Raising the Bar

by PBA Editor March 31, 2007 19:00
When two titles are considered a down year, it can only mean the bar has been raised to an unbelievably high level.

Tommy Jones has raised the bar higher than any bowler in Denny’s PBA Tour history, capturing his 10th career title and second Major Sunday with a 257-222 win over Tony Reyes to win the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Jones won his 10 titles in two years, six months and seven days, breaking the PBA record for shortest time between first and 10 titles by four days. PBA legend Dick Weber held the record for 45 years until Jones salvaged what was considered a down year for the 28-year-old.

Jones won his first career title in the 2004 Japan Cup and went on to win four titles in both 2004-05 and 2005-06, including his first Major in last season’s 63rd U.S. Open. He had won just one title this season coming into this week, but he dominated both his opponents on Sunday.

“It feels great. I haven’t been bowling very well this season, but I worked with Del Ballard recently and I have to thank him for getting me back here,” said Jones, the 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year, of the 12-time titlist. “Next year I’m going to be back and ready to go again. I’m ready to win another Player of the Year.”

Though he hasn’t been among the many bowlers in a crowded PBA Player of the Year race, Jones did take another step toward history, capturing his second of the PBA’s Triple Crown events. He only needs a World Championship title to become the fifth bowler in history to win the Triple Crown.

The title match was never in doubt as Jones started with six consecutive strikes while Reyes, making his Tournament of Champions debut, struggled with just one strike in the first four frames including an open in the 4th frame.

Jones advanced to the title match with a 279-238 win over the defending champion Chris Barnes. On the 40th anniversary of the Tour’s first-ever televised 300 game in the 1967 Tournament of Champions, Jones looked like he might repeat the feat, starting with the first seven strikes. A 10-pin in the 8th frame foiled the effort, but he recovered with four consecutive strikes to close out the match.

Reyes advanced to the title match with a 215-206 win over Norm Duke.

Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) earned $60,000 for the win. Reyes (San Bruno, Calif.) took home $20,000 for second, while Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) and Duke (Clermont, Fla.) earned $10,000 each for third and fourth, respectively.

The Tournament of Champions wraps up the 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour season. Next week, six bowlers will compete in a special winner-take-all event, the 2007 Motel 6 Roll to Riches at Sequoia Pro Bowl in Columbus, Ohio. The Major winners from this season (Doug Kent, Jones and Pete Weber), PBA World Point Rankings leader (Wes Malott) and two bowlers from an on-line fan vote (Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr.) will compete for the $150,000 top prize.

Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 PBA Tournament of Champions
Mohegan Sun Arena
Uncasville, Conn.
Sunday, April 1

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND


Pos.Name, hometownTotal/GamesMoney
1.Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.536 (2 games)$60,000
2.Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif.437 (2 games)$20,000
3.Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas238 (1 game)$10,000
4.Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla.206 (1 game)$10,000



SCORES – In the first match, Reyes def. Duke, 215-206; in the second match, Jones def. Barnes, 279-238; and in the final, Jones def. Reyes, 257-222.




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Life on Tour

by PBA Editor March 30, 2007 19:00
By Chris Barnes

What a roller coaster week! I guess we could start with the show in Grand Rapids, my chance to really pull into the POY race with a win in the World Championship. Some good breaks, some bad ones, a bad choice and a 4-pin later, the best bowler that week won when Doug Kent doubled in the 9th and 10th to shut me out. I catch a quick flight home to spend a couple of nights in my own bed and the first ones in our house since we moved.

Monday is a little disappointing as it rains so I am not able to spend much time outside with my kids. The upside is that we get to go bowling and a little practice is in order for me as well with our final major - the Tournament of Champions - waiting. We get our share in and then go to the airport and pick up my cousin, Austin, who is flying in for a day. He and a business partner, Dave, come in and we keep the boys up way too late and have a ball.

Tuesday the rain stops and the swinging, swearing, and chasing starts with a round of golf. I am forced to keep the swearing to myself though as Austin and Dave are both ministers. Fortunately 3-putts were kept to a minimum....

Wednesday - up WAY too early to catch a 6:55 a.m. flight to Hartford to get there in time for the Pro-Am. I pick up Mika Koivuniemi and we relax for a while before our 7:00 p.m. Pro-Am. The Pro-Am is great. A lot of entries and I get a chance to bowl with a lot of kids. They are the best in the Pro-Ams. Their energy is refreshing and helps us get recharged for the upcoming week.

Thursday - Practice session and WOW... you forget how slick 50 feet of oil can be! It’s time to gear the speed down a bunch and pull out the scotch brite and abralon pads. Two hours later and a couple of worn out 360 & 500 pads, the arsenal is pretty well set for the week. We get to bowl in a competition with the 14 Pro-Am winners from the season and have a lot of fun on the tournament pattern. That night we have a draw party to see our brackets for the tournament. A little trash talking and a couple of improbable superpower match-ups cause the most reaction with Parker bowling Couch and Walter Ray Williams and Petey going at it in the first round.

