Wes Malott Leads PBA World Championship Heading into Thursday’s Final Round of Match Play

by Bill Vint October 29, 2014 16:50

LAS VEGAS – Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, won 11 of his 16 matches Wednesday and will take a 125-pin lead into Thursday’s final round of match play in the PBA World Championship, the concluding event of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI, at South Point Bowling Center.

The PBA World Championship is the final major of the 2014 PBA season.

Malott, who qualified for the match play finals in fourth place after four PBA animal pattern championships held earlier in the week, led by more than 200 pins going into Wednesday night’s final match against fellow Texan Mike Fagan of Fort Worth.

Fagan, after rolling a 300 a game earlier, defeated Malott, 276-204, to cut Malott’s lead in half. Malott, a nine-time PBA Tour title winner, finished with a 44-game total of 10,541 pins. Fagan, who also fired 276 and 268 games earlier in the second round, had a 10,416 total.

Recently-retired PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch of Clermont, Florida, returned to competition and sat in third place with 10,226 pins. A third Texan, two-handed player Shawn Maldonado of Houston, also rolled a 300 game to move into fourth place with 10,213 pins. Defending PBA World Champion Dom Barrett of England was fifth with a 10,168 total. Seven other players were within less than 100 pins of qualifying for the ESPN finals.

The final eight-game match play round will take place Thursday at 2 p.m. PT. A total of 52 games of qualifying and match play will determine the five player stepladder finalists who will return to South Point’s new Bowling Plaza on Sunday, Jan. 11, for the live ESPN finals.

The final match play round of the PBA World Championship will be covered live on Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame Season Ticket link.

PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Wednesday

MATCH PLAY ROUND TWO STANDINGS (after 44 of 52 games, includes match play bonus pins)

1, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 11-5, 10,541.
2, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 12-4, 10,416.
3, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 10-6, 10,226.
4, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 11-5, 10,213.
5, Dom Barrett, England, 9-7, 10,168.
6, Stuart Williams, England, 7-9, 10,148.
7, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 8-8, 10,129.
8, Patrick Girard, Canada, 10-6, 10,128.
9, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 8-8, 10,122.
10, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 10-6, 10,112.
11, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 8-8, 10,096.
12, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 7-9, 10,073.
13, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Chatsworth, Calif., 9-7, 9,997.
14, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 7-9, 9,995.
15, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 10-6, 9,981.
16, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 7-9, 9,973.
17, B.J. Moore III, Apex, N.C., 5-11, 9,916.
17, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 7-9, 9,916.
19, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 6-10, 9,824.
20, Shuichi Heki, Japan, 7-9, 9,789.
21, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 6-10, 9,782.
22, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 5-11, 9,767.
22, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 6-10, 9,767.
24, Mike DeVaney, Winchester, Calif., 6-10, 9,747.

300 Games: Mike Fagan, Shawn Maldonado.

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Wes Malott Wins 6 of 8 Matches, Takes Lead After Round One of PBA World Championship Match Play

by Bill Vint October 29, 2014 09:51

LAS VEGAS – Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, won six of his eight matches Wednesday afternoon to take the lead after the first of three match play rounds in the PBA World Championship, the concluding event of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI, at South Point Bowling Center.

Malott, who qualified for the match play finals in fourth place after 28 games in the four PBA animal pattern championships earlier in the week, passed Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, in the final game when Malott defeated Shawn Maldonado of Houston, 236-191, while Rash lost his only match of the round, dropping a 214-171 decision to Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C.

Malott took a pinfall total of 8,470 and a 124-pin lead over Rash into Wednesday night’s second round of match play. Australia’s Jason Belmonte was third with 8,306 pins followed by Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., at 8,303 and Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., at 8,283 in the race for five berths in the PBA World Championship finals.

Two more eight-game match play rounds will take place Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon to determine the five-player stepladder finals field for the PBA World Championship, which will be contested live on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 11, in South Point’s new Bowling Plaza.

All qualifying and match play rounds of the animal pattern events and PBA World Championship will be covered live on Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame Season Ticket link.

PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Wednesday

MATCH PLAY ROUND ONE (after 36 of 52 games, includes match play bonus pins)

1, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 6-2, 8,470.
2, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 7-1, 8,346.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4-4, 8,306.
4, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 5-3, 8,303.
5, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4-4, 8,283.
6, Patrick Girard, Canada, 5-3, 8,243.
7, Mike Fagan, Ft. Worth, Texas, 5-3, 8,240.
8, Dom Barrett, England, 5-3, 8,227.
9, Stuart Williams, England, 3-5, 8,224.
10, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3-5, 8,184.
11, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 5-3, 8,182.
12, B.J. Moore III, Apex, N.C., 3-5, 8,151.
13, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3-5, 8,150.
14, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 4-4, 8,138.
15, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 3-5, 8,102.
16, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 5-3, 8,074.
17, Shuichi Heki, Japan, 4-4, 8,073.
18, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 4-4, 8,071.
19, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 2-6, 8,069.
20, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 4-4, 8,067.
21, Mike DeVaney, Winchester, Calif., 3-5, 8,032.
22, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Chatsworth, Calif., 4-4, 7,998.
23, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 2-6, 7,997.
24, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3-5, 7,933.

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WSOB Notebook II: Chinese Bowlers Make Historic Debut at World Series

by Bill Vint October 29, 2014 06:05

A group of six bowlers from mainland China made history this week as the first players from their country ever to bowl in professional competition. The six players – ranging in ages from 30 to 54 – earned the right to enter the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI by recording averages of 200-plus in a “PBA Pioneer League” program initiated by Frank Zhao, owner of Longmarch Bowling in Shanghai.

The Chinese aren’t competitive, yet, but their appearance at WSOB VI may be a preview of the significant impact China may have on the world of bowling in the years ahead. The term “pioneer” applied to the league program wasn’t accidental and the six bowlers who are part of it understand they may be part of a very big future for bowling in China. Elevating bowling’s popularity in Frank Zhao’s mission, and he has a potential market of 1.4 billion people in China to work with.

The state of bowling in China is closer to 1960s standards than today’s, Zhao said. The Chinese are decades behind in bowling technology, from lane beds to bowling balls and everything in between. But this group of six, he hopes, is the beginning of a trend to bring China into the modern bowling world. That’s why he brought PBA superstar Walter Ray Williams Jr. to China in 2012, and why he worked with PBA Commissioner Tom Clark to create the league program to qualify his “PBA pioneers.”

Only two of the Chinese players – 54-year-old Ding Tianbao and 52-year-old Qin Ziaogang – had ever been to the United States before (both entered the World Tenpin Bowling Association Senior Championships at Red Rock in Las Vegas in 2013). Lin Jianfeng, 49; Liu Shenyuan, 33; Li Weijun, 46, and Zhu Tao, 30, made their first trips to America. All six noted they are greatly impressed with the bowling technology they’ve witnessed, because back home, they are bowling on lanes conditioned with old wick/roller equipment with ancient bowling balls. They can’t compete, and they know it, but even worse, it’s hard to learn in the environment they currently have available.

Liu and Li are big Walter Ray fans. Lin and Qin admire Parker Bohn III. Zhu and Ding favor Norm Duke, while Ding quickly added Pete Weber to his list. Bowling alongside the greatest names in the sport has been a thrill, and it inspired Zhu to note, “We also need idols, heroes. We can buy machines. The problems we can sort out with money aren’t a problem, but we don’t have any heroes…like (former NBA star) Yao Ming. Everyone in China watched Yao.

“We don’t have heroes to encourage young people to start bowling. It’s a very attractive sport. It’s easy to play, but it’s very hard to get addicted. We need idols to make people fall in love with bowling and if we do that, it’ll be very popular in China.”

The six players, along with Zhao, are doing their best to create awareness. They are flooding Chinese bowling fans with Facebook posts and photos, and Twitter feeds, and more.

As enthusiasm builds, Zhao is the businessman who hopes to make that happen the rest of it happen.

“There is a lot of work to do,” he said, “but we have 1.4 billion people in China, and a growing middle class. The middle class will need many forms of sport and entertainment to have a better quality of life. Bowling is perfect for several reasons. Bowling is a combination of sport and leisure, but it’s a sport first and then you have a level to make it fun. But without sport, it won’t grow.”

That’s why the Chinese Pioneers came to Las Vegas. To learn the sport. And for the record, they never contended for a PBA title, but none of them finished last.

PBA.COM, XTRA FRAME VIEWERSHIP CONTINUES TO CLIMB
Heading into GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI, Xtra Frame’s subscription base continued to climb, breaking the 6,000 barrier in paid viewership for the first time…and nearly doubling the audience that watched WSOB II in 2010. A combination of XF Season Ticket (full year) holders and monthly subscribers hit 6,046 on Sunday, a 12.7 percent increase over the same day a year earlier.

Traffic on PBA.com, the PBA’s official website, also was significant. Through the first three days of World Series competition, more than 66,000 unique visitors had viewed just over 903,000 pages on PBA.com, primarily checking out the website’s live scoring feature. The cities with the highest visitor rate to PBA.com were, in order: Chicago, Houston, New York City, Boston and Los Angeles.

