The Great Right Hope

by PBA Editor January 10, 2008 19:00
The last time Wes Malott made a Denny’s PBA Tour championship round, he and five other right-handers took turns burning up the lanes which allowed left-hander Patrick Allen to breeze to the Lumber Liquidators Championship.

This week, Malott is looking for payback as he will be the only right-handed bowler in Sunday’s finals of the 2008 Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic at Lava Lanes.

Malott defeated two left-handers early in the day Friday then knocked off defending champion Sean Rash, four-games-to-none, in the Round of 8 to advance to his third championship round of the season. He’ll look to win his first title of the season and the third of his career.

“I bowled two lefties this morning so I knew the lanes would break down differently,” Malott (Argyle, Texas) said of his match against Rash. “I was fortunate I got it done in four games because if it had gone on longer, it could’ve been interesting.”

Malott will face PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III in the semifinals Sunday. Bohn captured his 31st career Denny’s PBA Tour title three events ago to break a career-worst 61-event winless streak.

“Things could go in my favor Sunday with all the lefties because they’re going to have a lot more transition on their side of the lane than I will,” Malott said. “They have to go through what I went through in Baltimore when there were eight bowlers and six of us were right handed and we beat up the right side pretty good. That day (Allen) got to play pretty much where he wanted to. I still have to bowl well, but maybe this week is payback.”

Malott will look for a change of fortune as he has finished second in both his TV appearances this season. In fact, Malott has finished second in four of his five TV appearances since winning his last title.

The other semifinal will feature a mentor-prodigy match-up between 10-time titlist Patrick Allen – the hottest bowler on Tour – and rookie Rhino Page. The non-exempt Page has had a historic season, advancing through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round seven times in nine tries and making three championship rounds, something no qualifier has ever done twice. Allen, meanwhile, is making his fourth consecutive TV appearance, a first in his career.

Page had an exciting finish in his Round of 8 match, defeating Mike Mineman, 4-2, and winning the sixth game in a roll-off after the two tied at 225. Mineman could have struck out in the 10th frame to win by one pin and force a game seven, but he got nine on his fill ball giving Page a chance to strike out for the tie. Page did just that, then started the one-ball sudden death roll-off with a strike. Mineman matched him, forcing a second roll-off, but Page struck again and Mineman got just nine, giving Page the 20-19 win.

Allen advanced with a 4-1 win over Brad Angelo.

The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday at 10 a.m. PST at Lava Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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Rash's Rants

by Shawn Rash January 8, 2008 19:00
This season, Sean Rash is blogging his life on the Denny's PBA Tour for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website in Seattle, Wash. Follow his blog all season long on either or

PBA Championships
Weekly Blog
By: Sean Rash

Welcome back from the holiday break, everyone. I’m going to give you a recap of my two-week break and then talk a little about Reno, Nevada. I have said it many times over the last couple weeks, there is nothing like being at home in your own bed. I was able to be in Wichita for five whole days before my travels for six weeks begin. My girlfriend, Sara, flew into Wichita for a few days and then both of us went to Chicago to spend the holidays with her family.

Let me tell you this now: I have a pretty small family and we don’t celebrate the holidays like her family. Her family does it all out. It was a blast. We spent the Saturday before Christmas going to every person’s house in the family, so a total of six houses with six different meals or games to play. We exchanged gifts and it took 12 hours. I was so tired and stuffed from all the good food, I felt like I gained 15 pounds. The only bad part of being in Chicago was Sara and her siblings got sick on Christmas Eve. Then, of course, I got the 24-hour bug on Christmas Day. This was bad since I had to fly to Alaska that night to be with my family for a few days. Nothing like a six-hour flight and feeling like crap.

Sweet home, Alaska. I took Sara with me up there and it was her first trip to Alaska. The weather wasn’t too bad and it only snowed a few inches while we were there. I go home every year to run a scholarship tournament I started 12 years ago. It’s called the Sean Rash “Stars of the Future”. I’m proud to say we gave out a total of $3,762 in scholarship money. While we were in Alaska, my family and I took Sara to Portage Glacier. This is a famous place in Alaska where you get to see some of the sights and glaciers, of course. We bowled league together one night which was a lot of fun. Sara and I also bowled in a Junior/Adult event New Years Eve day. I have to say, Sara’s team qualified first and I qualified second. Both of us lost our stepladder match, so Sara liked to rub it in that she beat me with her partner.

New Year’s for me wasn’t very exciting. My family, Sara and I went to a hockey game and then went home and packed again since Sara and I were flying to Reno on New Year’s Day. It was great being home in Alaska. I was able to spend time with some old friends. I am sorry to all of my friends who I didn’t get to see.

Reno, Nevada. I hate coming to Nevada only because I like to gamble. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. For all of you who gamble, you know what I mean. We got in on Tuesday and the event started Wednesday like normal. It was nice to have a free day to relax, have a few good meals and gamble. Bad thing was, Sara and I still weren’t 100 percent feeling better from our cold and bug.

