Eddie Flanigan received some unexpected severance cash at Landmark Lanes last Sunday afternoon.
He teamed with Steve Taylor to win the Labor Day Doubles tournament and claim the top prize of $1,200.
"Of course, I was surprised we won!" Flanigan said. "I practiced only once and haven’t bowled since the Central Illinois Tournament the last weekend of January. I just planned on making the motions, and if we cashed, we cashed."
Taylor said he was not concerned when he asked Flanigan to come out of semi-retirement and bowl with him in the tournament.
They have had some success bowling together in the past, including winning the star-studded Hammer Holiday Doubles Tournament in the St. Louis area in 2016 and finishing third last year.
"I had no reservations about asking him at all," Taylor said. "He beat me by 20 pins in qualifying. I was plus 260 (about a 243 average) and he was plus 280 (246)."
For the past few years, Flanigan has operated the Maxxx Revs Pro Shop at Landmark. But he recently vacated the location. The bowling center was shut down from mid-March until June because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I didn’t want to pay the rent, not knowing if we were going to shut down again," he said.
That decision made a big impact on Flanigan’s performance in the doubles event.
"Honestly, I probably threw it better this past tournament than I have in the last couple of years," said Flanigan, who uses a two-handed delivery. "I had no expectations, and had the freedom of not worrying about customers’ reactions or hearing about them getting a new ball from a different pro shop.
"It was actually nice to bowl, with nobody coming up and asking about balls or prices."
Taylor and Flanigan led the 51-man field with a combined six-game qualifying total of 2,957 — 35 pins ahead of Tommy Barnwell and Brandon Biondo.
Nate Stubler, a former member of Junior Team USA and an IHSA state champion at LaSalle-Peru, and partner Alex Keplinger qualified fourth, but worked their way to the title match.
Taylor and Flanigan did not give them much of a chance.
"It wasn’t close," Taylor said. "We shot Baker games of 268 and 280."
Jennifer Mauerman continued to have the touch to shoot honor scores at Potter’s Alley.
On Thursday night, she bowled her third career 300 game there in the middle of a 686 series, just six months after bowling her second perfect game in that house.
Just before Christmas in 2014, Mauerman rolled her first career trey, throwing 22 straight strikes and finishing with a 789 series at the same establishment, which was then called Safari Bowl.
In 2018, she set the women’s house record there with an 824 series, and continued her success the following night with an 814 – this time at Landmark Lanes.
"At least I didn’t have to wait five years for my next 300 this time," Mauerman said.
The Peoria River City USBC Association will be holding the Mixed Doubles tournament next weekend at Plaza Lanes.
The event, which was canceled last season because of COVID-19, will have squads at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, and at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Entry fee is $25 per person, and there will be both scratch and handicap divisions.
Johnny Campos is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at 686-3214 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.