PBA Spare Shots

by PBA Editor January 1, 2007 19:00
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This Week
The Denny’s PBA Tour returns after a two-week hiatus with the H&R Block Classic in Reno, Nev., Jan. 3-7 at the National Bowling Stadium. The event will mark the Tour’s return to Reno after a three-year absence.

Mika Koivuniemi will be the defending champion, having captured the 2004 Reno Open in January 2004. PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer elected not to award a Commissioner’s Exemption for the event, and exempt bowlers Jim Pratt and Amleto Monacelli have withdrawn, meaning a minimum of seven spots will be available for PBA members through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round.

First Half Recap
If the second half of the 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour season is anything like the first, fans are in for a wild ride.

The first nine events saw records broken and history made, with Walter Ray Williams Jr. starting the season off with a bang, breaking Earl Anthony’s all-time Tour titles record in the Dydo Japan Cup 2006.

A month later, Doug Kent kicked off the U.S. portion of the Tour by winning the first Major of the season, the USBC Masters in Milwaukee, Wis., and the following week, Tony Reyes fired just the 17th nationally televised 300 game in Denny’s PBA Tour history en route to capturing his first career Tour title.

Those first three events were hard to top, but the next two weeks saw two of the game’s greatest legends add another title to their lofty resumes, as Pete Weber and Norm Duke won the season’s fourth and fifth events. With three of the first five events won by the Tour’s “Legends” it looked as if it might be a quiet season for the “Young Guns.”

The next three weeks, however, were dominated by the Young Guns as Wes Malott, Tommy Jones and Sean Rash took those three events, with Jones’ title being his ninth in just over two years.

Just as it seemed like there might not be an early leader for the 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year, Duke captured the final event of the first half to become the first bowler this season with multiple titles. Both of Duke’s wins came in style. He set a Denny’s PBA Tour record by going 14-0 en route to the Lake County Indiana Classic title and won four matches as the No. 4 seed in winning the stepladder finals of the Columbia 300 Classic.

This Week's Schedule
This week’s 2007 H&R Block Classic at the National Bowling Stadium features a single elimination match play format. Action begins with the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round and official PBA practice session on Wednesday, Jan. 3. On Thursday, Jan. 4, the 64-bowler field will bowl two seven-game qualifying sessions, after which the top 32 will advance to match play.

The match play schedule varies a little this week as normally all three match play rounds take place Friday. This week, however, the Rounds of 32 and 16 will take place Friday, Jan. 5, while the Round of 8 will take place Saturday, Jan. 6 at 9 a.m. PST. A PBA Pro-Am will take place following the Round of 8 at Noon.

The final four will bowl live on ESPN Sunday, Jan. 7, at 10 a.m. PST. The winner will take home the $25,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2007-08 season.

Did You Know?
Norm Duke has won two titles this season in just nine events, the first time since the 2000 campaign he’s won multiple titles in a season.

The 2000 season was also the last time Duke earned PBA Player of the Year honors. That season Duke won three titles in earning his second PBA Player of the Year award.

Return to Reno
The Denny’s PBA Tour returns to the National Bowling Stadium (NBS) in Reno, Nev., for the first time since the 2003-04 season when Mika Koivuniemi won the 2004 Reno Open. Overall this will mark the 12th Denny’s PBA Tour event held at the NBS and the 21st overall in Reno.

The first Tour event ever held in Reno was the 1978 PBA National Championship which was held at MGM Grand Lanes and was won by Warren Nelson. Bally’s Bowling Center played host to mixed doubles events over three consecutive seasons from 1989-91, the first two of which were won by Amleto Monacelli (with Tish Johnson) while the third was won by Del Ballard Jr. (with Nikki Gianulias). Two years later, Parker Bohn III teamed with Aleta Sill to win the 1993 Mixed Doubles event at Hilton Lanes. The Reno Hilton Bowling Center then played host a Tour stop four consecutive seasons before the National Bowling Stadium was opened in 1995.

John Gant won the first-ever Tour stop held in the NBS, the 1997 Brunswick World Tournament of Champions. Since then, four current exempt bowlers have won in the Stadium including Tim Criss, Bohn, Koivuniemi and Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Halfway Home
With four wins on TV en route to the 2006 Columbia 300 Classic title, Norm Duke is now halfway to tying the Denny’s PBA Tour record for most consecutive wins on TV. Duke doubled his winning streak in the Long Island event as the four wins brought his total to eight consecutive wins on TV.

