ARLINGTON, Texas – Soon after finishing in second place in the 2013 International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame's Xtravaganza fund-raising tournament, Marty Waigand learned he had Stage 4 throat, tongue and lymph node cancer.
Spending more than six months in the hospital fighting the disease, the last thing the Seneca, Ill., competitor thought about was a return to the Red Rocks Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for the 2014 event May 29-June 1. But persuaded by partner Joe Zokal of nearby Peru, Waigand not only made the trip, he and his teammate won it by the narrowest of margins.
The duo captured the third-annual event by just one point over Patsy and Dean Tabbert of Winter Haven, Fla. The victory was worth $3,000 and helped ease the sting of losing by two points last year to Joe and Theresa Prutch of San Marcos, Calif.
“It was awesome especially after he could hardly throw a ball,” said Zokal, a 44-year-old newspaper pre-press manager. “I didn't even know if he'd make it through the games.
“We weren't even thinking about winning. We just hoped he got through the games and had a good time.”
Waigand, who bowled only six games between the time he left the hospital and departed for Las Vegas, truly enjoyed himself.
“It was great,” said the 64-year-old Waigand, who retired from his family-owned tree farm in 2005. “The tournament is so much fun and everybody is so nice.”
Waigand earned the team's spot last year by winning the low-pin tournament conducted at their IV Super Bowl in Peru. When Zokal won the same event this year, he asked Waigand to join him.
“I wasn't going to go there because of the cancer but Joe said 'you are going anyway.' “ said Waigand.
The Tabberts earned $2,400 for second place. Californians Paula Vidad of Sun City and Erin Lenahan of San Jose and Indiana's Anthony Self of Connorsville and Rusty Bayless of Greensburg tied for third place while Indiana's Jeff Moody of Lafayette and David Glassburn of Mulberry were fifth. Vidad/Lenahan and Self/Bayless each split $1,875 and Moody/Glassburn collected $1,500.
The tournament again featured a unique format that starts bowlers seeking to earn as many odd counts (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) as possible while the second game they looked for even counts (2, 4, 6, 8). Game 3 was a variation of Yahtzee where bowlers faced a number of different leaves while the fourth game was called Headless Horseman where competitors tried earning strikes without the benefit of a head pin.
On the first day, each of the doubles partners earned their own scores with their totals added together. On the second day, the formats were repeated but the bowlers alternated shots in the Baker Format.
“The format really does even things out,” Waigand said. “The guys who are really good have the mindset of getting strikes and strikes are a problem here. You really don't want them.”
Besides their own bowling, the 93 teams were able to mingle with USBC Hall of Famers including Mike Aulby, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Bob Hart, Wendy Macpherson, and Johnny Petraglia.
The event, presented by 5-Hour Energy, Brunswick, Ebonite International, QubicaAMF, Storm, Kegel, RotoGrip, Classic Products, Master Industries, Jack Link's, Miller High Life, Red Rock Lanes, Roto Grip, Station Casino Lanes, Bowlers Journal, International Bowling Industry and Bowling Center Management magazines, the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, United States Bowling Congress and X-Bowling, raised a record $37,000 for the IBM/HF.
About the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame
Located at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame collects, preserves and researches bowling’s history, provides a suitable home for bowling’s major halls of fame, and makes the museum’s information and collection available to interested parties globally for education, promotion and entertainment.