Here is the report on bowling: I pretty much took the entire two weeks off while I was in Wichita, Chicago and Alaska. I think I bowled a total of 17 games. It was good because I was able to rest my knee and get some sleep and be fresh for the second half. But that’s probably the reason I missed the cut by three pins. There’s nothing worse then being in the hunt the whole day on Thursday and bowling a few bad games and just barely missing the cut. We bowled on the Shark pattern, not one of my favorites, but I feel like I am getting better. In practice, I felt like I had a chance to use my rev rate as an advantage. It turned out that was the case for a few games but the second block the lanes got so slick down lane, my speed and rev rate hurt me.

So, like I said, all in all the rest hurt me the most but not performing was the key. I missed some spares I never miss, I was tired from 14 games in one day and I can’t give you any more excuses than that. The scores were low and I feel like I normally excel when we have weeks like this. So, I’m definitely looking for a better week in Medford, Oregon, where I get to try and defend my title from last year.

A couple of other great things that happened: We had a storm in Reno that made me feel like I was still in Alaska. Lots of snow, cold and ice everywhere. Then on Friday night, while we were gambling in the Silver Legacy – I swear I’m not lying – the power went out in the casino. It was completely dark for 10 seconds. It was the coolest thing ever. I felt like we were in the movie Ocean’s Eleven. Once the generators turned on after the 10 seconds, there were security guards and cops everywhere. It took 45 minutes for the power to come back on. Rumor was it, a transmitter went our from the storm we had.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. We will see you next week in Medford, Oregon.

Click on one of the links below to read more Rash's Rants:

Etonic Championship

Lake County Indiana Classic

CLR Windy City Classic

Great Lakes Classic

Lumber Liquidators Championship

Spartanburg Classic

To view this blog on the Seattle P-I's website,

click here

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Advantage: Jones

by PBA Editor January 5, 2008 19:00
Tommy Jones and Patrick Allen have enjoyed a friendly rivalry the last few years, needling each other about which star has more Denny’s PBA Tour titles.

With both players owning 10 titles heading into Sunday’s Championship, Jones took over bragging rights by defeating Allen, 254-214, at the National Bowling Stadium (NBS) to capture victory No. 11 and become the second bowler ever to win on all five of the PBA’s oil patterns.

Jones redeemed himself for a sluggish first half of the season just like Allen did in last year’s event at the NBS. Allen did not make a championship round the entire first half of the 2006-07 season before running the table in Reno in the first event following the holiday break, winning what was his eighth career title. Allen would go on to win again in 2006-07 while Jones would cap the season with a win in the PBA Tournament of Champions to set a PBA record for shortest time between his first and 10th titles, while also earning an advantage over Allen in their personal battle.

The tables turned in the first half of this season as Allen made three championship rounds and won his 10th career title in December to pull even with Jones, while Jones suffered one of the worst slumps of his career. He failed to make a championship round in the first half for the first time since his rookie year in 2001-02.

Jones surprised even himself by turning things around this week on the Shark pattern, the only one of the five standard patterns he’d never won on, and one he hadn’t even made a championship round on since 2002. He took advantage of a lower scoring pace, which forced players to make good shots every frame.

“I definitely like it when the scores are lower,” Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) said. “The good players are going to win no matter what but when the pace is lower you get rewarded for throwing the ball better instead of just grabbing a ball and guessing right.”

Jones definitely got rewarded on Sunday, getting break after break against both Allen and his semifinal opponent Ryan Shafer. Shafer hurt himself by missing the head pin three times in the first five frames and Jones took advantage by throwing a turkey in frames four through six to take the lead and win the match, 223-210.

In the title match, Allen lost his carry after looking solid in defeating Danny Wiseman 248-192 in the first semifinal. After a strike in the first frame, Allen left six consecutive single-pins, including three straight 7-pins at the end of the string. Jones, meanwhile, was locked in, striking six times in a row to run away with the victory and more importantly take over bragging rights between the two, who are the only bowlers to win at least two titles in each of the last three seasons.

“P.A. and I joke back and forth about who has more titles so it’s nice to have the edge now, but it’s just one of those deals,” Jones said. “It’s a good start to the New Year and maybe it’s the start of another trend like the last couple years.”

The 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year joined Mika Koivuniemi as the only bowlers to win on all five patterns.

“It’s definitely an accomplishment to know you can bowl well on all the patterns, but I was pretty fortunate today,” Jones said. “Shafer got some bad breaks and P.A. just missed a ball change. If he makes that change he would have bowled a lot better. It’s been a year of struggles and fortunately I got a lot of breaks today.”

Jones earned $25,000 for his win. Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) earned $13,000 for second while Wiseman (Baltimore) and Shafer (Horseheads, N.Y.) took home $6,000 each for third and fourth, respectively.

The Denny’s PBA Tour moves to Medford, Ore., next week for the 2008 Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic, Jan. 9-13 at Lava Lanes. The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. ET.
Denny’s PBA Tour

2008 Championship
National Bowling Stadium
Reno, Nev.
Sunday, Jan. 6


Pos.Name, hometownTotal/GamesMoney
1.Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C. 477 (2 games)$25,000
2.Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.462 (2 games)$13,000
3.Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, Md.192 (1 game)$6,000
4.Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y.210 (1 game)$6,000

SCORES – In the first match, Allen def. Wiseman, 248-192; in the second match, Jones def. Shafer, 223-210; and in the final, Jones def. Allen, 254-214.

