02/11/13 — McKee finds groove, emerges 2013 King Pin Scratch Open champion

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McKee finds groove, emerges 2013 King Pin Scratch Open champion

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 11, 2013 1:47 PM

Shawn McKee almost didn't make the cut.

Struggling with ball reaction and leaving pins on spare attempts, the Mooresville resident bowled his best game Sunday morning just to reach the match-play round.

Then he became unstoppable.

McKee upset four higher-seeded opponents and emerged the 2013 King Pin Scratch Open champion with a 199-153 triumph over Goldsboro's Dave Douglas at AMF Boulevard Lanes on Sunday afternoon. McKee took home the $1,400 prize.

"A huge afternoon," grinned McKee.

Huge, indeed.

The 63-entrant field was narrowed down to 24 players Sunday morning. Another elimination round determined the 16-player match-play draw, where bowlers competed in best-of-three series for the first and quarterfinal rounds.

The 13th-seeded McKee, who has two PBA regional titles in his career, dumped fourth-seeded Rich Horsley in three games. He followed with a three-game triumph over former PBA Tour winner Chris Collins, who was seeded No. 1 and seeking his second King Pin title in four years.

The temperamental Collins left open frames throughout each game.

"Chris is a phenomenal bowler," McKee said. "I made some bad shots, but kept my cool and kept my head about myself. I came back to make the shots when I needed to and he just didn't get the carry.

"If you left your emotions overcome you, you just get worse."

Play tightened up in the final two rounds.

Bowlers competed in one-game matches, which significantly reduced the margin of error.

McKee upended sixth-seeded Chris Hans, 234-169. Douglas, the fifth seed, broke away from David Shinn in the latter stages and claimed a 184-131 victory.

Douglas left pins standing in the first and third frames against McKee.

"It was tough," said Douglas, who defeated hometown foes Cory Srebnik and Gordon Hobson to reach the semifinals. "Shawn came out pretty good and I just couldn't get the ball to move. It was just a rough start to that game.

"You have to execute when it comes down to one game, you can't miss at all. When you do, you're in trouble especially with these guys out here. You have to be tight."

McKee threw strikes on three of the first seven frames.

Douglas managed strikes on the eighth and ninth frames when the outcome had all but been decided.

"I threw the ball phenomenal, threw it great," said McKee, who owns his own pro shop in Kannapolis. "I was real happy. I made good shots, couldn't ask for anything more and I was really excited about it. Dave is a class act, a great guy.

Douglas took home $800.

Bowlers competed in memory of Michael Jerome Wilks, an avid Dallas Cowboys fan who passed away before the tournament. Competitors wore stickers on their sleeves and observed a moment of silence before play began Saturday morning.