March 15, 2002 19:00
Healey, Mexico, clubbed the No. 1 seed, three games to one (248-268, 213-205, 227-226, 216-214) and earned his fourth finals appearance of the season. Healey won each of the games by marking in the 10th frame when he needed it.
“That’s how close the match was,” he said. “I don’t expect anything less tomorrow. Robert (Smith) will be tough. But, that makes victory more relishing… when it’s earned.”
Smith, Simi Valley, Calif., swept Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi, 3-0 (258-232, 215-212, 278-263). In the final game, Koivuniemi started the game with nine strikes, but left the 10th frame open after leaving the 2-8-10 split. Smith, who opened in the first frame, reeled of the next 10 strikes and toppled nine pins on his fill ball for a 15-pin victory.
“I’ve never seen Mika miss once when he needed it, let alone twice,” said Smith about the Finn, who also left the 10th frame open in game No. 1. “I was lucky to catch him on a bad day. Although, I don’t know if you could call it a bad day.”
Koivuniemi tossed 23 of 36 possible strikes, while Smith pitched 25 of 36. Smith suffered from two open frames, Koivuniemi had four.
Smith, who picked up his third title last month (Latham, N.Y.), and Healey will face each other on TV for the first time in their careers, in the first semifinal.
In the night’s other matches, 28-time PBA champion Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., destroyed Eric Forkel, 3-0 (269-196, 250-189, 269-214) and Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., beat longtime nemesis Walter Ray Williams Jr., 3-1 (230-191, 239-195, 214-228, 266-245). The pair will battle in Sunday’s other semifinal.
LeClair, like Healey, will be targeting his first career PBA title. He has bowled two title matches in his career, losing both to Williams in 1996 (Kennewick, Wash.; Las Vegas). Healey has finished second three times in his four-year career, including twice this season (U.S. Open, Fountain Valley, Calif.; Kirkland, Wash.)
The semifinal qualifiers will bowl one-game matches live on ESPN, Sunday, March 17, from 12:30-2 p.m. (ET). The winner will receive $40,000.
Battle At Little Creek
Jane P. Batten Center, Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Beach, Va.
Saturday, March 16
ROUND OF EIGHT RESULTS
Best-of-five, losers earn $5,000
#8 Patrick Healey Jr., Mexico, def. #1 Steve Wilson, Lake Worth, Fla., 3-1 (248-268, 213-205, 227-226, 216-214).
#21 Robert Smith, Simi Valley, Calif., def. #13 Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 3-0 (258-232, 215-212, 278-263).
#2 Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., def. #26 Eric Forkel, Northridge, Calif., 3-0 (269-196, 250-189, 269-214).
#27 Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., def. #3 Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 3-1 (230-191, 239-195, 214-228, 266-245).
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