Hutchens captures county bowling championship

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

Michael Hutchens won the men’s open championship at the Broward County Top 8 Bowling Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently. Photo by Gary Curreri.

By Gary Curreri

Michael Hutchens defeated Matt Lazarus, 224-223, to win the men’s open championship in the Broward County United States Bowling Congress Association’s Top Eight Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently.

The 36-year-old Pompano Beach man was sitting in third place during qualifying until he rolled a 274 to seize the top seed. 

“I loved it,” Hutchens said. “It was awesome! I love the sport because it is competitive and you can beat anybody,” Hutchens said. “It doesn’t matter what generation you are from, what you like or what your personal interests are. Anything about this game, it doesn’t matter. We are all here for one thing and that is to bowl, and that is what I love.

“You can be a rocker, you can be country or you can be rap,” he continued. “You can be anything you want.”

It was his debut in the Top-8 tournament. He moved to Florida from Indiana in 2013. He bowls at Diamond Strike Lanes in Pompano on Wednesdays, Strikes@Boca on Thursdays and Sawgrass Bowl in Tamarac on Fridays.

The top eight bowlers from around Broward County competed in the one-day event in six divisions –Boys and Girls, Men’s and Women’s Open, and Senior Men and Women. 

“I just wanted to show that I belonged, that’s it,” said Hutchens, who said he has bowled more than a dozen perfect 300-games. “I usually average between 225 and 230, but averaged 240 today. To me, bowling is about fun. It is the enjoyment of the game, meeting new people and everybody fits in because we love one thing and that’s bowling. We all want to win.

We all want to enjoy it, but at the same time we want everybody to be good.”

The competitors in the tournament bowled three games of qualifying and the top four bowlers in each division bowled step ladder finals. The fourth-seeded bowler took on the third seed and that winner bowled the second seed, and the that winner bowled the top-seed for the title.

To qualify for the event, bowlers need to bowl in two leagues in two different houses (bowling alleys) or two leagues in the same bowling center. They have to compete in at least 2/3 of the league to qualify for the Top-8. Juniors needed only one league to qualify for the annual tournament.

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