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Valley Lanes owner nets runner-up finish at CWO tournament

KENNEWICK - Sunnyside's Rob Rice, the proprietor of Valley Lanes, scored a second-place finish at a Central Washington Open bowling tournament staged last week at Kennewick's Spare Time Lanes.

Rice, who in addition to being the owner of the Sunnyside bowling alley is a regional PBA professional, earned a $365 paycheck for his efforts.

The once-a-month competitions are open to Pacific Northwest bowlers who routinely average 190 or higher in league play.

A field of 47 bowlers competed in the Kennewick tourney. The top 13 scorers from the six-game qualifying block, plus the top scorer from among the senior bowlers (55 and over) advanced to the four-game finals.

Rice qualified as the No. 11 seed into the finals. He averaged 196 through the six qualifying games on efforts of 211-189-196-213-205-161.

The Sunnyside native stepped up the pace in the finals, averaging 220 for the four games. Coupled with the 90 bonus pins he earned by winning three of the four head-to-head match-ups, he moved up from the 11th place spot to second overall. His total pinfall, with the bonus pins figured in, totaled 2145 for the 10 games.

The winner, Jeff Miller of The Dalles, Ore., had a total pinfall of 2320. Miller's pay day came to $470.

Rice was one of four Lower Valley bowlers who trekked to Kennewick for the Central Washington Open tournament.

The best finish from the other three was claimed by Christie Cromwell. She notched a 20th place finish by averaging 188 in the six-game qualifying block (181-202-166-209-205-170).

Derek Colley, the manager of Sunnyside's Valley Lanes, placed 29th overall with a 182 average in the qualifying round. His games were 161-172-162-191-211-194.

The other member of the Lower Valley contingent was Rice's son, Brandon, an alum of the WSU men's bowling team. The younger Rice struggled, however, averaging just 169 through the qualifying round (130-183-149-173-148-232).

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