A familiar name sits atop the Men’s Division after Monday’s first night of qualifying in the 56th annual Kenosha News Match Game Bowling Tournament at Guttormsen Recreation Center.
Three-time men’s champion Ben Betchkal — who won in 2009, 2014 and 2015 — fired an eight-game block of 2,041 pins to get out to the early qualifying lead.
Betchkal was especially strong over his final four games, rolling a pair of 279s, a 258 and a 277 to close out his set.
Betchkal is the nephew of 10-time men’s champion Lennie Boresch Jr. and the cousin of 2017 men’s winner Jacob Boresch.
Another former men’s champion is in second place behind Betchkal, as 2013 winner Billy Harris Jr. racked up 1,988 pins. His high of 278 came in the sixth game.
Joe Meier, meanwhile, totaled 1,944 pins with a high game of 277 to sit in third place.
In the Senior Men’s Division, Perry Hartnell rolled a 280 in his sixth game to highlight his eight-game block of 1,898, which put him in first place.
Ed Seliga (1,866) and Gary Wolf (1,816) are in second and third, respectively. Seliga doubled up as the men’s and senior men’s champion in 2011 and also won senior men’s titles in 2010 and 2013.
Only two bowlers competed in Women’s Division qualifying Monday, with Courtney Wolf — the champion in 2015 and 2017 — in first place after a six-game block of 1,256.
Wolf’s high score was a 244 in her third game.
Brittany Durkee trails Wolf by just 23 pins after a 1,233.
In the Super Senior Men’s Division, Bob Casarsa fashioned a six-game block of 1,277 — with a high game of 249 — to take over first place.
Lonnie McCrossen (1,259) and Jim Gentile (1,237) are right behind Casarsa.
Tuesday’s second night of qualifying at GRC featured some big names, including three defending champions.
Kyle Zagar, who won his first men’s title last year, took his first shot at qualifying, as did longtime tournament participant Jackie Petts, who captured her first women’s title last year.
Also bowling Tuesday was Rich Beltoya, the defending senior men’s champion. He’s won the title two of the last three years.
Qualifying runs through Friday.
The top 16 in the Men’s and Senior Men’s divisions, the top 12 in the Super Senior Men’s Division and the top 10 in the Women’s Division advance to next week’s finals.