Friday - I pulled Rick Lawrence in the first round and he, as well as the other lefties, come out firing. Before I know what hit me Rick has me down 3-0 and is averaging almost 250. Fortunately for me, his ball starts to hook too early and he loses some reaction and my barrage of 220 games is enough to win one. The hook starts to make my shot a little better and I improve a little each game to 230, 240, and finally 250 to close out the match and a desperate comeback that leaves my Player of the Year chances intact. It is ugly for a couple of other hopefuls, as Walter Ray continued his dominance of PDW and hurt his chances while Big Wes is swept by Patrick Allen. I think Wes has had the best and most consistent season, but this is not the statement he wanted to go out on.

Norm Duke and Doug Kent both win and the chase continues... I bowl Patrick Healey Jr. in the next round. We are former college teammates, Team USA teammates, as well as World Team Challenge and ABC teammates. That being said, I guess it is safe to say we are not the best of friends these days. He is Mika's ex roommate and I guess that doesn't help much either. Patrick and I both start out well but I miss a spare to give him a chance to shut me out. He ring 10's a couple of times and I strike out to win game one. In game two he starts well but after a 10-pin, he moves left of 20 and leaves me alone around 16 and I am able to keep my reaction longer than I thought. He rebounds to win game three but moves even further left and I am able to get back on track in game four. Game five is ugly and he splits twice to start and I catch a couple of breaks to go up 30 pins and he is steaming. He goes through the motions but shoots 149 and gives me the last game. Not sure if he will come back out on tour next year or not. He bowled his way on Tour last week in Grand Rapids, but also skipped the week before knowing he was on the bubble. I have no idea......

Dougie Fresh goes down in this round in a seven-gamer to Tommy Jones. He has put on a nice run to finish off the year and has to be one of candidates for POY. Norm looked to be in trouble down 2-0 to Amleto but Norm is Norm in grinding out the next four games in a low-scoring match.

Saturday we move to the Mohegan Sun to a magnificent arena south of Hartford. We are changing from an AMF surface to Brunswick and from 20 foot ceilings to 60 foot. We have an early practice and there is much more hook at one, two and three than in Hartford but it doesn't really make it any easier as there still is 40 feet of oil after that. I bowl my friend and one time roommate Mike Wolfe. Mike has had one of the best looks in the tournament in Hartford, but the extra hook seems to have affected his ball reaction more than anyone else's. I would have considered myself the underdog in this match based on ball reaction up to this point, but I move right to the same area as him and his ball struggled to catch the extra hit and I was able to trip the 4-pins and stay out of trouble.

I felt bad for Mike as he has bowled really well this year and should have probably made three or four shows, but has caught the hottest guy in the tournament (Rash in Baltimore, Couch in Reno, Walter Ray in Parkersburg) during the matches. I have no doubt he will rebound and have his best year in the upcoming season. My POY hopes are still alive and Duke rebounds again from an early deficit to beat Kong Cable (Robert Smith) 4-2. With Tommy stepping it up and Reyes making his third straight show and living up to all the promise he has shown out here, tomorrow will be a heck of a show.

Sunday - up early to iron the show shirt, check out, get the car and drive it around to the loading docks so after the show I can load up and get on the road back to the airport. My flight is at 5:30 and the show will end at 2:30. It’s about 45 minutes to the airport so if I win, this will give me enough time to do media, autographs and still catch my flight. No surprises on the show. They are similar to the night before and there is less tension than usual. Odd considering all that is on the line: POY, Roll to Riches, and a Major title. But then Norm hasn't lost on TV in a year, Reyes and I are back on from the week before which always raises your comfort level, and Tommy Horseshoe knows nothing bad will ever happen to him on TV, why should he be uptight??! There is the usual banter in the locker room and we all have to listen to Tommy whine about how lucky he will have to get to break
175 today. Poor guy.....

The lanes start out the same, but with four guys practicing they break down very quick and the line right of second arrow is useless by the time the show starts. This forces Duke to move in and he struggles early, rallies late, but is derailed by a 10-pin in the 10th and Reyes wins. We come on and I am surprised by how much more they are hooking since practice. I am forced deeper and I start to lose carry. With two minutes before we are out of commercial I grab a Big Shot out of my bag that is stronger than what I have been using and it knocks the 10-pin out the last two shots before we start. The key now is to commit to it and I do a good job starting with a four-bagger.

