Tommy's Thumb

by PBA Editor November 29, 2006 19:00
A simple thumb grip change and motivation from the previous week’s tournament helped Tommy Jones capture the lead after the first seven games of the Round of 64 in the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe.

Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.), who finished 58th in last week’s Discover® Card Windy City Classic, threw a 279 in his final game for a seven-game total pinfall of 1,731.

“I bowled pretty bad last week, so I had a little motivation coming in this week,” said Jones, who was the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Player of the Year in 2005-06. “I changed up my thumb grip this week. I used one at the Masters and changed to a different one thinking it felt better, but the angle was off, so I switched back today and it worked out for me.”

Jones has had previous success on this week’s Viper oil pattern, winning the 2006 Bayer Atlanta Classic on Feb. 5, 2006.

Jason Couch (Clermont, Fla.), who was jumped by Jones in the final game, finished second with a 1,673, an average score of 239 per game.

Chris Hayden (Orlando, Fla.) ended the first block with games of 232, 234 and 258 to jump up to third with a total pinfall of 1,632.

Three pins back was Bill O’Neill (Levittown, Pa.), who finished with a 277 in his final game for a 1,629.

All 64 bowlers return at 6 p.m. EST for another seven games. The top 32 from today’s rounds advance to Friday’s match play.

The top four bowlers will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 1 p.m. EST at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.

300 games - Danny Wiseman, Wes Malott.
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New Young Gun Emerging

by PBA Editor November 28, 2006 19:00
At just 21 years old, Edward VanDaniker is proving he has a bright future ahead of him on the Denny’s PBA Tour.

VanDaniker fired a 259 in his final game Wednesday to finish as the overall leader in the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round (TQR) for the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship with a 1,680 seven-game pinfall at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe.

The Baltimore native made his second Round of 64 this season after finishing third in the TQR for the Motor City Classic.

“I felt like I bowled pretty well, although there were a couple games in the middle of the block where I didn’t bowl as well,” said VanDaniker (Essex, Md.), who became a PBA member in April 2006. “I’m just trying to get out on Tour full time.”

VanDaniker started strong with games of 247 and 266, before games of 215, 211 and 203 dropped him down the standings. He made a late charge to the with a 279 in game six and a 259 in game seven.

Finishing second with 1,638 was Robert Bailey (Doylestown, Ohio), followed by Bruce Falcon (Bay City, Mich.) with 1,578. Paul Ashby (Madison Township, Ohio) finished fourth with 1,574 and Kenneth Kolberg Jr. (Parma Hts., Ohio) was fifth with 1,541. Falcon and Kolberg advanced for the first time in their careers.

Earning the final spot in the Round of 64 was Jim Tomek Jr. (Camp Hill, Pa.), who fired a 227 his final game to finish with 1,533, just six pins ahead of Troy Wollenbecker (Toledo, Ohio). Tomek advanced for the first time this season after advancing six times last season.
Earning a spot in the Round of 64 as the top amateur was

Mark Siders (Westerville, Ohio), who finished 11th overall with 1,487.

Liz Johnson (Cheektowaga, N.Y.), who made history at Freeway Lanes in November 2004 when she became the first woman to advance from the TQR, finished 18th with 1,474.

This week, six PBA members advanced to the Round of 64 as no Commissioner’s Exemption was awarded and exempt bowler Mark Scroggins withdrew.

Thursday’s Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks, the first of which gets underway at 11 a.m. EST. The top 32 will advance to single elimination match play on Friday.

The final four advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 1 p.m. EST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.

300 games (1) – Chuck Heath.
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PBA Spare Shots

by PBA Editor November 27, 2006 19:00
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This Week
The Denny’s PBA Tour heads to Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe in Wickliffe, Ohio, for the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship, Nov. 29-Dec 3. The Tour returns to the 96-lane center – the largest in the country – after a one-year absence.

Walter Ray Williams Jr. is the defending champion for the event, and returns to the center after winning his 40th title in the 2004 Uniroyal Tire Classic a little over two years ago. The win set off a two-year chase to catch and ultimately pass Earl Anthony’s all-time titles record, which Williams finally did in this season’s first event, the Dydo Japan Cup 2006.

PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer did not award a Commissioner’s Exemption for this week’s event meaning five spots will be available for PBA members through Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round.

Last Week
It was a trying week for Wes Malott, who spent the Thanksgiving holiday mostly worrying about his three-year-old son, Jordan, who spent time in a Vernon Hills-area hospital with an illness. With Jordan healthy and in the stands Sunday, however, Malott won his second career Denny’s PBA Tour title with a 269-239 win over top-seed Chris Barnes in the Discover® Card Windy City Classic, capping off a wild, high-scoring week at Hawthorn Lanes.

The event saw 12 perfect games, the most since there were 20 in the 2005 El Paso Classic. Barnes led the field in the round robin event, and looked poised to end top seeds’ seven-game losing streak, as he came in as the last top seed to win a title. The third-seeded Malott, however, was coming off wins over Parker Bohn III in the quarterfinal and Mike Scroggins in the semifinal of the stepladder finals, averaging 253.50.

In the title match, Malott started with eight consecutive strikes and looked like he might go one pin better than his 299 in the semifinals of last season’s 2005 Mile High Classic, which he went on to win for his first title. Malott left a 10-pin in the 9th frame to end the run, but he had a big enough cushion after Barnes had spares in the 6th and 8th frames, giving the “Young Guns” their first title of the season.

This Week's Schedule
The single elimination match play format returns in this week’s 2006 Ace Hardware Championship at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe. Action begins with the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round and official PBA practice session on Wednesday, Nov. 29. On Thursday, Nov. 30, the 64-bowler field will bowl two seven-game qualifying sessions, after which the top 32 will advance to match play.

Friday, Dec. 1, features the Rounds of 32, 16 and 8 which will whittle the field down to just four bowlers for Sunday’s finals. Saturday, Dec. 2, is a day for the fans with official Ace Hardware Championship Pro-Ams taking place at Noon, 3 and 6 p.m. EST at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe.

The live ESPN televised finals will take place Sunday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. EST. The winner will take home the $25,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2007-08 season.

Did You Know?
Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe was the site of Liz Johnson’s historical high-amateur finish in the 2004 Uniroyal Tire Classic Tour Qualifying Round, where she became the first woman to advance to a Denny’s PBA Tour event.

Johnson’s achievement paved the way for not only her appearance in the 2005 Banquet Open title match later in the season, but for a handful of other women to follow in her footsteps. Since that day in November 2004, five more women – Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Cathy Dorin-Lizzi, Kelly Kulick, Michelle Feldman and Jen Petrick – have also qualified through the TQR.

Opponents Not Nice to Mr. Nice Guy
Jack Jurek was voted the 2005-06 Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner as the “nice guy” of the Tour, but his opponents aren’t being very nice in return. Jurek came into this week carrying the highest opponents’ average on TV all-time among bowlers with at least five TV appearances.

Four-time Steve Nagy Award winner Parker Bohn III didn’t have much sympathy for Jurek Sunday. Bohn defeated Jurek, 268-225, in the first stepladder match of the Discover® Card Windy City Classic finals, bringing Jurek’s opponents’ average to 249.25 in eight career matches on TV. In his first televised match of the season, Jurek fell to Doug Kent, 277-230.

Regardless of his bad luck on TV — Jurek himself is averaging a very respectable 232 in his career but is 2-6 — the 43-year-old is enjoying the finest season of his 21-year career. He currently sits third in the PBA World Point Rankings, and last weekend he made his second TV appearance of the season, the first time in his career he’s made multiple championship rounds in a season. His season earnings of $63,600 through five events are well past his career high set last season of $53,075, putting himself in the early running for another award – the PBA Player of the Year.

Good Karma in the TV Booth
Chris Barnes nearly followed in the footsteps of Norm Duke last week, who went from the ESPN broadcast booth to the winner’s circle.

