November 23, 2006 19:00
While he did finally lose a game Friday after setting a PBA record by going 14-0 in match play last week, Norm Duke is still close to unbeatable. He racked up a 6-3 record Friday to move up to second in the standings.
Duke is chasing a Denny’s PBA Tour record, but he still has a long way to go. All 28 of his games last week were over 200, and he continued the streak with 14 more games of at least 200 in the Round of 64. With nine more games of 200 Friday morning, Duke now has 51 consecutive games of at least 200, which is 28 games shy of Mike Scroggins’ record of 79 set last season.
Tough Breaks for Bakes
It was a tough day for PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker Friday, who went just 1-8 in match play to fall to 26th despite a 238.56 in his nine games.
The first five games for Baker were gut-wrenching as he averaged 255 and went 1-4, his only win coming with his lowest score in the five games. He lost game one to Danny Wiseman, 248-247, game two to Joe Ciccone, 279-258, and game three to Chris Barnes, 260-258. He came back with a win in game four – 233-179 over Sean Rash – before dropping to 1-4 with a heartbreaking 300-279 loss to Amleto Monacelli. Baker never recovered, dropping his last four games to miss the cut.
Never out of it
With this week’s scoring pace being extremely high, bowlers were never really out of the tournament until late into Thursday’s Round of 64.
Bill O’Neill struggled to keep up with the pace in the first block, finishing the first seven games 60th overall with a 215.71 average. He more than figured it out in the second session, however, averaging 253.88 to move up to 29th, the highest jump in the standings of anyone in the Round of 64.
O’Neill continued his charge in match play, going 6-3 to move up from 29th to 10th after the Round of 32, averaging 249.57 in those nine games.
Four bowlers – including O’Neill – jumped at least 20 spots to get into the cut in a wild second session, including Amleto Monacelli who jumped from 48th to 19th, Ryan Shafer who went from 51st to 26th and Steve Jaros who went from 44th to 23rd. Dale Traber, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. He moved up 25 spots and averaged 245.71 in the second block, but he came up six pins short of the match play cut, finishing 33rd.
Though she missed the cut to match play, Carolyn-Dorin Ballard made history yet again this week when she became the first woman to shoot a 300 game in a standard Tour event, not counting the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round. Jen Petrick became the first woman to do that last season and Kelly Kulick fired a 300 game in Tour Trials last summer.
Dorin-Ballard is no stranger to making history as she was the first woman to shoot 300 in any PBA event when she had back-to-back 300 games in a PBA Regional Tour event in 2005.
Dorin-Ballard also joined her exempt husband, Del, in this week’s event, marking the first time a husband and wife have competed in the same standard Tour event. Dorin-Ballard received the Commissioner’s Exemption for the 2005 Dallas Open, but Del just missed the cut from the TQR by three spots. Last season, Dorin-Ballard’s sister, Cathy Dorin-Lizzi, made the cut in the Ace Hardware Championship at Taylor Lanes, but husband Jeff Lizzi missed the cut that week.
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