The roll of a lifetime for Harteneck
Red Wing bowler Al Harteneck is getting a chance of a lifetime.
Building up an impressive resume with 22 sanctioned 300 games and eight 800 series, Harteneck’s goal was to play in a major tournament. Problem was, the Professional Bowlers Association never made stops in Minnesota.
But for the first time in over 40 years, the PBA is coming back to Minnesota. Even better for Harteneck, it’s right in his backyard.
Starting with a pro-am on Sunday and with qualifying play starting on Monday, Harteneck will bowl in the PBA50 Tour Treasure Island Resort and Casino Open at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch.
“I’m pretty excited about it; I’ve bowled since I was 7 or 8 years old and I’ve always dreamed of bowling in something like this,” Harteneck said. “To have one almost in your backyard, it’s unbelievable. … I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to get to do it again. I hope I bowl well, have fun and enjoy it.”
The PBA50 Tour, formerly the senior tour, is for players 50 years of age and older. The Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open is the final stop before the tour finals in November.
Harteneck, 56, registered for the open at the behest of the locals at Island Xtreme Bowl.
“John Foss (the bowling center manager) kind of talked me into it,” Harteneck said. “I probably would have liked to, but I don’t know if I would have done it if John and the other bowlers didn’t tell me to do it.”
The last PBA event to take place in Minnesota was the 1971 U.S. Open at Drkula’s 32 Bowl in St. Paul.
Along with Harteneck, five other Minnesotans – David Freeman (Rochester), Tim Knutson (Brooklyn Park), Dale Lipovsky (Apple Valley), Bob Micek (Woodbury) and Mike Schmid (St. Paul) – will compete in Welch.
With 69 bowlers registered as of Friday, Harteneck will roll with some of the sport’s biggest names. Included in the field are PBA Hall of Famers Walter Ray Williams Jr., Tom Baker and Pete Weber.
“I’m excited about it, and there is a little bit of nervousness,” said Harteneck, who bowled his last 800 series this spring and notched his latest 300 game a year ago. “It’s a whole different caliber of guys that will be there. I just have to stay focused.”