John Marsala wins 2023 Super Senior Classic in Las Vegas

RESULTS: Group Stepladder | Championship Stepladder

John Marsala of University City, Missouri, averaged more than 249 during the championship stepladder at the 2023 Super Senior Classic to claim the victory Sunday at Sam’s Town Bowling Center.

The 60-year-old left-hander fired nine strikes in the title match for a 244-168 win over Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, New York, to take home the $8,000 top prize. Jurek, the top seed, earned $6,550 for the runner-up finish.

The 2023 Super Senior Classic was broadcast live at

The momentum during the finals switched in Marsala’s favor during the fifth and sixth frames, and he never looked back.

Jurek had delivered a double in the third and fourth frames, but he was unable to convert the 3-6-10 combination in the fifth. Marsala followed with a pair of light-pocket strikes in his fifth and sixth frames, while Jurek opened again in the sixth after leaving a 3-4-6-7 split.

Marsala added two more strikes in the seventh and eighth frames, while a Greek Church in the eighth from Jurek allowed Marsala to coast to the winner’s circle.

The win was the first Professional Bowlers Association 60 Tour title for Marsala, to go along with two victories on the PBA50 Tour.

Jurek, who had earned the top seed by leading Group A during the split match-play round Saturday at Sam’s Town, was looking for his first PBA60 Tour title as well. He’s the owner of two PBA Tour titles and two PBA50 Tour wins.

Marsala had some struggles during the 2022 PBA50 Tour season, so he stayed busy in the offseason working on a few parts of his game. He couldn’t have asked for a better outcome in the first event of the 2023 season.

“For me, speed is everything,” Marsala said on the BowlTV broadcast. “I don’t have a lot of rev rate, so I really have to be focused on my speed control. That’s one of the things I worked on – moving back and forth on the approach, slowing the ball down and really trying to stay more solid at the line and keep my balance. That’s what I worked on all winter.

“It’s very special. I’m a (Super Senior Classic) champion, and not many people get to do that. Every time you go out here against all these guys, whether it’s 50 or 60, it doesn’t matter. They’re all great competitors.”

Marsala advanced to the finals with a 247-233 win over United States Bowling Congress and PBA Hall of Famer Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Through eight frames, Boresch held a one-pin lead but found trouble in the ninth after leaving the 4-7-10 split. The open frame gave Marsala the opportunity to secure the victory with marks in the ninth and 10th frames. He covered a 7 pin in the ninth and struck out in his final frame.

Boresch now has two top-three finishes at the Super Senior Classic. He finished as the runner-up in 2022 to USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Ron Mohr of Las Vegas. Mohr is the tournament’s only two-time winner (2017 and 2022).

In the opening match of the championship stepladder, Marsala was able to defeat fellow southpaw Gary Reh of Jasper, Indiana, 257-207.

Marsala had a brief hiccup early in the game, leaving a 4-6 split and open frame in the third. He bounced back with nine consecutive strikes to finish the match. Reh started with a double and stayed clean, but he was only able to add three more strikes for the rest of the game.

Marsala felt comfortable on Lanes 19-20 throughout the week at Sam’s Town, and he also noted how his match against Reh helped to create a little more space for him to work with against Boresch and Jurek.

“Every time I hit these pairs, I scored very well on them,” Marsala said. “That kind of helped. Gary Reh throwing urethane definitely helped. It kind of set the lane up for me and gave me a little bit of shim that I wouldn’t normally have, and that was a really big help, too.”

Sunday’s action started earlier with a pair of group stepladders at Sam’s Town, with Marsala advancing out of Group B to earn his spot in the championship round as the No. 4 seed. Reh was victorious in Group A to take the No. 3 seed.

The 206-player field at the 2023 Super Senior Classic bowled 12 games of qualifying Thursday and Friday to determine the top 52 competitors for Saturday’s cashers’ round. The advancers bowled six more games, and at the conclusion of 18 games, the top 12 made their way to Saturday’s split match-play round.

The bowlers were split into two groups based on their final qualifying position. The six odd seeds (1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11) were Group A, and the six even finishers (2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12) made up Group B.

The match-play finalists competed in a six-game round robin, with the top finisher in each group earning their spot in Sunday’s championship stepladder. Jurek took the top seed over Boresch based on total pinfall.

The second, third and fourth seeds from each group faced off in simultaneous group stepladders Sunday before the main event to determine the final two spots in the championship stepladder.

In Group A, Skip Pavone of San Jose, California, won the opening match, defeating PBA Hall of Famer Bryan Goebel of Shawnee, Kansas, 217-155. Reh defeated Pavone, 202-183, to advance to the championship stepladder.

In Group B, 2013 Super Senior Classic champion Kerry Painter of Henderson, Nevada, recorded a two-pin victory (206-204) over Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Oregon. Marsala started his striking Sunday with a 267-193 win over Painter to earn his spot in the main stepladder.

The Super Senior Classic featured the top players age 60 and older.

The excitement will continue at Sam’s Town with the USBC Senior Masters from June 5-11. The event is a major on the PBA50 Tour schedule and is open to bowlers age 50 and older.

The winner of the 2023 Senior Masters will take home $20,000 for the win.