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Aulby begins drive for third title

May 2, 1997

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) _ Mike Aulby of Indianapolis launched his bid to become the first three-time winner of the American Bowling Congress Masters on Thursday with two match-play victories.

Aulby, a 37-year-old left-hander, defeated Ron Ware of Dublin, Calif., 719-572 and Daniel Miyamoto of Waipahu, Hawaii 698-549 to join 15 other undefeated finalists heading into Friday’s eliminations.

Aulby, the only bowler in history to win every major professional bowling title, qualified for the double-elimination match play Masters finals in sixth place in a field of 550 competitors. He won his previous Masters titles in 1989 and 1995.

Also advancing into the winners bracket with two wins was 62-year-old ABC Hall of Famer Teata Semiz of Wallington, N.J. Semiz, hoping to become the oldest player in history to win a major championship, opened with a 715-653 victory over Chad Murphy of Wichita, Kan., and then defeated Mark Seifert of O’Fallon, Ill., 256-242 in a one-game roll-off after the match ended in a 650 tie.

The only other previous Masters winner to remain undefeated was 1987 champion Rick Steelsmith of Wichita who posted a 647-625 decision over Atlanta’s Brian Voss and a 670-650 win over Jack Kurent of Luzerne, Pa. Defending champion Ernie Schlegel of Vancouver, Wash., and 1993 winner Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., remained in contention with one loss each in the losers bracket.

The 47th annual tournament ends Saturday with the winner collecting $50,000.

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