SOUTH BELOIT — Second place is nice and all, but Duncan Brose was getting a little tired of it.
The Janesville native had placed second on a pair of occasions in his six years of competing in the Beloit Daily News Holiday Bowling Tournament.
Brose exorcised any and all demons by outlasting a competitive field and second-place finisher Steven Birch to win the Scratch Open Division at Viking Lanes.
Brose, who entered the evening trailing Birch by 20 pins, was terrific all night, but a near-perfect third game is the one that set him apart from the competition.
Besides missing one pin in the eighth frame, Brose was flawless, finishing with a 279.
“That third game was huge for me,” Brose said. “I made up my deficit in the first game, then gave it right back in game two. So I needed a big game. I actually threw the ball better in the second game than the third game, but it’s just how the pins fell.
“That’s how it always is with these tournaments. Anybody out here is capable of shooting 300. You just have to try and stay consistent.”
Brose’s cool and collected demeanor was evident throughout the evening, even as the heat turned up in the fifth game.
“That’s how I always am,” Brose said. “You can’t sweat the little stuff. You’re going to leave a pin out there every once in a while, that’s just the way it is. I never like to get too high or too low, because you’re going to get disappointed.”
Brose finished with a final series of 1,210 and a total of 4,781. Birch closed with a 1,119 series for a total of 4,710 while Mike Murphy finished with a 4,702 and an 1,140 finishing series.
The Senior Division featured a tight race between Todd Kjell and Gary Drye. Kjell needed a strong finish to hold off Drye, which is exactly what he got when he closed with a 234. Drye closed with a final game of 247, which left him with a 1,176 series and 20 pins behind Kjell’s 4.565.
Kjell went into the final frame needing at least one strike. He accomplished that on his first roll, clinching the victory.
“Gary was really pressing me,” Kjell said. “He bowled great all night. In tournaments like this, you just have to clutch up and do it. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t.”
Kjell said it felt nice to be able to clinch the victory himself.
“I had two second-place finishes in PBA senior regionals,” Kjell said. “In one of them, I never had a chance. In another one, I had a chance and didn’t get it done. This one I was able to hit the shot.”
The winner of the handicap division was Mikal Brickson, who outlasted his nephew T.J. to take the crown by a 26-pin margin. Mike finished with a 4,800, compared to T.J.’s 4,774.
“With the handicap division, you really have no idea where you are,” Brickson said. “I figured if I shot 1,110 every set, I’d have a chance. But with a 204 average, that’s not going to happen. My brother Tim won this before, and that’s the only reason I gave it a shot, and I got lucky tonight. Tim told me to switch balls, and I struck the final five frames. That’s what did it for me.”
• NOTES: Culver’s of Belvidere and the Beloit Daily News are the major sponsors of the event. Co-sponsors are Diamond Lanes and Viking Lanes and supporting sponsors include WIIL USBC BA, USBC Beloit WBA, Ryeco, Inc., Contgrol Freaks, The Carpet Market of Beloit, Wis., Burtness Chevrolet Inc. of Orfordville, Welder’s Supply Company, KRV Accounting LLC, Best Buy Auto Sales, Noggins Hair Salon and Music N Motion DJ service. Mike Dole also donated to the tournament.