 in match play. He remained in the winner’s bracket by defeating Ryan VanHecke of Sterling Heights 746-702, Alan Pittman of Clarkston 734-716, Ernest Segura Jr. of Taylor 672-592, Scot Woodward of Auburn Hills 741-661 and David Ewald of Macomb 775-759 en route to the final match. In the final match he lost to Rathburn 732-630 to force a final set, where he prevailed.
“I would like to give God all of the credit. Without him I couldn’t do it,” said the 40-year-old Grace. “It seems so unreal, surreal. Having my wife, kids and my mom and dad here to enjoy this was awesome.”
Rathburn qualified 13th with 2,321. He averaged 233.3 for 43 games of tournament competition. In match play he lost in the first round to Jeffrey Austreng of Waterford Township 815-671 before reeling off nine wins. He beat Jerome Jaracz of Clinton Township 687-615, Larry Franz of Redford 660-647, Ryan VanHecke 738-677, David Tulak of Taylor 681-662, avenged his loss to Austreng 744-740, Scot Woodward 751-674, Mark Moore of Macomb 713-635, David Ewald 662-653 and Grace the first time 732-630. His 11 matches ties the all-time Masters record. Rathburn’s match play performance also included two perfect 300 games.
2006 champion Ewald qualified 12th with 2,330 and cashed for $1,000 for third place. He remained in the winner’s bracket with triumphs over Abed Daher of Brownstown Township 701-593, Bob Chamberlain Jr. of Holly 693-675, Jeffrey Austreng 761-693 and Carleton Chambers of Detroit 744-720 before falling to Grace 775-759. In the loser’s bracket he fell to Rathburn 662-653.
Three-time champion Moore qualified 24th with 2,275 and took home $800 for fourth place. He won his first match against Terence Haines II of Dearborn Heights 712-711 before falling into the loser’s bracket with a 745-739 loss to David Tulak. Once in the loser’s bracket he beat Stephen Barry of Macomb 701-570, Larry Walker of Garden City 804-665, Andrew Burke of St. Clair Shores 644-556, Ernest Segura Jr. of Taylor 671-595 and Carleton Chambers 700-629 before falling to Rathburn 713-635 to end his day.
Chambers and Woodward each earned $500 for their efforts. Austreng and Segura Jr. took home $400 each for seventh and eighth respectively.
Defending champion Paul Koehler was unable to bowl due to work commitments in Florida. Former champions Kerry Kreft of Warren finished ninth for $350 and David Tulak finished 11th for $350.
Top qualifier Michael Norris Jr. of Melvindale won his first match, then lost his next two to get knocked out of the competition and cashed for $250.
Turbo 2-N-1 Grips, Red Robin Restaurants of Michigan and Ansara's Big Boy Restaurants are co-sponsors of the MDUSBC Masters.
The MDUSBC Masters Tournament is a USBC certified event operated by the Metro Detroit USBC Association, the largest local association of the United States Bowling Congress with more than 70,000 members.