Over the past 12 months, PBA.com has recorded more than 2.5 million unique visitors and in excess of 20 million page views.

NEXT UP: PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH PLAY ROUND ROBIN
GEICO PBA WSOB VI competition continues Wednesday and Thursday with three eight-game round-robin match play rounds. Wednesday’s rounds begin at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time. Thursday’s final eight match games will begin at 2 p.m. The 24 match games, including bonus pins, will be combined with 28-game qualifying totals from the four animal pattern events to produce 52-game pinfall totals.

The top five players after 52 game will punch their tickets for return trips to the new South Point Bowling Plaza for the live ESPN finals of the World Championship on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m. ET.

2015 PBA LEAGUE DRAFT SET FOR FRIDAY
The player draft for the 2015 PBA League will be webcast live on Xtra Frame Friday at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT) from South Point in Las Vegas. The eight PBA League managers will each select five players for the Elias Cup team competition that will be conducted over two days for delayed telecast on ESPN on Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

Team managers will be: Mark Baker (defending Elias Cup champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters), Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (GEICO New York City WTT KingPins), Johnny Petraglia (Brooklyn STyLES), Norm Duke (Dallas Strikers), Tim Mack (Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits), Jason Couch (Philadelphia Hitmen), Andrew Cain (L.A. X) and Del Ballard Jr. (Barbasol Motown Muscle).

For the draft, eligible players will be ranked based upon their position on a competition points list between World Series V and the Oklahoma Summer Swing held earlier in the year. The first player elected by each team must be taken from the group of players ranking 1-10 on the points list. The second player drafted will come from the group ranked 11-20 in points, plus any undrafted players from group one. The third player drafted will come from those ranked 21-30 in points. The fourth player will come from those ranked 31-40 in points, and the fifth player will come from the players ranked 41-50 and previous team members not among the points leaders. Players undrafted in each round will be eligible in the following round, expanding the pool of players as each round continues. The draft exception will be Dallas player-manager Norm Duke, who finished 39th on the points list and will draft himself in the fourth round.

13 WOMEN IN THE WORLD SERIES FIELD
WSOB VI includes a field of 13 women, including eight qualifiers from the new PBA Women’s Regional program and five who entered the event independently. The Women’s Regional qualifiers include Kristina Wendell (East Region); Christina Hardee (South); Liz Johnson (Central); Amanda Greene (Midwest); Clara Guerrero (Southwest), Missy Parkin (West), Lindsay Boomershine (Northwest) and Yuka Tsuchiya (Japan).

Women who entered independently are 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions winner Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.; Yumi Oyobe, Japan; Natalia Rico, Colombia; Colombia’s Maria Rodriquez, Pflugerville, Texas; and Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova, Henderson, Nev.

It’s a pretty prominent group of women bowlers. Johnson qualified fourth for the Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game TV finals, which will make her the first woman ever to appear in a PBA Tour nationally-televised event twice. Kulick and Guerrero (2013 Cheetah Championship) also have bowled in PBA Tour national telecasts. Those three along with Parkin and Tsuchiya own PBA Regional titles. Rodriguez and Zavjalova are 2014 and 2013 USBC Queens champions, respectively.

Also, Guerrero and Parkin finished one-two in the PBA Women’s Regional qualifying event and will face each other in the PBA Challenge finals on Sunday. The telecast will air on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. ET. And Kulick, Johnson and Sweden’s Sandra Andersson, who didn’t compete in the World Series, will bowl for the World Bowling Tour Women’s Finals title on Sunday. The WBT Finals, presented by PBA, will air on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. ET.

QUICK NOTES
● During Friday’s official practice session leading into the World Series, the PBA truck staff drilled just over 280 new bowling balls for the 240-player field. Through the first three days of “animal pattern” competition, that figure grew to 800 new balls drilled by the PBA staff.

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Haugen Earns Top Berth in Scorpion Championship; Barrett Paces PBA World Championship Field

by Bill Vint October 28, 2014 18:07

LAS VEGAS – Three-time Professional Bowlers Association titlist Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix jumped from sixth to first in the final game Tuesday night to capture the top berth in the PBA Scorpion Championship in the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling Tuesday at South Point Bowling Center.

Haugen, who entered the final qualifying round in 13th place, fired games of 203, 255, 223, 234, 226, 216 and 247 to finish the Scorpion event with a 14-game total of 3,213 pins and a four-pin lead over Scott Newell of Daytona, Florida. Sweden’s Martin Larsen qualified third with 3,206 pins and Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, qualified fourth at 3,205 – one pin ahead of Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, South Carolina and four pins ahead of first-round leader B.J. Moore III of Apex, North Carolina.

