The tougher the shot, the better for Chad Morris.
The Piqua bowler won the 9-Pin No-Tap Charity Challenge Sunday at Pla-Mor Lanes with a 242 in the final game, topping Mike McCoy and Shawn Aughe, who finished with 202 and 149, respectively. The event, in its 35th year, raised more than $11,500 for Dayton Children’s Hospital, including a portion of Morris’ winnings that he donated back.
“I told myself, if I won, I was definitely going to give back,” Morris said.
The 44-year-old has a great appreciation for the medical profession as he was transported by Care Flight to Miami Valley Hospital after a serious car accident in 2004 that resulted in a two-month hospital stay.
“I know, first-hand, how much doctors care and how important that is,” he said.
While the accident sidelined Morris for a while, he was back on the lanes as soon as he was able to. The avid league bowler also tried his hand at the professional ranks, competing as a PBA member during the 2010-11 season.
He would like to return to the professional tour someday – perhaps at the PBA50 level, if not sooner – but for now, he is focusing on fine-tuning his game and enjoying his win. Morris credits regular tournament appearances and participation in a competitive scratch league for his success in the Charity Challenge.
“They put a tougher oil pattern out which helped me because I bowl a lot of tournaments,” he said. “If you put a house shot down, you can be lucky and you don’t necessarily need to be good. A tougher pattern, takes the luck out of it.”
Morris didn’t need luck early on as he was the top qualifier out of Pla-Mor. In all, 250 bowlers competed in the event with the top 48 bowlers – 24 each from from Pla-Mor and Beaver-Vu Bowl – advancing to match play. It got a bit tougher for Morris in the quarterfinals as he and Dana Hook tied at 229, forcing a ninth and 10th-frame roll-off. Morris squeaked out a single-pin win to advance to the semifinal round.
His semifinal match wasn’t much easier as he edged out Christian Litteral by just five pins, 226-221. The eventual champion had a bit more breathing room in the final round with a 40-pin advantage over runner-up McCoy.