Duke has been ESPN’s third broadcaster this season, joining play-by-play announcer Dave Ryan and color analyst Randy Pedersen when he does not make the finals. Duke made his first TV appearance in the Lake County Indiana Classic and went on to win his 24th career title.

Filling in for Duke on that telecast was Barnes, who made the show last week and was one win away from winning the title, but he fell to Wes Malott in the Discover® Card Windy City Classic title match, 269-239.

Will A Top Seed Win Again?
The hits just keep on coming for top seeds in stepladder finals. Chris Barnes’ loss Sunday to Wes Malott in the Discover® Card Windy City Classic title match made it eight losses in a row for top seeds.

Barnes came in confident he could break the streak as he was the last top seed to win a title, defeating Patrick Allen, 213-212, in the title match of the 62nd U.S. Open. There are four more chances this season for top seeds to end the streak, with the Columbia 300 Classic in West Babylon, N.Y., the Hawkeye State Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the 64th U.S. Open in North Brunswick, N.J., and the Pepsi Championship in Indianapolis featuring stepladder finals.

If no top seed wins this season, it will mark the second consecutive winless season for No. 1s after 37 seasons went by without top seeds going winless.

Kiss of Death
Since winning their respective 30th and third career titles, left-handers Parker Bohn III and Mike Scroggins have been cursed on TV.

Since winning the 2005 El Paso Classic, Bohn is 2-6 with a 227.75 average on TV, with his opponents averaging 239, including Tony Reyes’ 300 game in the Motor City Classic.

Scroggins has struggled even more, going 1-7 with a 196.13 average, while his opponents have averaged 230.75.

The good news is that both are giving themselves plenty of chances to win. Bohn made four TV appearances last season and has already made two this season to make it 18 consecutive seasons with multiple TV appearances. Scroggins, meanwhile, made a career-high six championship rounds last season and is proving his career year was no fluke as he’s already made two this season.

2007 PBA Tournament of Champions Roster
With Wes Malott winning last week’s 2006 Discover® Card Windy City Classic, Lonnie Waliczek will be on the bubble for the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions for the fourth consecutive week. Waliczek is still on the roster due to his win in the 2003 Odor-Eaters Open.

Denny’s PBA Tour Entrants

1.Wes MalottDiscover® Card Windy City Classic (11/26/06)
2.Norm DukeLake County Indiana Classic (11/19/06)
3.Pete WeberEtonic Championship (11/12/06)
4.Tony ReyesMotor City Classic (11/5/06)
5.Doug KentUSBC Masters (10/29/06)
6.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Dydo Japan Cup 2006 (9/24/2006)
7.Chris BarnesDexter Tournament of Champions (4/9/2006)
8.Patrick AllenGreat Lakes Classic (4/2/2006)
9.Chris CollinsPepsi Championship (3/5/2006)
10.Tommy Jones63rd U.S. Open (2/19/2006)
11.Sean RashWest Virginia Championship (2/12/2006
12.Brian VossJackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic (1/29/2006)
13.Ritchie AllenMotel 6 Phoenix Classic (1/22/2006)
14.Jason CouchDick Weber Open (1/15/2006)
15.Brian HimmlerEarl Anthony Medford Classic (1/8/2006)
16.Mike WolfeEmpire State Classic (12/18/05)
17.Mike ScrogginsUSBC Masters (11/20/05)
18.Mike MachugaGreater Omaha Classic (11/13/05)
19.Steve JarosDexter Tournament of Champions (4/10/05)
20.Mika KoivuniemiBaby Ruth Real Deal Classic (3/6/05)
21.Amleto MonacelliJackson Hewitt Tax Service Open (2/13/05)
22.Parker Bohn IIIEl Paso Classic (1/16/05)
23.Jason HurdPepsi Open (11/28/04)
24.Rick Open (11/21/04)
25.Danny WisemanMiller High Life Masters (10/31/04)
26.Robert SmithOdor-Eaters Open (2/15/04)
27.Patrick Healey Jr.Dexter Tournament of Champions (12/14/03)
28.Ryan ShaferEmpire State Open (11/23/03)
29.Lonnie WaliczekOdor-Eaters Open (3/2/03)