Newell and Hess have each won one PBA Tour title. Larsen will be trying for his first when the finals are conducted Saturday in the new South Point Bowling Plaza. The finals will air on Sunday, Jan. 4, at 1 p.m. ET.

“That was a little too exciting, but I don’t do anything the easy way,” Haugen said. “I was losing my ball reaction a bit. I drilled a new ball for the night round, but it was slipping away. I knew I had to either make better shots or change balls, so I changed balls again and went with it.”

Haugen said an open frame in the seventh almost ended his hopes, “but I threw the last five strikes and the other guys waited for me. Go figure.”

The first round of the Scorpion Championship earlier Tuesday was the fourth and final qualifying event to determine the 24 match play finalists for the PBA World Championship. The match play finals include eight-game rounds Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Thursday at 2 p.m. England’s Dom Barrett was top qualifier for the World Championship with a 6,430 pinfall total, three pins ahead of Ronnie Russell of Marion, Indiana, and 14 ahead of Moore. Bryon Smith of Roseburg, Oregon, captured the 24th spot by two pins over Newell.

All qualifying and match play rounds of the animal pattern events and PBA World Championship will be covered live on Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame Season Ticket link.

PBA SCORPION CHAMPIONSHIP
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Tuesday

FINAL QUALIFYING STANDINGS (after 14 games; top 4 advance to ESPN finals Saturday, Nov. 1)
1, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 3,213.
2, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 3,209.
3, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,206.
4, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 3,205.
5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,204, $4,000.
6, B.J. Moore III, Apex, N.C., 3,201, $3,500.
7, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 3,198, $3,000.
8, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 3,192, $2,500.
9, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,170, $2,200.
10, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 3,168, $2,000.
11, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 3,156, $1,800.
12, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,150, $1,700.
13, Patrick Girard, Canada, 3,131, $1,650.
14, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,124, $1,600.
15, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,119, $1,550.
16, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,092, $1,500.
17, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 3,067, $1,450.
18, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 3,011, $1,400.
19, David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 3,010, $1,350.
20, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Chatsworth, Calif., 2,996, $1,300.
21, Manuel Otalora, Colombia, 2,994, $1,275.
22, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 2,962, $1,250.
23, Mike DeVaney, Winchester, Calif., 2,947, $1,225.
24, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 2,916, $1,200.

Other Cashers (after 7 games):
25, Santiago Mejia, Colombia, 1,560, $800.
26, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 1,558, $770.
27, Dom Barrett, England, 1,555, $750.
28, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,554, $740.
29, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,552, $730.
30, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 1,545, $720.
31, Martin Paulsson, Sweden, 1,544, $710.
32, Lee Vanderhoef, Canton, Ga., 1,542, $700.

300 Game: Manuel Otalora.

PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL QUALIFYING STANDINGS

(Top 24 after 28 combined games in Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships advance to PBA World Championship round-robin match play Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Thursday at 2 p.m. PT)

1, Dom Barrett, England, 6,430.
2, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 6,427.
3, B.J. Moore III, Apex, N.C., 6,416.
4, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 6,401.
5, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 6,380.
6, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 6,365.
7, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 6,347.
8, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 6,336.
9, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 6,333.
10, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 6,330.
11, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 6,327.
12, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 6,314.
13, Stuart Williams, England, 6,308.
14, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 6,290.
15, Patrick Girard, Canada, 6,272.
16, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 6,255.
17, Shuichi Heki, Japan, 6,251.
18, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 6,250.
19, Mike DeVaney, Winchester, Calif., 6,247.
20, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 6,241.
21, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Chatsworth, Calif., 6,232.
22, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 6,229.
23, Mike Fagan, Ft. Worth, Texas, 6,219.
24, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 6,212.
Other Cashers (after 28 games):

25, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 6,210, $2,400.
26, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 6,201, $2,350.
27, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 6,190, $2,300.
28, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 6,189, $2,250.
29, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 6,182, $2,200.
30, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 6,181, $2,150.
31, Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 6,176, $2,100.
32, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 6,175, $2,050.
33, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 6,166, $2,000.
34, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 6,165, $1,950.
35, Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., 6,160, $2,000.
36, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 6,159, $1,850.
37, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 6,147, $1,800.
38, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 6,138, $1,750.
39, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 6,134, $1,700.
40 (tie), Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., and Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 6,131, $1,625.
42 (tie), Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., and David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 6,130, $1,545.
44 (tie), Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., and Osku Palermaa, Finland, 6,129, $1,485.
46, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 6,118, $1,440.
47, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 6,117, $1,510.
48, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 6,116, $1,390.
49 (tie), Andres Gomez, Colombia, and D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 6,115, $1,360.
51, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 6,103, $1,330.
52, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 6,102, $1,310.
53 (tie), Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., and Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 6,088, $1,280.
55, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 6,085, $1,250.
56, Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 6,082, $1,230.
57, Jim Pratt, Glendale, Ariz., 6,076, $1,210.
58, Mattias Olsson, Sweden, 6,068, $1,190.
59, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 6,062, $1,170.
60 (tie), Aaron Lorincz, Saginaw, Mich., and Robert Andersson, Sweden, 6,059, $575.

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D.J. Archer Fights Through Emotional Evening, Wins Top Berth for PBA Chameleon Championship Telecast

by Bill Vint October 27, 2014 17:55

LAS VEGAS – D.J. Archer of Friendswood, Texas, stumbled out of the gate, but righted himself quickly to take charge of the PBA Chameleon Championship, the third of four animal pattern events in GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI, Monday at South Point Bowling Center.

Archer, a 34-year-old, 12-year veteran who is still trying for his first PBA Tour title, fought through the emotional memories of his mother’s death in September on his way to the top qualifying position in the Chameleon Championship. After rolling a 175 game to start the day, he rebounded immediately with a 275 and scored at a blistering 242.29 pace in the morning round. He only managed to take a nine-pin lead over Ronnie Russell of Marion, Indiana, into Monday night’s final qualifying round, but closed with games of 240 and 235 to retain his top position by 35 pins over Russell.

Archer won the day with a 14-game total of 3,202 pins. Russell was second with 3,167 pins. Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, qualified third with 3,158 pins and J.R. Raymond, who will make his television debut in the Chameleon Championship finals on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the new South Point Bowling Plaza, qualified fourth with 3,142 pins.

“What’s crazy is that in practice this morning, I threw about 20 strikes in a row. Normally when that happens, the first game is always bad and I don’t know why,” Archer said. “I said to myself, ‘this isn’t good,’ but after that, it was just like it never happened and I bowled real well. I bowled 275 the second game and I just matched up with the right ball all day. When you get those things on the right page, you can throw a lot of strikes in this facility.”

The Chameleon Championship was the third of four qualifying events that will determine the 24-player field for the PBA World Championship match play competition Wednesday and Thursday.

Russell leads Dom Barrett of England in PBA World Championship qualifying by 29 pins with a 21-game total of 4,904 pins heading into Tuesday’s Scorpion Championship, the final World Championship qualifying event. Barrett, who led World Champion qualifying a year ago on his way to winning that event for his first PBA major title, was another 34 pin ahead over Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill. Scorpion qualifying rounds will take place at 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. PT.

All qualifying and match play rounds of the animal pattern events and PBA World Championship will be covered live on Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame Season Ticket link.

PBA CHAMELEON CHAMPIONSHIP

South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Monday

FINAL QUALIFYING STANDINGS (after 14 games; top four advance to ESPN finals on Nov. 1)

1, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 3,202.
2, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,167.
3, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,158, $100.
4, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 3,146.
5, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 3,142, $4,000.
6 (tie), Stuart Williams, England, and Dom Barrett, England, 3,135, $3,250.
8, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 3,128, $2,500.
9, Mattias Olsson, Sweden, 3,124, $2,200.
10, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 3,063, $2,000.
11, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,062, $1,800.
12, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,042, $1,700.
13, Richie Teece, England, 3,031, $1,650.
14, Gerald Marrs, Huntley, Ill., 3,026, $1,600.
15, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 3,003, $1,550.
16, Daniel Fransson, Sweden, 3,001, $1,500.
17, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,000, $1,450.
18, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 2,975, $1,400.
19, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 2,973, $1,350.
20, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,970, $1,300.
21, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,969, $1,275.
22, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,961, $1,250.
23, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,906, $1,225.
24, Perttu Jussila, Finland, 2,883, $1,200.

Other Cashers (after 7 games):
25 (tie), Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 1,548, and Robert Andersson, Sweden, 1,548, $785.
27, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 1,547, $750.
28, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,546, $740.
29, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,543, $730.
30, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 1,541, $720.
31, Mike Armstrong Jr., Battle Ground, Wash., 1,535, $710.
32 (tie), Tom Baker, King, N.C., 1,534, and Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 1,534, $350.

300 Games: Sean Rash, Mike Keily.

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