"Poor" Tommy also starts with four strikes but keeps going after I 4-pin. I strike again and move a half off the four and get it a little further right and flat 10. Tommy gets seven before a ring-10 and I double making him double to shut me out. He finally gets his ball out of the "splash zone" that the rest of us mortals flat-10 from and throws a couple flush to seal the deal. The championship match is Groundhog Day as Tommy starts out stringing them again and with an early Reyes open, Tommy Gun has title number 10 in the shortest span in history. (Pssst - Tommy, Walter wants his horseshoe back. What??? It won't come out???....... )

It’s time to head back to Hartford and get on a plane. No POY for me this year, but I can look forward to spending time watching my boys’ baseball games and some time at home. I love the competition but it will great to have a break. My wife will be happy too as she has moved, basically been the general contractor on our remodel, and has done the taxes in the last few weeks. I am not sure how I fooled her, but I got a great one with her. I have about the best supportive situation a guy could have being on tour.

She understands the whole thing and takes care of a lot to enable me to do my best out here. Now it will be my turn to pitch in as the Team USA schedule kicks in a bit.

Unfortunately I was not voted back into the Roll to Riches. I am very disappointed to say the least. After winning my way in the last two years and then having so much (luck) success in it, I was hoping to get a chance to 3-peat ala "tater" (Couch.... potato....get it??). But it will be a great event as there are six great players there and nobody is bigger than the game (psssst....Tommy..... I didn't mean you!!!)

Have a great summer and don't forget to look for us in a special summer
event!!!! :)

See you on the lanes!

Chris Barnes
Columbia 300




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One Step Closer

by PBA Editor March 30, 2007 19:00
Heading into the final event of the 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour season, the PBA Player of the Year race was still up in the air.

After Saturday’s Round of 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena, two front runners took a big step forward.

Norm Duke, who has a Tour-leading three titles this season, put his foot down first, knocking off Robert Smith (Captain Cook, Hawaii), four-games-to-two. Chris Barnes, looking to defend his 2006 Tournament of Champions crown, responded in the second set of matches with a 4-1 win over Mike Wolfe (New Albany, Ind.).

Early on it looked like Duke would falter in his quest to appear in his fourth TV appearance of the season, falling in a quick 2-0 hole as Smith posted a score of 227 in the first two games compared to the 26-time titlist’s 202 and 212, respectively.

Seeing his chances for a third career PBA Major title and a second PBA Tournament of Champions title slipping away, the 25-year Tour veteran awoke and responded with a vengeance, taking the next four games to end the match.

“This one means a lot to me because of the Player of the Year race,” said Duke (Clermont, Fla.). “I’m sure Chris Barnes feels the same elation because he is in the race as well. We are the last two remaining bowlers in this tournament who are in major contention in the Player of the Year race, so it means that much more.”

Duke planted the seed for his comeback with a 247-219 win in game three before making it two straight with a 234-222 win in game four. It was the closest margin that Smith would build as Duke took the next two games, 279-239 and 258-206, respectively.

Duke will look to put himself one step closer to the award when he takes on Tony Reyes in the semifinals in Sunday’s ESPN televised finals.

Reyes advanced to his third consecutive TV appearance and fourth on the season by dispatching of all-time Denny’s PBA Tour title leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. (Ocala, Fla.), 4-1. Reyes (San Bruno, Calif.) came out slow with three open frames in the first game giving Williams a 289-179 win.

It was all Reyes from that point on as the right-hander, who is in the midst of a career-year, took the next four matches, striking in 21 of 23 frames between games three and four, earning 289-269 and 299-191 wins, respectively. Reyes closed out the match with 268-257 win in game five.

While it looked like Barnes would advance with a sweep, Wolfe forced the match to five games after dropping the first three. In a match in which scoring seemed to rise with each game, Barnes opened with wins of 220-193, 234-204 and 279-226.

In the seventh frame of the first match, Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) jumped on an early wave of momentum that he rode throughout the match. Up by just seven pins, Barnes took advantage of Wolfe’s open frame by firing the fourth in a string of six strikes that came after two open frames of his own.

Wolfe, on the edge of being swept, posted his highest score of the match in a 279-235 game four win, stringing together nine strikes. Barnes would quickly diminish all hope that Wolfe had by striking in 10 of 12 frames, including the final seven frames, in a 268-201 win in game five.

Barnes will not have an easy defense of the Tournament of Champions title as he takes on 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.).

Jones knew his match against PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III (Jackson, N.J.) wouldn’t be easy. After edging Bohn in the first game, 221-218, Jones widened his winning margin with a 226-204 in his second win of the match.

Bohn, who has 30 career Denny’s PBA Tour titles, flexed his muscles in the third game of the match with a 254-225 win.

Jones seeing his chance to win his second career Major title in sight closed the door with two consecutive 258’s in games four and five while Bohn was only able to counter with games of 245 and 217, respectively.

The four bowlers advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 1 p.m. ET at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The winner will take home $60,000 and a two-season exemption through the 2008-09 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
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Barnes Gets By

by PBA Editor March 29, 2007 19:00
A week after coming up just short of one of his biggest career goals, Chris Barnes is back on the horse.

