Weber Keeps Rolling

by PBA Editor November 16, 2006 19:00
Four bowlers who qualified for this week’s event through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round advanced to match play this week, the fifth time at least four qualifiers have made match play since the implementation of the TQR in the 2004-05 season. The most qualifiers who have ever made match play is five, which happened in the 2006 GEICO Classic in Cheektowaga, N.Y., last season.

History has shown that roughly one-third of the bowlers who advance through the TQR during the season will make match play. In 2004-05, a total of 84 bowlers advanced through the TQR with 29 advancing to match play, a percentage of 34.52. In 2005-06, 39.5 percent advanced (38 of 96) and this season 38.1 percent have advanced (8 of 21).

In addition, qualifiers’ success rate in advancing to match play has increased each season. In 2004-05, 29 qualifiers advanced to match play in 16 standard events, an average of 1.8 per event. In 2005-06, 38 qualifiers advanced to match play in 16 events, an average of 2.4. This season 2.7 percent of qualifiers have advanced as eight have advanced to match play in the first three events.

The amount of times no qualifiers advanced to match play in an event has also dropped with each season. In 2004-05 there were three events in which no qualifiers advanced to match play – Atlanta, Medford and St. Louis. In 2005-06, the only stop which did not see a qualifier reach match play was the Bayer Atlanta Classic, proving Atlanta is not a good place for qualifiers.

Qualifier advance rate by season

SeasonQualifiersMade Match PlayPct.

Qualifiers by event

SeasonQualifiers in MPEventsRate

Going Further
Two of the four qualifiers advanced to this afternoon’s Round of 16 – Dino Castillo and Steve Rogers – and ironically they will face each other in the next round.

With at least one of the qualifiers guaranteed a spot in tonight’s Round of 8, eight qualifiers have now advanced to the Round of 8 in the three seasons of the TQR (single elimination formats only). Just one – Liz Johnson – advanced that far in 2004-05, while five qualifiers reached the final eight last season. Two of those five – Sean Rash and Del Ballard Jr. – advanced to the championship round.

So far this season, two qualifiers have made the final eight (not including James Wallace who finished in the final eight in the round robin event in Taylor, Mich.). Last week, Liz Johnson made her second career Round of 8 appearance.

Left-Handers' Worst Nightmare
After winning his first 11 career matches against left-handers on TV, Mika Koivuniemi – the self-proclaimed “left-handers worst nightmare” - ran into Patrick Allen in the finals of the 62nd U.S. Open, who defeated Koivuniemi to end the streak. Allen has since defeated Koivuniemi on TV for a second time, taking down the Big Fin in last season’s Mile High Classic semifinals.

The two had faced each other a total of six times in match play coming into this week, with each winning three times. Five of their match-ups have come on TV, however, with Koivuniemi winning the first three times and Allen winning the last two. Allen won the most recent time they squared off, which came in the Round of 8 in last season’s Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic in Birmingham, Ala.

The two rivals met again in Friday’s Round of 16 and Koivuniemi returned to his dominating ways. Koivuniemi averaged 242.20 in his 4-1 win over Allen.

Sorry Roomie
Chris Barnes has been unkind to his roommate, Mike Wolfe, in match play. Barnes defeated Wolfe, four-games-to-one, Friday to move to 4-1 in his career in match play against his roommate. In those five matches, Barnes has racked up a 19-6 match game record against Wolfe.

This Week’s Big Movers
Speaking of making match play, two bowlers made big jumps in the second seven-game block of the Round of 64 to secure their spots in match play.

Brian Voss was hovering near the cut after the first seven games, sitting 30th. He averaged 239.43 over the final seven games to move up to eighth. Unfortunately, Voss moved all the way up the standings to earn a date with 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones in match play, who defeated Voss, 4- 2.

Doug Kent suffered a similar fate after he moved up a block-high 31 spots from the first and second blocks. Kent moved up from 40th to ninth by averaging 242.23 over the finals seven games, but ran into Riga Kalfas in the Round of 32. Kalfas swept Kent for his first career win in his first ever match in the single elimination, best-of-seven games format.

Kent’s 242.23 average in the second block was the second-highest of the second block to Norm Duke, who averaged 245.43 to take over the lead from Mika Koivuniemi.

Barnes to Host Youth Tournament

Chris Barnes will lend his name to a youth bowling tournament Thanksgiving week in Irving, Texas at AMF Irving Lanes, the same center which will host a Denny’s PBA Tour event in February.

The Chris Barnes Thanksgiving Youth Classic takes place Nov. 22-26, and will offer $33,333 in guaranteed scholarship money. At least 1-in-10 bowlers will receive scholarship money,

The event features three divisions: 18 and older, 18 and under, and a 5th-8th grade division. The high qualifier in each division receives a Columbia bowling ball, while the bowler with the highest single-game score in each division will be awarded a pair of bowling shoes. In addition, the first 50 paid entries will be awarded a Columbia 300 bowling shirt.

The competition – which is being sponsored by Denny’s – will be held on the PBA Shark pattern, the same pattern which will be used for the 2007 GEICO Classic in Irving.

Central Region Down to the Wire
The PBA Central Region points race will go down to the last event as three bowlers are still in the running for an exemption for the 2007-08 season. Unfortunately, that final event isn’t until March.

Currently, Ken Abner leads the race with 169,184 points, followed by Dave D’Entremont with 168,900 and Brian Waliczek who is third with 168,665.
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