Duke’s streak is still eight shy of Jim Pencak’s record of 16, which was challenged the last two seasons by Tommy Jones, who reached 15 consecutive wins. Duke has won three titles in that span, winning twice in last season’s Ace Hardware Championship and twice in this season’s Lake County Indiana Classic. The eight consecutive wins is tied for the sixth longest streak in history.

Extra Spots Available in Next Two Events
Jim Pratt has withdrawn from the first three events of the second half while Amleto Monacelli has withdrawn from the first two, meaning two extra spots will be available from the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round in both this week’s H&R Block Classic and next week’s Earl Anthony Medford Classic. The following week’s Dick Weber Open is an open-field event meaning Pratt’s withdrawal will not affect the field size.

Non-Exempt Points Race Heats Up
Though it’s still relatively early in the season, particularly with two Major events left which count toward the PBA World Point Rankings, action in the 2006-07 non-exempt points race is heating up. The Columbia 300 Classic Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round offered a record nine spots for PBA members (which as a result drew in a record 107 entries) giving non-exempt bowlers more opportunity to gain valuable points. The high non-exempt bowler in the point rankings at the end of the season earns an exemption for 2007-08.

Among those in the hunt and making the cut in West Babylon, N.Y., were Steve Rogers – who finished fourth in the 2006 Lake County Indiana Classic after advancing through the TQR – as well as Dino Castillo and Edward VanDaniker Jr., who have advanced from the TQR a Tour-high tying three times each this season. Though she has not made a cut since her Round of 8 appearance in the Etonic Championship, Liz Johnson still holds a slim lead heading into the second half:

50.Liz Johnson27,332
51.Chad Kloss27,085.16
54.Dino Castillo25,208.5
58.Steve Rogers23,262.5
59.Edward VanDaniker Jr.22,940

Holman Awarded Commissioner’s Exemption
PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer announced PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman has been awarded the Commissioner’s Exemption for the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic, Jan. 10-14, at Lava Lanes in Medford, Ore.

Holman, a Medford native, was awarded the Commissioner’s Exemption for the third consecutive season in his hometown, becoming the first bowler to be given a Commissioner’s Exemption for a third time in his career.

The PBA Hall of Famer, who earned the nickname “The Medford Meteor,” owns 22 career Denny’s PBA Tour titles, which ranks 11th all-time. Among his 22 titles are four Major titles, including the 1976 and ‘86 Tournament of Champions and the 1981 and ‘85 U.S. Opens. The 1987 PBA Player of the Year, Holman has earned over $1.7 million in career PBA earnings.

“It’s a privilege every time I get a chance to bowl in a PBA tournament,” said Holman, 52. “I feel very fortunate to be the only one to receive the exemption three years in a row. I really want to make it to match play this year because it’s a lot of fun being showcased among the 32 best in the world, and that’s when the locals will really start yelling for me.”

Holman, just the third bowler this season to earn a Commissioner’s Exemption, finished 61st in the 2004 Earl Anthony Medford Classic and 41st in the 2005 event in his previous appearances as the Commissioner’s Exemption.

Looking Ahead
PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer has decided not to award a Commissioner’s Exemption for the 2007 Motel 6 Classic at Strike Zone at Sunset Station in Las Vegas, Nev., meaning a minimum of five spots will be available for PBA members from the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round.

PBA Sponsor Competition
Wes Malott (Ace Hardware) maintained his lead in the 2006-07 PBA Sponsor Competition while Tommy Jones (Denny’s) moved into second after finishing eighth in the Columbia 300 Classic. With Wes Malott, Bill O’Neill and Chris Loschetter, Ace Hardware leads the team standings. On the strength of Sean Rash’s win in the Beltway Classic, Pepsi is second. Team standings are based on average point rankings for their respective team members since Denny’s carries six players and all other teams carry three.

