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Scratch bowling and the 2018-19 Beat the Champions: Tommy Sykes is ready

Beat the Champions poster for 2018-19.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

(Averages and handicap for the 32 finalists in the men’s finals are at the bottom.)

Tommy Sykes is ready.

“I am going to get up and go on Sunday,” he said. “I have feeling I can win it all.”

Sykes, an auto mechanic from Rockford, is one of three scratch bowlers out of 32 finalists in the men’s finals of the 58th Beat the Champions. The men’s finals are at noon today, March 3, at Beverly Lanes in Arlington Heights.

In BTC, the charity event by the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association, handicap is 90 percent of the difference an average is below 220.

“I heard there will be a lot of handicap,” said Sykes, who advanced from Four Seasons Sports.

In the 2018-19 BTC, the handicap line was raised from 210 to 220. It made a difference. Last year, 12 of the 32 finalists were scratch (over a 210 average) and nine of those were over a 220 average. This year only Keith Charvat (234), Jeff Klemenswicz (226) and Sykes (222) are scratch finalists under the new scratch line of 220.

None of that seemed to faze Sykes, who enters BTC every year “for the competition and the bowling” and once before reached the sectional level.

“I never bowled there, it will be my first time there,” Sykes said. In the finals, bowlers roll four games, moving two pairs of lanes after each game.

The important numbers in BTC, which the Sun-Times helps sponsor, is the $2,872,914.93 raised for charity, in its first 57 years, from 5,789,515 entries.

All finalists, men and women, receive a prize from bowling balls to electronics to the top prize of $7,500.

The women’s finals are 2 p.m. March 10 at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville.

* * * *

Men FinalistsBowler, Center Avg., HdcpJarod Adair, Rolling 157, 226Joe Barrile, Mardi Gras 202, 64Wally Burress, Orland 156, 230Keith Charvat, Palos 234, 0James Chavers, Lakewood 172, 172Rufus Coleman, Skyway 176, 158Wally Czwodzinski, Palinfield 198, 79Richard Dewitt, Palos 190, 108John Dudzik, Rolling 175, 162Luke Dusek, Stardust 218, 7Brian Eggleston, Castaways 203, 61Melvin Herrell, Skyway 191, 104Alex Hulbert, River Rand 184, 129Darrell Johnson, Skyway 198, 79Jeff Klemenswicz, Lisle 226, 0Don Kohlndorfer, River Rand 189, 111Ryan Kortge, Peotone 195, 90Mark Lapinski, AMF Forest 206, 50Michael McKinney, Hillside 193, 97Scott Morris, Stardust 212, 28Kirk Myers, Stardust 164, 201Noah O'Daniel, Oak Forest 199, 75Chuck Panozzo, El Mar 198,79Scott Panozzo, Orland 196, 86Richard Ptack, Beverly 181, 140Brian Rheaume, Diversey River 160, 216Domingo Rodriguez, AMF Forest 199, 75Robert Scott Jr, Castaways 196, 86Steve Sowinski, Classic 170, 180Russ Stanton III, Oak Forest 202, 64Tommy Sykes, Four Seasons 222, 0Tim Thomas, Castaways 202, 64