The defending champion won both his matches Friday to advance to the Round of 8 in the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions, the final event and fourth Major of the 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour season.

Barnes overcame a three-games-to-none deficit to defeat Rick Lawrence, 4-3, in the Round of 32 Friday morning, then defeated former Tournament of Champions winner Patrick Healey Jr., 4-1, in the Round of 16 at Bradley Bowl.

Last week, Barnes finished second to Doug Kent in the Denny’s World Championship in his quest to become the fifth bowler to win the PBA’s Triple Crown: a win in the U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions and Denny’s World Championship. He won the second of three legs in last year’s Tournament of Champions.

Also on Barnes’ mind is the 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year race, which is up for grabs in the season’s final event. He owns one title this season, the 2007 GEICO Classic, and finished third in the PBA World Point Rankings.

On Friday, Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) dug himself a hole against Lawrence as the Celina, Texas, native averaged 245.33 over the first three games. Barnes stormed back, however, salvaging the match with a 228-190 win in game four. He improved his score over the final three games to overcome Lawrence, wrapping up the match with a 256-173 win in game seven.

“This is always a special tournament since the most recent winners on Tour are here and the hottest players in the world are competing so there are no easy draws in this one,” said Barnes. “Rick took me to task and I survived and Patrick is a past champion so he’s always tough. Everything changes tomorrow though. You have to be able to make adjustments.”

Barnes will take on Mike Wolfe (New Albany, Ind.) in Saturday’s Round of 8 which moves to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Wolfe posted the Round of 16’s only sweep, knocking off Patrick Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) who had swept Wes Malott, 4-0, in the Round of 32. Malott is also in the running for PBA Player of the Year with one title and the No. 1 spot in the PBA World Point Rankings.

Also advancing was PBA Hall of Famer and all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., who defeated Ritchie Allen (Columbia, S.C.), 4-1. Williams is looking to become the second bowler in PBA history (Mike Aulby) to complete the “Super Slam,” a win in all five of the Denny’s PBA Tour Majors, including the now-defunct Touring Players Championship.

Saturday’s Round of 8 features two sessions with the first two matches getting underway at 4 p.m. ET. The second pair of matches take place at 7 p.m.

The final four advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 1 p.m. ET at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The winner will take home $60,000 and a two-season exemption through the 2008-09 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
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WRW vs. PDW

by PBA Editor March 28, 2007 19:00
Thursday evening, the Bradley Teletheater Turf Club in Windsor Locks, Conn., provided the backdrop for the Draw Party for the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions.

The drawing followed this process: PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer picked a player at random from an envelope. That player then drew his opponent’s name from a envelope. The opponent then selected two Denny’s PBA Tour patches which were stuck together and held a lane assignment between the patches, which determined their starting pair for the first round of match play.

Below are the match-ups.

Steve Jaros vs. Tony Reyes

Steve Jaros
How He Got Here:
Won the 2005 Dexter Tournament of Champions.
Season Summary: Finished 23rd in the PBA World Point Rankings, two spots better than his 2005-06 ranking… Ranked 25th with $47,980 in season earnings… Cashed in 18 of 20 events while making match play 12 times… His 220.52 average was his highest since the 1999 season… Made two championship round appearances, both in the first half of the season… Finished ninth in the season-opening Japan Cup… Finished third in the 2006 Etonic Championship, the season’s fourth event… Posted three top-10 finishes in the second half, finishing ninth in the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic, and had back-to-back sixth-place finishes in the 2007 Sun City Classic and 2007 GEICO Classic.

Tony Reyes
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Motor City Classic.
Season Summary: Became just the 17th bowler to roll a 300 on TV in the 2006 Motor City Classic…Knocked off PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III, 300-215, in the event’s semifinals before dispatching of Wes Malott in the finals, 255-238…Became just the third bowler in PBA history to throw a perfect game en route to his first career title…Made two additional TV appearances, back-to-back, finishing fourth in both the 2007 Pepsi Championship and the 2007 Denny’s World Championship…Average of 220.20, a career high, ranked 17th on Tour…Finished 14th in the PBA World Point Rankings…Total earnings of $82,900 rank 12th on Tour and marks the second-highest single-season total in his career…Made 10 match play appearances.

Mika Koivuniemi vs. Robert Smith

Mika Koivuniemi
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 Sun City Classic
Season Summary: Made two ESPN finals and won his seventh career title in the 2007 Sun City Classic…Also finished second in the 2006 Lake County Indiana Classic…Made 11 match play appearances…Went 11-3 in match play with a 38-24 match game record…Earnings of $74,850 ranks 14th on the Denny’s PBA Tour.

