LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Richie Wolfe got angry at himself when he whiffed on the 3-6 combination in the fifth frame of the York County Masters championship match at Hanover Bowling Centre on Sunday.

He got a little angrier when he missed the 7-pin two frames later.

"After the seventh frame, I reminded myself to calm down and don't let this match get away from me," said the southpaw.

At the time, he and Troy Lehigh were tied at 113.

The self-motivational talk paid off for Wolfe, a former Professional Bowlers Association Tour member. He reeled off four consecutive strikes to shut out Lehigh, with one ball remaining. Wolfe defeated Lehigh, 201-171, to earn $500.

"The win feels good, but I wasn't comfortable all day," he said. "I had problems with my footing and my spare shooting was terrible. Missing those spares was because of self-doubt and lack of commitment to the shot. I was lucky, however, and things went my  way."

Wolfe's York County Masters trophy will go on the shelf with his 2019 BowlerMaxx York County Match Play Championship trophy.

Lehigh, who also had two open frames, said he struggled to figure out the ball motion in the championship match. He unsuccessfully fished around, trying to find something that worked.  

"I'm happy with the second-place finish," he said. "This will help boost my confidence. I'm convinced my game is going in the right direction, particularly since this was an extremely tough field."

Although Lehigh has a lot of tournament experience on challenging lane conditions, the right-hander admits he was probably a dark horse in the field.

"I was, however, confident," he said. 

Both Wolfe and Lehigh came from behind to advance to the championship match. Wolfe finished fourth in qualifying, while Lehigh was sixth.

Wolfe downed Joe Andreone, 408-387, while Lehigh stopped Brent Hunter, 415-366, in two-game matches. In the semi-finals, Wolfe defeated No. 1 seed Brandon Hinderer 189-152. Lehigh thwarted No. 2 seed Andy Carson, 206-173.

A field of 15 bowlers competed in the tournament, which was contested on more demanding lane conditions than normally found at local lanes.

Reach Barry Sparks at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE