Notes from Lightning Strikes

by PBA Editor January 27, 2005 19:00
Abner Rolling Ken Abner has been on quite a roll in the second half of the season. He qualified for the PBA Birmingham Open through the PBA Tour Qualifying Round on Wednesday, the third time he has made the round of 64 in the second half, and the fourth time overall this season. Even better, Abner has advanced into the round of 32 each of the last three times he has qualified, making him the only qualifier to make the top 32 three times this season. He did it again this week by finishing 16th in Thursday’s round of 64. For the second week in a row, Abner had to square off against 40-time titlist Walter Ray Williams Jr. After dropping a 4-1 match to the Hall of Famer last week in the 2005 PBA Dallas Open, Abner averaged 233.67 in defeating Williams today, 4-2, to advance to the round of 16 for the second time this season. He is also the only qualifier to accomplish that feat this season. Abner also defeated Chris Barnes, 4-3, in the 2005 PBA GEICO Open before falling 4-1 to Norm Duke in the round of 16. Three qualifiers in all advanced to the round of 32 this week: Abner, Jeff Lizzi and Christopher Collins. This marks the first time this season three qualifiers have advanced that far. Collins also advanced to the round of 16, defeating Brad Angelo, 4-1. Second chance Wes Malott nearly threw a 300 game in the first game of qualifying in Thursday’s round of 64. Malott struck on his first 11 shots, then came up in the 12th frame and threw another perfect shot. Unfortunately, Malott crossed the foul line, giving him 0 for his final shot. He finished with 290. Malott redeemed himself in game three in the round of 32 against Michael Fagan, this time shooting 300 without fouling on his final shot. Perfect for the first time It’s been a week of firsts for Patrick Girard. Last Friday, Girard made the televised finals for the first time in his career. Yesterday, Girard finally broke through with the first 300 game of his PBA career. Girard had come close a couple times this season, shooting 277 in the 2004 PBA Orange County Classic presented by Storm, then shooting 265 in the round of 32 in the 2005 PBA El Paso Classic after making the front seven. Girard finally broke through in game eight of the round of 64 Thursday in Birmingham with his first 300 game. While they weren’t the first 300 games of their careers, Michael Haugen Jr., Richard Wolfe and Jason Queen had their first perfect games of the season this week. Haugen and Wolfe had perfect games in the round of 64 while Queen had one in the round of 32. Mr. Versatility Robert Smith is proving to be more than just a Cheetah pattern (Pattern E) bowler. Smith has won his last two titles on Cheetah, and then made the finals on Cheetah in the 2005 PBA El Paso Classic. To prove his doubters wrong, Smith made the finals last week in the 2005 PBA Dallas Open on Scorpion pattern (Pattern C). This week Smith is again making noise, this time on the Shark pattern (Pattern B). Smith finished 15th in the round of 64 Thursday, then won his first match today against Bob Learn Jr., 4-3. Smith will be looking to make his third show in a row this week. The last bowler to appear in three consecutive shows was Mike Scroggins, who made three consecutive shows last season. Scroggins went 0-3 with a 201.33 average over three straight shows (2003 Greater Kansas City Classic, 2003 Miller High Life Open and 2003 PBA Pepsi Open). Walter Ray Williams Jr. made three straight shows on two occasions during the 2002-03 PBA Tour season Mr. Consistency…still Patrick Allen finished 8th in Thursday’s round of 64, the fourth week in a row he has finished in the top 10 in the round of 64. Since the PBA Tour switched to the new 14-game qualifying format in the second swing of the season, Allen is the only bowler to finish in the top 10 all four weeks. Allen, who last week captured his third career title in the 2005 PBA Dallas Open, swept his round of 32 match for the second consecutive week, as he defeated Jeff Lizzi on Friday, 4-0, averaging 242.50. Just as they did last week in the semifinals of the PBA Dallas Open, Mr. Versatility and Mr. Consistency are facing off in the round of 16. Welcome back Ryan Shafer, who finished 14th in the 2003-04 World Point Rankings, is making his first appearance in the round of 16 since the season’s first event, the Miller High Life Masters presented by the American Bowling Congress. Shafer’s best finish in a standard PBA Tour event this season was 25th, in the season’s first standard event, the 2004 PBA Chicago Open. Shafer started slow last season as well, making match play just once in the first six events, which put him at 83rd in the World Point Rankings, before winning the 2003 PBA Empire State Open. Making his first appearance in the round of 16 this season is D.J. Archer, who defeated Pete Weber, 4-2. Archer has shown signs of life recently, making the round of 32 last week in the 2005 PBA Dallas Open, which, at the time, was just his second top 32 finish of the season. Also returning to the round of 16 after a long absence is Mike DeVaney, who is making his first round of 16 since the 2004 PBA Denver Open, where he finished 7th. Tore Torgersen has also had a long draught, as he has not finished in the top 16 since the 2004 PBA Pepsi Open in November, where he finished 12th. Torgersen finished 12th in three of the first four standard Tour events this season. ’Bama attracts bowlers Two records were set this week in the PBA Tour Qualifying Round for the 2005 PBA Birmingham Open. The 70 total entries were the most this season for the Qualifying Round, as were the 44 amateurs who took part. The previous high for overall numbers was the PBA Uniroyal Tire Classic in Wickliffe, Ohio where there were 69 total entries. The previous high for amateur entries was the PBA Denver Open where there were 29 non-member entries.
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Torgersen Terrific

