This summer's event drew 416 bowlers, including 82 women—about twice the 1955 entry. It was a remarkable pilgrimage, considering the season, Ogden's geographic location and the limited number of persons who can, or would want to, bowl that many games. However, other tournaments drew thousands of bowlers, including the stars Kosof has been wooing in vain.
The record Jouglard established on July 26 stood up for two days. Then Welu, a strapping lad of 25 (6 feet 4� inches, 200 pounds) and one of the hottest bowlers in the country, scored a sensational 8,472 (211.8 average).
"Be careful, captain. You're pretty old for this kind of thing," Welu chided Buzz Fazio as the Brunswick star took the lanes the following night.
"Hang around, kid. Maybe you'll learn something," replied Fazio, a 49-year-old grandfather who, like Kosof, makes almost a fetish of keeping in excellent physical condition. Only 5 feet 6 inches tall, he has weighed a brawny 140 pounds for the past quarter century.
Amid a squad of thumb-sore, weary-armed and bleary-eyed bowlers, the little man with the big heart danced, hollered—and knocked down pins. Apparently stronger than ever, Buzz kicked higher and shouted louder than before. The 38th game pulled him even, and the next one put him ahead. His average for the final eight games was an incredible 221 plus, giving him 8,525 for the Classic. His margin over Welu was just 52 pins, or less than three strikes. The victory netted him first prize of $2,000, another $1,000 for establishing a record and $400 for game and series awards.
"There is a real champion," cried the effervescent Kosof. "The Maxie Kosof Endurance Classic is the only tournament in which a bowler must display stamina and courage as well as skill to win. The winner of this tournament should be recognized as champion all over the country."
If it is not the championship event that Max and his supporters claim, neither is it the failure that sneerers have labeled it. Its prestige has grown and should continue to rise. Perhaps it will become to bowling not what the Open is to golf or the Wimbledon to tennis, but what the English Channel is to swimming. The Classic is here to stay, at any rate, and the sport will be none the worse for it.