Robert Smith
How He Got Here:
Won the 2004 Odor-Eaters Open
Season Summary: Missed the majority of the season with a back injury… Finished fourth in the season-opening Dydo Japan Cup 2006, falling to Ryan Shafer in the quarterfinal match of the stepladder finals… Finished 15th in the first event on U.S. soil, the 2006 Motor City Classic before aggravating his injury… Finished 57th in the next week’s Etonic Championship, then filed for injury deferment… Received an injury deferment of his exemption until the 2007-08 season.

Chris Barnes vs. Rick Lawrence

Chris Barnes
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 GEICO Classic
Season Summary: Won the 2007 GEICO Classic for his eighth career Denny’s PBA Tour title and his sixth straight year with a title…Advanced to five ESPN finals, marking the seventh year in the last eight he has appeared on TV at least five times…Finished second in three events: 2006 Discover® Card Windy City Classic, 2007 Sun City Classic and 2007 Denny’s World Championship…Tied with Parker Bohn III for fifth on Tour with a 224.80 average…Tied for the Tour lead with 20 match play appearances…Earnings of $117,407 rank fourth on Tour…Eclipsed the $100,000 mark for the eighth consecutive year…Went 18-8 in match play with a 70-46 match game record.

Rick Lawrence
How He Got Here:
Won the 2004 BowlersParadise.com Classic
Season Summary: Compete in four events, cashing once… Finished 59th in the 2007 Dick Weber Open, averaging 208.07… Tied for 91st overall in the 2007 GEICO Classic, finishing 36th in the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round… Finished 57th in the 64th U.S. Open, his best finish of the season; averaged 203.15 on the difficult U.S. Open oil pattern, taking home $1,175 for making the cashers qualifying round… Finished tied for 85th in the 2007 Denny’s World Championship.

Wes Malott vs. Patrick Allen

Wes Malott
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Discover® Card Windy City Classic
Season Summary: Won the 2006 Discover® Card Windy City Classic…Made a career-high six TV finals appearances after appearing in four in 2005-06…Also finished second three times: 2006 Motor City Classic, 2006 Ace Hardware Championship and the 64th U.S. Open…Picked up a third-place finish in the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic…Finished in the top 10 of a tournament eight times…Finished first in the 2006-07 PBA World Point Rankings…Set a career-high in earnings with $146,425, ranking No. 3 on Tour…Second on Tour with a 226.76 average…Made match play 16 times…Went 10-9 in match play with a 53-46 match game record.

Patrick Allen
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 Go RVing Classic
Season Summary: Returned to form in the second half of the season, winning the first event of the second half, the 2007 H&R Block Classic…Finished in the top five in four of the next six events, including a second title in the 2007 Go RVing Classic…Finished second to Jason Couch in the 2007 Dick Weber Open…Made four TV finals, marking the fourth consecutive season that Allen has made at least four TV appearances…Ranked ninth on Tour with a 222.73 average…Eclipsed six digits in earnings for a fourth-straight season with $104,660…Appeared in match play 12 times, accumulating a record of 12-6 with a Tour-leading 52-30 match game record.

Ryan Shafer vs. Mike Scroggins

Ryan Shafer
How He Got Here:
Won the 2003 Empire State Open
Season Summary: Once again proved to be one of the most consistent bowlers on Tour, finishing ninth in the PBA World Point Rankings and making four TV appearances… His season earnings of $90,880 ranked 10th on Tour… One of four bowlers to cash in all 20 events… Also tied for the Tour lead with 16 match play appearances… Ranked 10th on Tour with a 222.47 average… Became the 18th bowler in Tour history to fire a televised 300 game, defeating Jeff Carter, 300-228, in the semifinal of the 2007 Pepsi Championship… Went on to drop the title match to Norm Duke, 235-219, the second of his two losses to Duke in a title in this season… Also fell to Duke in the Columbia 300 Classic title match… Finished third in the Dydo Japan Cup 2006, falling to eventual champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the semifinal… Finished fourth in the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship.

Mike Scroggins
How He Got Here:
Won the 2005 USBC Masters
Season Summary: Followed up a career-year with another solid season, finishing 13th in the PBA World Point Rankings… Made three TV appearances, finishing fifth in the Motor City Classic and third in both the Discover® Card Windy City Classic and Motel 6 Classic… Two of his three TV appearances (Taylor, Mich., Vernon Hills, Ill.) came in the round robin format… His season earnings of $57,160 ranked 17th on Tour and marked the fourth-highest total of his career… One of four bowlers on Tour to cash in all 20 events… Also tied for the Tour lead with 16 match play appearances in 20 events… His 224.57 average ranked seventh on Tour and marked the best single-season average of his career… Finished 25th in his USBC Masters title defense, his best finish in a Major this season.