by PBA Editor January 27, 2005 19:00
Tore Torgersen, Norway, became the second consecutive foreign-born player to make his first career televised finals as he swept Danny Wiseman, four-games-to-none, Friday in the 2005 Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Birmingham Open at Lightning Strikes. Torgersen follows Patrick Girard, Jonquiere, Quebec, who made the championship round last week in the 2005 PBA Dallas Open, his first career televised finals. Torgersen, one of six exempt international bowlers on the PBA Tour, shot 248-248-248-249 in his four wins over Wiseman, Baltimore, who came into this week as the leader in the PBA World Point Rankings. “I’m surprised I stayed so calm. My pulse never really raced,” said Torgersen, who is in his second season on the PBA Tour, but was the 2000 World Amateur Bowler of the Year and a seven-time Norwegian Bowler of the Year. “When I’m sick I seem to bowl better. I’ve been weak so I have saved my energy. I felt harmonic.” Torgersen came back from an 0-3 deficit to win his round of 32 match against Tom Baker, Buffalo, 4-3, and will face Patrick Allen, Tarrytown, N.Y., in the semifinals on Sunday. Allen, who won last week’s 2005 PBA Dallas Open, defeated Chris Johnson, Garland, Texas, 4-2. He will try to become the first bowler since Walter Ray Williams Jr. in 2000 to win back-to-back titles. Also advancing to Sunday’s finals was Chris Barnes, Flower Mound, Texas, who defeated Tommy Jones, Mauldin, S.C., 4-2. Barnes will face Mike DeVaney, Escondido, Calif., who had not made the televised finals in his last 40 events. DeVaney defeated Ryan Shafer, Elmira, N.Y., 4-3. The final four will bowl for the $40,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2005-06 PBA Tour season on Sunday, Jan. 30 with the live ESPN telecast airing at 11:30 a.m. CST.
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Malott Magical

by PBA Editor January 26, 2005 19:00
Wes Malott, Austin, Texas, used a 1,666 seven-game pinfall to take the lead after early qualifying Thursday afternoon in the PBA Birmingham Open at Lightning Strikes. Malott, who is searching for his first career PBA Tour title, held the lead for the first three games but a 300 game by Michael Haugen Jr., Las Vegas, knocked him into 2nd place after four. After dropping as far as 4th, Malott regained the lead with a 224 in the final game. “I matched up right and had the right ball in my hand,” Malott said. “I don’t feel like I threw it great. If this carries on then I have a lot of confidence in advancing in this tournament.” Malott began the day with a perfect game but fouled on his final shot. Although he struck, the foul gave him a zero for the frame and a final score of 290. Haugen finished 2nd with 1,637 while Robert Smith, who has advanced to the championship rounds in the last two PBA Tour events, is 3rd with 1,636. Defending champion Carmen Salvino, who won the 1965 Birmingham Open, is in 64th place with 1,306. Salvino, Schaumburg, Ill. entered the tournament on a Commissioner’s Exemption. Last week’s 2005 PBA Dallas Open winner, Patrick Allen, Tarrytown, N.Y., continues his hot streak, finishing 5th with 1,629. The field will be cut to 32 after this evening’s second seven-game qualifying block. Friday, the top 32 will advance to match play, which is a single-elimination, best-of-seven bracket format, beginning at 10 a.m. Bowlers will be seeded based on point totals from the last 20 tournaments. ESPN will televise the four-man finals live from Lightning Strikes Sunday, Jan. 30, from 11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m. CST.
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Wiseman Storms Lightning Strikes

