LAS VEGAS – Dick Allen of Columbia, South Carolina, averaged 244.36 for 14 games Saturday to earn the top qualifying berth for the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game as the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI officially got underway at South Point Bowling Center.
Allen needed a double in the final frame of his last game to retain the No. 1 position with a total of 3,421 pins, but a bigger story developed a couple of pairs of lanes away when Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, New York, completed a charge out of 24th place at the end of the first round to finish fourth and become the first woman to advance to a second PBA Tour national television finals. Johnson was the first woman ever to appear on a PBA Tour television show when she finished second in the 2004 Banquet Open in Wyoming, Mich., losing in the title match to 15-time PBA Tour titlist Tommy Jones.
After a 190 game in her second game Saturday night, Johnson caught fire, rolling games of 279, 245, 278, 258 and 248 to track down PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri, and knock him out of the four-player television finals field by 43 pins.
Brad Angelo of Lockport, New York, who returned to competition after a year of battling injuries, qualified second with 3,414 pins, seven behind Allen, and Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, New York, advanced to his first PBA TV final in third place with 3,412 pins.
Allen, who led the World Series field of 240 players throughout the day, is trying for his fourth PBA Tour title.
“I had a bad first game (185), but then I switched to a ball that worked better and started making shots,” the 36-year-old Allen said. “Most of it was probably due to my off-season preparation.
“I lost 15 pounds after the Summer Swing in Oklahoma last May. Physically I felt a lot better, and I worked a lot on correcting my spine tilt from front to back and side-to-side on the approach. The end result is more shots are thrown correctly for a longer amount of time. It’s all about leverage and consistency. Today was the day I really tried it in competition and it seems to be paying off.”
The GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI continues Sunday at South Point with seven-game qualifying rounds for the Viper Championship at 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
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 CHEETAH CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY PBA CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Saturday
SECOND ROUND STANDINGS (after 14 games; top four advance to ESPN finals Saturday, Nov. 1)
1, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,421.
2, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,414.
3, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 3,412.
4, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,397.
5, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,354, $4,000.
6, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,335, $3,500.
7, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 3,333, $3,000.
8, Dale Coleman, High Springs, Fla., 3,322, $2,500.
9, Carsten Hansen, Denmark, 3,308, $2,200.
10, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,302, $2,000.
11, Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 3,295, $1,800.
12, Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., 3,247, $1,800.
13, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,239, $1,650.
14, Shuichi Heki, Japan, 3,237, $1,600.
15, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,219, $1,550.
16, Joonas Jehkinen, Finland, 3,215, $1,500.
17, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 3,187, $1,450.
18, Mike Fagan, Ft. Worth, Texas, 3,178, $1,400.
19, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 3,170, $1,350.
20, Mattias Olsson, Sweden, 3,139, $1,300.
21, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 3,129, $1,275.
22, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3,128, $1,250.
23, Jim Pratt, Glendale, Ariz., 3,089, $1,225.
24, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,087, $1,200.
Other Cashers (after 7 games):
25, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 1,659, $800.
26, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 1,658, $770.
27 (tie), Patrick Girard, Canada, 1,657, and E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,657, $745.
29, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,656, $730.
30, Stuart Williams, England, 1,653, $720.
31, Perttu Jussila, Finland, 1,651, $710.
32, Joe Findling, Mesquite, Texas, 1,649, $700.
300 Games (4): Stuart Williams, Jason Sterner, David Haynes, Anthony Pepe.