PBA Senior Tour Entrants

30.Tom BakerSenior U.S. Open and USBC Senior Masters

PBA Regional Tour Entrants

31.D.J. ArcherPBA Regional Players Championship
32.TBAPBA Regional Players Invitational

2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour Statistical Leaders

Point Leaders

1.Pete WeberSt. Ann, Mo.71,338
2.Doug KentNewark, N.Y.70,191.3
3.Jack JurekLackawanna, N.Y.67,273
4.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas67,159
5.Parker Bohn IIIJackson, N.J.60,844
6.Mike ScrogginsAmarillo, Texas58,109
7.Tommy JonesSimpsonville, S.C.54,888
8.Chris BarnesFlower Mound, Texas53,436
9.Norm DukeClermont, Fla.52,864
10.Mika KoivuniemiHartland, Mich.50,037

Earnings Leaders

1.Doug KentNewark, N.Y.$120,700
2.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Ocala, Fla.$66,500
3.Pete WeberSt. Ann, Mo.$64,400
4.Jack JurekLackawanna, N.Y.$63,600
5.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas$48,100
6.Tony ReyesSan Bruno, Calif.$43,800
7.Norm DukeClermont, Fla.$36,950
8.Tommy JonesSimpsonville, S.C.$27,900
9.Chris BarnesFlower Mound, Texas$26,700
10.Mika KoivuniemiHartland, Mich.$23,800

Average Leaders

1.Norm DukeClermont, Fla.229.54
2.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas227.63
3.Doug KentNewark, N.Y.226.97
4.Mike ScrogginsAmarillo, Texas226.89
5.Tommy Delutz Jr.Flushing, N.Y.226.78
6.Parker Bohn IIIJackson, N.J.226.50
7.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Ocala, Fla.226.28
8.Pete WeberSt. Ann, Mo.226.15
9.Mika KoivuniemiHartland, Mich.224.99
10.Bill O'NeillLevittown, Pa.224.94

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Ace Hardware Championship Results

by PBA Editor November 30, 1999 19:00
Denny's PBA Tour
2006 Ace Hardware Championship
Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe
Wickliffe, OH
Friday, Dec. 1


#1 Tommy Jones vs. #17 Brian Kretzer
#24 Chris Warren vs. #25 Brian Voss
#5 Tommy Delutz Jr. vs. #21 Walter Ray Williams Jr.
#20 Michael Fagan vs. #4 Jason Couch
#2 Wes Malott vs. #18 Mike Scroggins
#23 Mark Siders vs. #7 Chris Barnes
#27 Mike DeVaney vs. #22 Ryan Shafer
#14 Mike Wolfe vs. #3 Bill O'Neill


#1 Tommy Jones188268227251
#32 Jason Hurd161205208210

#17 Brian Kretzer182194211203209201
#16 Billy Oatman186154198178212181

#9 Danny Wiseman224211192201
#24 Chris Warren236256237279

#25 Brian Voss286249224201279223
#8 Jack Jurek190298211216257165

#5 Tommy Delutz Jr.208267248257195178
#28 Robert Bailey217213185245246169

#21 Walter Ray Williams Jr.224260258279
#12 Chris Hayden215221197204

#13 Brad Angelo231192246203193215
#20 Michael Fagan225214177266237279

#29 Riga Kalfas212194232259257210184
#4 Jason Couch235218227204138256219

#2 Wes Malott258215289222156248
#31 Joe Ciccone146197213255179192

#18 Mike Scroggins225244243210205
#15 Tony Reyes155214206244186

#10 Chris Johnson199204174173245182
#23 Mark Siders190223201205232182

#26 Kelly Kulick193181211246
#7 Chris Barnes214213225268

#6 Edward VanDaniker208166200184201191200
#27 Mike DeVaney190180168214194228258

#22 Ryan Shafer177223243184183275
#11 Tom Baker256164179172254184

#14 Mike Wolfe205194212218217206
#19 Pete Weber232190186259190178

#30 Jeff Carter188204189211200
#3 Bill O'Neill203225229194207
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