Jason Couch vs. Parker Bohn III

Jason Couch
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 Motel 6 Classic
Season Summary: Won two titles for the second consecutive year, putting his career titles at 15…Two titles came back-to-back, winning the 2007 Dick Weber Open before following with the 2007 Motel 6 Classic title one week later…Made two additional TV appearances, finishing third in the 2007 H&R Block Classic and the 2007 Go RVing Classic…All four TV appearances came in the second half of the season…Top finish of the first half was sixth in the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship…Finished in the top 10 seven times…Ranked eighth on Tour in earnings with $98,800…Finished fifth in the PBA World Point Rankings…His 225.36 average stands fourth on Tour…Made 13 match play appearances, compiling a record of 13-7 with a 52-40 match game record.

Parker Bohn III
How He Got Here:
Won the 2005 El Paso Classic.
Season Summary: Had another strong season despite not winning a title for the second consecutive season… Finished seventh in the PBA World Point Rankings, making five TV appearances, which tied for the second-most on Tour… His five championship rounds were his most since the 2001-02 season when he made nine… His $70,960 in season earning ranked 15th on Tour… Cashed in 19 of 20 events and made match play 11 times… His 224.80 average ranked tied for fifth… Of his five championship round appearances, four came in the round robin format… Finished third in the 2006 Motor City Classic, falling victim to Tony Reyes’ 300 game in the semifinals… Finished fourth in the 2006 Discover® Card Windy City Classic, this time falling to eventual champion Wes Malott, 268-246… Finished second to fellow Brunswick staffer Sean Rash in the title match of the 2006 Beltway Classic… Finished fifth in the 2007 Dick Weber, his second consecutive TV appearance in that event… Finished second to Patrick Allen in the 2007 Go RVing Classic… Led the Tour in match play strike percentage (single elimination only) with 69.52 and match play average (239.25).

D.J. Archer vs. Sean Rash

D.J. Archer
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Regional Players Championship
Season Summary: Competed in 15 events, finishing 73rd in the PBA World Point Rankings… Finished 15th among non-exempt bowlers in points… Posted a 210.77 average… Cashed in eight events, making match play once… Earned $10,350 in 15 events… Did not bowl in the first four events of the season… Qualified through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round three times… Finished fourth the TQR for the 2006 Beltway Classic where he made his lone match play appearance; finished 30th in the Round of 64 before falling to Chris Barnes, 4-2, in the Round of 32… Finished seventh in the TQR for the 2007 Sun City Classic to qualify for the Round of 64 where he finished 53rd overall… Qualified the next week as well, finishing fifth in the GEICO Classic TQR but finished 49th.

Sean Rash
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic
Season Summary: In his first year as an exempt bowlers, won two titles, the 2006 Beltway Classic and the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic…Finished 10th in the 2007 Denny’s World Championship and 13th in the 64th U.S. Open…Ranked 15th on Tour with 221.39 average…Also ranked 15th in the PBA World Point Rankings…Earnings of $88,500 were a career high and ranked 11th on Tour…Made match play in 11 events, going 13-4 with a match game record of 49-30.

Brian Himmler vs. Doug Kent

Brian Himmler
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Earl Anthony Medford Classic.
Season Summary: Finished 35th in the PBA World Point Rankings… Made one TV appearance, finishing second in the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic; was attempting to successfully defend a title for the second time in his career, but fell to Sean Rash in the title match… Made match play in seven of 19 events… Cashed in all 19 events he bowled in… His 215.95 average was his second-highest in his last eight seasons... Posted three top-10 finishes, also finishing ninth in both the 2006 Columbia 300 Classic and the 2007 Pepsi Championship… Went into the Pepsi Championship 40th in the PBA World Point Rankings, but his ninth-place finish moved him up to 31st to clinch an exemption for 2007-08.

Doug Kent
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 Denny’s World Championship
Season Summary: Became the sixth bowler in PBA history to win two Majors in one season, winning the 2006 USBC Masters and the 2007 Denny’s World Championship…Season earnings stand at a Tour-leading $197,530, a career high…Also set a career high for titles in a season with his two Major titles…Made a third TV appearance, the 2006 Etonic Championship, where he finished second to Pete Weber…His 222.18 average ranks 17th on Tour…Made match play in 13 of 19 events he appeared in…Finished fourth in the 2006-07 PBA World Point Rankings…Went 7-7 in single-elimination match play and had a 34-33 match game record.

Norm Duke vs. Danny Wiseman

Norm Duke
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 Pepsi Championship
Season Summary: Won three Denny’s PBA Tour titles despite missing close to half the season with a toe injury…Appeared in three TV finals, winning the title in each (7-0 record)…Also finished fifth in the 64th U.S. Open…Made match play in 10 events…His 228.60 average is tops on Tour…Finished eighth in the 2006-07 PBA World Point Rankings…Ranks fifth on Tour in season earnings with $117,000…Went 9-3 in match play with a 38-16 match game record including a perfect 14-0 in the 2006 Lake County Indiana Classic, a Tour record.

