November 23, 2006 19:00
Jack Jurek was already well on his way to having the best season of his 21-year Denny’s PBA Tour career, and it just keeps getting better.
The 43-year-old went 6-3 in round robin match play Friday to take the overall lead heading into the final nine games with a 5,833 23-game pinfall in the 2006 Discover® Card Windy City Classic at Hawthorn Lanes. Total pinfall includes 30 bonus pins for each win and 15 for each tie.
Jurek, whose lone Tour title came in the 1995 Tums Classic, has already surpassed his career-high in season earnings through just four events. He came into the week fourth in the PBA World Point Rankings, mostly due to a second-place finish in the USBC Masters, one of four Majors.
“Obviously after the first week, not only getting a big pay day, but also picking up a lot of points, it allowed me to be a lot more relaxed,” said Jurek (Lackawanna, N.Y.). “If I just keep my head above water I should be exempt for another year at least.”
Jurek was fourth heading into the position round of the Round of 32 after which the field was cut to the top 16. He defeated Chris Barnes (Flower Mound, Texas), 244-225, when Barnes opened in the 10th frame.
“When the scores are this high a lot of luck comes into play,” Jurek said. “You have to have a lot of things go your way.”
Norm Duke (Clermont, Fla.), who won his 24th career title in last week’s 2006 Lake County Indiana Classic, is second with 5,827. Duke will look to win back-to-back titles for the first time in his career.
Earning the final spot for the Round of 16 was Brad Angelo (Lockport, N.Y.), who was 21st heading into the position round. He defeated Amleto Monacelli (Venezuela), 246-227, to finish ahead of Jason Couch (Clermont, Fla.) by four pins.
The top five bowlers after tonight’s final nine games will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised stepladder finals at Noon CST at Hawthorn Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
300 games (2) - Chris Barnes, Amleto Monacelli.
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