by PBA Editor January 26, 2005 19:00
Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, averaged 251 over his last four games to finish with a 3,282 14-game pinfall, leading qualifying in Thursday’s round of 64 in the 2005 PBA Birmingham Open at Lightning Strikes. Wiseman shot a 184 in game 10, but shot 268 and 265 in his next two games to move up to 2nd place. His 216 in game 13 gave him the lead and he held on to the lead with a 255 in game 14. “After the 10th game I made a ball change and a timing adjustment and shot 268-265,” said Wiseman, who won the season’s first event, the Miller High Life Masters presented by the American Bowling Congress. “The last two games I changed from throwing a straight ball to more of a hook and that made a big difference.” The top 32, based on total pinfall, advance to Friday’s round of 32, which features single elimination, best-of-seven games match play. The 32 bowlers will be seeded based on point totals from the last 20 PBA Tour events. Tore Torgersen, Norway, one of six international bowlers on Tour, finished 2nd with 3,231. Michael Haugen Jr., Las Vegas, was 3rd with 3,230. Last week’s 2005 PBA Dallas Open winner, Patrick Allen, Tarrytown, N.Y., finished 8th with 3,190. Allen is the only bowler to finish in the top 10 in the round of 64 qualifying session in each of the last four weeks. Friday’s round of 32 gets under way at 10 a.m. CST, followed by the round of 16 at 2:30 p.m. and the round of 8 at 7 p.m. The final four will bowl for the $40,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2005-06 PBA Tour season on Sunday, Jan. 30 with the live ESPN telecast airing at 11:30 a.m. CST.
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Lizzi Dominates Qualifying

by PBA Editor January 25, 2005 19:00
Jeff Lizzi shot 278 in his final game to clinch the top spot with a 2,163 nine-game pinfall in Wednesday’s Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour Qualifying Round for the 2005 PBA Birmingham Open at Lightning Strikes. Lizzi, Sandusky, Ohio, qualified for a PBA Tour event for the first time in five attempts this season. He just missed the cut in the season’s first standard event, the 2004 PBA Chicago Open, finishing 6th. “Honestly, I wasn’t even going to bowl today. I decided to bowl at about nine o’clock last night,” said Lizzi, who finished 57th on the 2003-04 PBA World Point Rankings, just eight spots out of an exemption for the 2004-05 season. “I honestly didn’t feel like my ball reaction was that great today but my ball just struck.” Lizzi dominated the field, finishing 158 pins ahead of the next qualifier, Christopher Collins, Fayetteville, N.C., who finished 2nd with 2,005. Ken Abner, Cincinnati, was 3rd with 1,982, qualifying for the fourth time this season. Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., was the 4th and final non-exempt PBA member to qualify. Daugherty, who finished with 1,979, has now qualified five times this season, the most of any non-exempt PBA member. Brian Kramer, New Albany, Miss., finished 5th with 1,975, and advanced to Thursday’s round of 64 as the highest finishing amateur. Thursday’s round of 64, which features two seven-game qualifying blocks, gets under way at 11 a.m. CST, with the second session beginning at 6 p.m. Friday’s rounds of 32, 16 and 8, featuring single elimination, best-of-seven games match play, begin at 10 a.m. CST. The final four will bowl for the $40,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2005-06 PBA Tour season on Sunday, Jan. 30 with the live ESPN telecast airing at 11:30 a.m. CST.
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