Author Topic: 1994 Hilton Hotels Classic - Butch Soper 300 Game
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Member # 23072

The date was July 12, 1994 at the Hilton Hotels Classic in Reno, NV. 45 year old Butch Soper qualified 4th in the tournament, and faced Bob Benoit in the opening match of the day, and became the 8th person to bowl a 300 on the PBT. Unfortunately, Soper couldn't get past WRW, JR that day, and finished 4th with a check for $6,500 and a $10,000 bonus from the PBA. John Mazza ultimately captured the title. Soper went on to win 6 career titles with the last being the Kessler Open in 1990. I believe a few years earlier, in the 80s, Soper overcame a life threatening sickness as well. I hope you enjoy the clip.

Reno Hilton Bowling Center, Reno, NV, Jul 8-12, 1994
Mazza Claims Fifth Title; Soper Perfect

Excitement reached a fever pitch in the first game and continued until John Mazza's last shot cleared the deck and locked up his victory in the $150,000 Hilton- Hotels Classic at Reno Hilton Lanes.

Mazza's 267-233 victory over Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Stockton, Calff., was nearly overshadowed by Butch Soper's opening 300 game.

Soper, Lake Havasu City, Ariz, was the first to work the capacity crowd Into a frenzy after his 12th ball scattered the pins for only the eighth perfect game in the 33-year history of the Pro Bowlers Tour telecasts comprising more than 5,000 games. Even though Williams knocked off Soper, 228-213, in the second game, Soper's fourth place money of $6,500 was bolstered with a $10,000 bonus from the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA).

Williams defeated former national champion Adam Apo, 244-235, in the semffinal to earn the shot against top-seed Mazza. Williams opened the title match with six strikes in a row and Mazza didn't like his chances. Then things changed.

What Williams did was leave the 2-4-5-8 "bucket" in the seventh and ninth' frames, while Mazza kept striking. Although Williams converted both spares, he fell too far behind and Maze's double In the 10th frame earned the $27,000 top prize for the lefty from Shelby Township, Mich.

The victim of Soper's perfection was Bob Benoit of Topeka, Kan. Benoit now has been on both sides of a televised perfect game having rolled one himself to win the 1986 Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Williams added second-place money of $14,000 to his total. Apo, from Florrissant, Mo., took home $8,000 for third and Benoit, who good naturedly dabbed sweat from Soper's face after the 300, was consoled with $5,900 for his 236 effort in the face of perfection.


Pos. Name, City/State Total Amount

1 John Mazza, Shelby Township, MI 267 (1 game) $27,000
2 Walter Ray Williams Jr., Stockton, CA 705 (3 games) 14,000
3 Adam Apo, Florissant, MO 235 (1 game) 8,000
**4 Butch Soper, Lake Havasu City, AZ 513 (2 games) 6,500
5 Bob Benoit, Topeka, KS 236 (1 game) 5,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS-Soper defeated Benoit, 300-236; Williams defeated Soper, 228-213; Williams defeated Apo, 244-235; and in the championship game, Mazza defeated Williams, 267-233. **-Soper receives $10,000 bonus from PBA for 300 game.