Danny Wiseman
How He Got Here:
Won the 2004 Masters
Season Summary: Finished 25th in the PBA World Point Rankings, bouncing back from an injury-riddled 2005-06 season to make two championship round appearances… Made a TV appearance in his hometown of Baltimore, finishing fourth in the 2006 Beltway Classic; fell to eventual champion Sean Rash in the semifinals… His $51,650 in season earnings ranked 19th… Cashed in all 18 events he participated in, making match play nine times… His 221.75 average ranked 13th on Tour… Finished 10th in the 2006 Columbia 300 Classic to finish the first half of the season 23rd in points… Missed match play in four of the first six events in the second half to drop to 31st in points… Finished eighth in the 2007 Go RVing Classic, then two weeks later missed the 64th U.S. Open with a foot infection… Saved his 2006-07 season by finishing 20th in the Pepsi Championship to clinch an exemption, then finished third in the 2007 Denny’s World Championship… It marked his first appearance in a Major final since winning the 2004 Masters.

Jason Hurd vs. Mike Wolfe

Jason Hurd
How He Got Here:
Won the 2004 Pepsi Open
Season Summary: Finished 66th in the PBA World Point Rankings, missing five events late in the season due to an injury… Cashed in 12 of his 14 events, making match play four times… Posted a 208.80 average in 14 events… Best finish of the season came in the 2007 Dick Weber Open where he finished 24th.

Mike Wolfe
How He Got Here:
Won the 2005 Empire State Classic
Season Summary: Finished 28th in the PBA World Point Rankings, one spot lower than his 2005-06 finish… Did not make a TV appearance for the first time since 2003-04… Best finish came in the 2007 Bayer Classic in Parkersburg, W.Va., where he finished fifth… Started the season strong with a seventh-place finish in the 2006 USBC Masters… Made match play in 12 of 19 events, including eight of the first nine events… Ranked 21st on Tour with a 219.30 average… Cashed in 18 of 19 events.

Pete Weber vs. Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Pete Weber
How He Got Here:
Won the 64th U.S. Open
Season Summary: Had one of his better years of his career, appearing in four TV finals and winning two titles, the 2006 Etonic Championship and the 64th U.S. Open…Was runner-up behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the season-opening Dydo Japan Cup 2006 and finished fourth in the 2007 H&R Block Classic…Also finished in the top 10 in four other tournaments, including sixth in the 2006 USBC Masters…Made match play in 14 of 18 events…Average of 222.46 ranked 11th on Tour…Season earnings stand at $193,430, good for second on Tour, and also ranks as his second-highest single-season earnings behind his 2003-04 season ($206,217))…Finished third on the PBA World Point Rankings list…Went 12-6 in match play with a 50-39 match game record.

Walter Ray Williams Jr.
How He Got Here:
Won the Dydo Japan Cup 2006
Season Summary: Became the Denny’s PBA Tour all-time career titles leader, surpassing the late Earl Anthony, with his 42nd title in the Dydo Japan Cup 2006…Knocked off Tour rival Pete Weber, 289-236, in the finals of the season-opening event…Appeared in five ESPN finals and posted six top-10 finishes…Finished second in the 2007 H&R Block Classic and third in both the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship and 2007 Dick Weber Open…Ranks sixth on the season money list with $115,370…Average of 225.62 is third on Tour…Finished 12th in the PBA World Point Rankings…Made 13 match play appearances…Went 12-7 in match play with a 52-38 match game record.

Patrick Healey Jr. vs. Tom Baker

Patrick Healey Jr.
How He Got Here:
Won the 2003 Dexter Tournament of Champions
Season Summary: Currently sits as the final bowler to earn an exemption for the 2007-08 season via the PBA World Point Rankings as he finished 39th following last week’s Denny’s World Championship, but if a non-exempt bowler win this week’s Tournament of Champions, Healey would get bumped… After Mike Machuga and Dino Castillo were eliminated following World Championship qualifying, Healey needed to finish at least 17th to go past Castillo and earn the 39th spot… Healey won his Round of 32 match against Tom Baker, 4-2, but lost in the Round of 16, 4-3, to Chris Johnson after leading 3-0… Finished exactly 17th to move past Castillo… Could have been passed by Brian Voss who needed to finish 14th to pass him, but he finished 16th… Made two championship round appearances, but also missed four events including the 2006 USBC Masters and the 2007 Pepsi Championship, the event leading into the World Championship… Finished sixth in the Dydo Japan Cup… Finished the first half with back-to-back top-eight finishes, taking eighth in the Beltway Classic and sixth in the Columbia 300 Classic, missing a TV appearance by one spot… Finished fourth in the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic… Cashed in all 16 events he bowled in, making match play nine times.

