November 15, 2006 19:00
After throwing two 300s in his first four games in the Lake County Indiana Classic at Stardust Bowl I, Mika Koivuniemi had a sizeable lead that allowed him to experiment on the Chameleon oil pattern.
Koivuniemi (Hartland, Mich.) finished the first seven-game qualifying round with a total pinfall of 1,708. The Finland native opened the day by sandwiching his first 300 between scores of 246 and 218 before following up with a second perfect game.
“I bowled really well the first game,” said Koivuniemi, who threw a Brunswick Ultimate Inferno. “I was able to get a good read of the lanes from the guys who bowled in front of me. I made a couple of changes and got a break in the 11th frame to pick up my first 300. I had a little bit of room with my lead and I was able to move around and test different parts of the lanes.”
Koivuniemi became only the third bowler in PBA Tour history to finish with two 300s in a seven-game qualifying block. Koivuniemi joined Jason Couch (Clermont, Fla.) and Michael Haugen Jr. (Cave Creek, Ariz.), who both accomplished the feat last season in the 2005 Greater Omaha Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Dino Castillo (Carrollton, Texas), who qualified for the event through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round, is in second with a 1,687, topping the 200 mark in all seven games.
United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters runner-up Jack Jurek (Lackawanna, N.Y.) sits in third place, just nine pins behind Castillo with a 1,678.
Kelly Kulick (Union, N.J.), who predicted Wednesday this event would be her breakout stop, is in seventh with 1,654.
All 64 bowlers return at 6 p.m. EST for another seven games. The top 32 from today’s rounds advance to Friday’s match play.
The top four bowlers will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 1 p.m. EST at Stardust Bowl I. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.