This is Jones’ 11th career Denny’s PBA Tour title.

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Tommy Gun Firing Again

by PBA Editor January 4, 2008 19:00
Tommy Jones’ heels have been cooled lately after winning 10 titles faster than any bowler in PBA history, but the sleeping giant may have awoken again.

Jones bounced back from a sluggish first half of the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season to advance to his first championship round of the season, defeating David Traber, four-games-to-two, Saturday in the 2008 Championship at the National Bowling Stadium.

The 10-time titlist came into this week just 19th in the PBA World Point Rankings through nine events and failed to make a TV appearance in the first half of a season for the first time since his rookie campaign in 2001-02.

Jones picked a surprising time to break through, making a show for the first time on the Shark oil pattern since 2002.

“I honestly have no clue why I bowled well on this pattern this week,” Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) said. “When we first started bowling on these named patterns I made my first two shows on Shark and since then I haven’t made one show on this pattern. You had to throw it slow this week and the lanes were really tight. Fortunately that helped me get my timing back.”

Jones used a strong showing in his backyard to close the first half, finishing seventh in the Spartanburg Classic in Spartanburg, S.C., his best finish of the season coming into this week.

“I just haven’t bowled very well at times and haven’t matched up at times. When you don’t bowl with confidence out here, it’s hard to beat these guys,” Jones said. “The last event helped a little. I still didn’t bowl that well, but I was still close enough to compete well and that give me some confidence.”

Jones will face Ryan Shafer in Sunday’s finals after Shafer defeated 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year Doug Kent, 4-0. Like Jones, Shafer has been struggling this season as he will also be making his first championship round appearance of the season. In Shafer’s last finals appearance, he became the 18th bowler in PBA history to fire a perfect game on national TV when he defeated Jeff Carter, 300-228, in the Pepsi Championship semifinals before he came up short in the title match. He’s looking for his first title since 2003.

The other semifinal Sunday will feature Patrick Allen and Danny Wiseman in a rematch of the 2004 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters title match. Allen is making his third consecutive championship round after winning the Lumber Liquidators Championship and finishing third in the Spartanburg Classic to finish the first half. The defending champion, who went 14-0 at the National Bowling Stadium last season en route to the title, defeated 54-year-old Roger Kossert, 4-1. Kossert was looking to become the third-oldest bowler ever to win a Denny’s PBA Tour title.

Wiseman, who owns 11 titles but hasn’t won since defeating Allen in the 2004 Masters, defeated Joe Ciccone, 4-0.

Sunday’s live ESPN-televised championship round gets underway at 10 a.m. PST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.

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by PBA Editor January 3, 2008 19:00
Although his 14-game winning streak in the National Bowling Stadium ended Friday morning, Patrick Allen continued to be the king of the stadium.

The defending champion Allen won both his matches Friday to advance to the Round of 8 in the 2008 Championship, a year after making history in the stadium.

Allen tied a PBA record a year ago when went 14-0 en route to the title in the 2007 H&R Block Classic, defeating PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the finals. Although he lost his first game in the Round of 32 Friday to end the streak, Allen came back to defeat Riga Kalfas, 4-2 to advance to the Round of 16.

The 10-time titlist then jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Norm Duke in the Round of 16 before Duke came back to win the next three games. Allen overcame the 26-time titlist in the seventh and deciding game, 246-201, to advance to Saturday’s Round of 8.

“I just bowled well again this week. In fact, this is the best I’ve bowled in about three or four years,” Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) said. “I don’t think the lanes are all that easy and I’ve made them look like they’re somewhat easy.”

Allen is off to a strong start this season, a contrast to his 2006-07 season when he didn’t make a TV appearance in the first nine events until his break out in Reno. In the first nine events this season, Allen has one title and three TV appearances, including back-to-back championship rounds to close out the first swing.

“The left side was just really good for two weeks and I took advantage of it,” the left-handed Allen said of his performance in Baltimore and Spartanburg. “I knew I still needed to throw it better. Even though I made the show in Spartanburg, the lanes were easy. The condition this week (Shark) makes you focus more and if you throw it badly the lane is going to tell you immediately. A lot of guys are throwing it well because you really have to concentrate and think in order to execute, rather than in easier weeks when you don’t have to pure it every shot to throw a seven bagger.”

Allen will face 54-year-old Roger Kossert Saturday, a surprise finalist who advanced through Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round. A two-time PBA Senior Tour champion, Kossert defeated No. 1 Steve Harman in the Round of 32, 4-1, and No. 16 Ken Simard, 4-2, in the Round of 16.

Saturday’s other matches feature No. 28 Joe Ciccone vs. No. 20 Danny Wiseman, No. 31 Ryan Shafer going up against 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year and No. 7 seed Doug Kent, and No. 11 David Traber vs. No. 19 Tommy Jones, the 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year.

Saturday’s Round of 8 gets underway at 9 a.m. with the final four bowlers advancing to Sunday’s championship round.

The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday at 10 a.m. PST at the National Bowling Stadium. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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