Tom Baker
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 PBA Senior U.S. Open and USBC Senior Masters
Season Summary: Finished 36th in the PBA World Point Rankings… Cashed in all 19 events he bowled in, making match play 12 times… The Buffalo native’s best finish in the first half came in the 2006 Etonic Championship in Cheektowaga, N.Y., where he finished 18th… Finished 23rd in the USBC Masters, his best finish in a Major… Made match play in six of eight first-half events… Missed match play in four of the first five events in the second half, but came on strong late with five match play appearances in the last six… Finished 11th in the 2007 GEICO Classic, his best finish of the season.

Amleto Monacelli vs. Mike Machuga

Amleto Monacelli
How He Got Here:
Won the 2005 Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Open
Season Summary: Bowled in just eight events, missing 10 consecutive events in one stretch… Stared the season strong with a 34th-place finish in the USBC Masters and 14th-place finish in the Motor City Classic… Returned from his 10-event hiatus by finishing 30th in the 64th U.S. Open and 10th in the Pepsi Championship, his best finish of the season… Finished 63rd in the PBA World Point Rankings… Cashed in seven of eight events and made match play four times.

Mike Machuga
How He Got Here:
Won the 2005 Greater Omaha Classic.
Season Summary: Finished 37th in the PBA World Point Rankings, not clinching an exemption until last week’s 2007 Denny’s World Championship… Made two championship round appearances, finishing second to Mike Mineman in the 2007 Bayer Classic… Started the season strong with a fifth-place finish in the Dydo Japan Cup 2006… Was just 57th in the PBA World Point Rankings after the 2007 H&R Block Classic, but made match play in six of the last 10 events to move into the cut… Finished 20th in season earnings with $51,362… Made match play in nine of 19 events.

Ritchie Allen vs. Mike Mineman

Ritchie Allen
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Motel 6 Phoenix Classic
Season Summary: Deferred his 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour exemption to 2007-08 after suffering an injury prior to the season…Competed in two Majors on the season, the 64th U.S. Open and 2007 Denny’s World Championship, making match play in both…Finished 12th in the 64th U.S. Open after finishing qualifying in fourth…Finished 23rd in the 2007 Denny’s World Championship…Knocked of Walter Ray Williams Jr., 4-3, in the Round of 32 in the 2007 Denny’s World Championship.

Mike Mineman
How He Got Here:
Won the 2007 Bayer Classic
Season Summary: Became just the second bowler in PBA history to advance from the Tour Qualifying Round to win a title, the 2007 Bayer Classic, following in Sean Rash’s footsteps at the exact same bowling center, Emerson Lanes in Parkersburg, W.Va… Defeated Mike Machuga, 223-202, in the title match of the Bayer Classic, after defeating Dale Traber in the semifinals, 217-178…Advanced out of the Tour Qualifying Round two times on the season and has cashed eight times…Season earnings stand at $30,290…Owns three career PBA Regional Titles.

Brian Voss vs. Chris Collins

Brian Voss
How He Got Here:
2006 Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic
Season Summary: Made match play in 10 events this season, with a season-high finish of ninth in the 64th U.S. Open…Narrowly missed securing an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour via the PBA World Point Rankings, missing the cut line by just 1,028 points…Ranks 12th on Tour in spare percentage with 94.8%...Ranked 14th on Tour in multi-pin percentage, picking up 89.4% of his multi-pin spares.

Chris Collins
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Pepsi Championship
Season Summary: In his second year as an exempt bowlers after winning the 2006 Pepsi Championship in his first, Collins made match play in one-third of his events…Season’s best finish came in Cheektowaga, N.Y., with a 15th place finish in the 2006 Etonic Championship…Ranks 18th on Tour with a 98.5% single-pin conversion rate…Converted 92.2% of his spares.

Tommy Jones vs. Mitch Beasley

Tommy Jones
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship
Season Summary: The 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year won the title in one of two TV appearances on the year, the 2006 Ace Hardware Championship…Also made a TV appearance in the first of four Majors of the season, finishing fourth in the 2006 USBC Masters…Made a third top-10 finish with an eighth place finish in the 2006 Etonic Championship…Finished 10th in the PBA World Point Rankings…His 221.42 average ranked 14th on Tour…Made match play 15 times, going 11-10 with a 58-56 match game record…Has five 300 games on the year, including two in the 2006 Motor City Classic.

Mitch Beasley
How He Got Here:
Won the 2006 Regional Players Invitational
Season Summary: Did not participate in any Denny’s PBA Tour events… Won his first career PBA Regional Tour Major, winning the 2006 Regional Players Invitational in Reno, Nev.… Finished 15th in qualifying before knocking off Ken Abner, Dave Wodka and Brian Waliczek to get to the title match where he defeated Tyler Jensen, 201-193… Competed in nine total Regional events, making match play four times and cashing seven times… Posted a 209.23 average and earned $13,475.
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