Last week, after nearly three months of continuous play on 40 specially built lanes in Detroit's huge, splendiferous Cobo Hall, the American Bowling Congress wound up its 58th annual tournament with the distribution of $462,032.50 in prize money. As befits the most prestigious event in a sport that has gained steadily in popularity ever since the 17th century Dutch first brought it to America, this year's ABC was better than ever. More than 30,000 bowlers representing 6,216 teams from 47 states turned up for a try at the big money in one of the tournament's nine different championships. The top team in the classic division—newly inaugurated this year to represent the nation's best professionals—proved to be San Francisco's Brentwood Bowl team. Its five members rolled up a combined score of 5,983 for six games, an average of 199-plus for every bowler for every game. Some of the excitement they and the other bowlers generated in the course of the play—excitement that has made bowling addicts of 30 million Americans—is made evident on these pages in color pictures taken as the tournament unfolded.
ONE OF 30,000 COMPETITORS AT THE ABC BOWLING TOURNAMENT WATCHES CRANELIKE AS HIS BALL ROLLS TOWARD THE PINS
AT THE START, A BOWLER'S SHOE CAUTIOUSLY TOES THE MARK BEFORE WATCHFUL WARNING LIGHTS THAT STAND UNBLINKING GUARD AGAINST FOUL-LINE VIOLATIONS
PATRIOTICALLY POISED, THE BALL RESTS FOR A PRAYERFUL MOMENT IN THE BOWLER'S HAND (ABOVE) BEFORE STARTING ITS LONELY JOURNEY DOWN THE ALLEY (RIGHT)
May 28, 1961
AT THE BACKSWING'S APOGEE, THE BALL SEEMS ALL BUT FORGOTTEN AS BOWLER AND ONLOOKERS ALIKE CONCENTRATE ON THE DEFIANTLY STOLID PINS AT THE ALLEY'S END
LIKE ULYSSES SURPRISING PENELOPE'S SUITORS, THE BALL LEAPS IN AMONG THE IDLE PINS WITH DEADLY EFFECT, CAUSING A SUDDEN EXPLOSION OF GHOSTLY ACTIVITY