Complete Sponsor Competition Standings

1.Wes Malott/Ace Hardware106,986
2.Tommy Jones/Denny's98,967
3.Norm Duke/Motel 696,554
4.Pete Weber/Etonic87,445
5.Parker Bohn III/Pepsi86,133
6.Jack Jurek/Discover® Card82,245
7.Ryan Shafer/GEICO80,054
8.Chris Barnes/Pepsi79,115
9.Mike Scroggins/Denny's78,079
10.Tommy Delutz Jr./USBC75,504
11.Walter Ray Williams Jr./Denny's70,177
12.Joe Ciccone/USBC69,434.5
13.Mike Wolfe/Motel 664,284.5
14.Bill O'Neill/Ace Hardware63,965
15.Michael Fagan/Bayer63,104
16.Mika Koivuniemi/GEICO62,844.5
17.Chris Loschetter/Ace Hardware62,813.5
18.Mike DeVaney/Bayer62,655
19.Tony Reyes/Denny's59,975.5
20.Danny Wiseman/Motel 656,165.5
21.Steve Jaros/GEICO55,678.5
22.Brad Angelo/USBC53,794.5
23.Sean Rash/Pepsi51,788
24.Brian Himmler/Etonic38,236.5
25.Patrick Allen/Discover® Card37,906
26.Tim Criss/Bayer35,540.5
27.Chris Johnson/Discover® Card34,169.5
28.Amleto Monacelli/Denny's27,452
29.Jason Hurd/Denny's24,969.5
30.Mike Machuga/Etonic24,649.66

Sponsor Competition by Team

Rk. TeamAvg. Points Per Player
1. Ace Hardware77,921.5
(Loschetter, Malott, O’Neill)
2. Pepsi72,345.3
(Barnes, Bohn, Rash)
3. Motel 672,334.7
(Duke, Wiseman, M. Wolfe)
4. USBC66,244.3
(Angelo, Ciccone, Delutz)
5. GEICO66,192.3
(Jaros, Koivuniemi, Shafer)
6. Denny’s59,936.7*
(Jones, Hurd, Monacelli, Reyes, Scroggins, Williams)
7. Bayer53,766.5
(Criss, DeVaney, Fagan)
8. Discover® Card51,440.2
(Allen, Johnson, Jurek)
9. Etonic50,110.4
(Himmler, Machuga, Weber)

*Denny’s carries six players while other teams carry three

2007 PBA Tournament of Champions Roster
With Norm Duke winning the 2006 Columbia 300 Classic, Lonnie Waliczek remains on the bubble for the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions for the seventh consecutive week.

Waliczek, still on the roster due to his win in the 2003 Odor-Eaters Open, has been living a charmed life so far as just one of the nine winners in the first half was not previously on the roster. Waliczek is even more fortunate to be on the roster considering Tom Baker won both PBA Senior Tour Major events this summer, giving an extra spot to Denny’s PBA Tour titlists.

Denny’s PBA Tour Entrants

1.Norm DukeColumbia 300 Classic (12/17/06)
2.Sean RashBeltway Classic (12/10/06)
3.Tommy JonesAce Hardware Championship (12/3/06)
4.Wes MalottDiscover® Card Windy City Classic (11/26/06)
5.Pete WeberEtonic Championship (11/12/06)
6.Tony ReyesMotor City Classic (11/5/06)
7.Doug KentUSBC Masters (10/29/06)
8.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Dydo Japan Cup 2006 (9/24/2006)
9.Chris BarnesDexter Tournament of Champions (4/9/2006)
10.Patrick AllenGreat Lakes Classic (4/2/2006)
11.Chris CollinsPepsi Championship (3/5/2006)
12.Brian VossJackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic (1/29/2006)
13.Ritchie AllenMotel 6 Phoenix Classic (1/22/2006)
14.Jason CouchDick Weber Open (1/15/2006)
15.Brian HimmlerEarl Anthony Medford Classic (1/8/2006)
16.Mike WolfeEmpire State Classic (12/18/05)
17.Mike ScrogginsUSBC Masters (11/20/05)
18.Mike MachugaGreater Omaha Classic (11/13/05)
19.Steve JarosDexter Tournament of Champions (4/10/05)
20.Mika KoivuniemiBaby Ruth Real Deal Classic (3/6/05)
21.Amleto MonacelliJackson Hewitt Tax Service Open (2/13/05)
22.Parker Bohn IIIEl Paso Classic (1/16/05)
23.Jason HurdPepsi Open (11/28/04)
24.Rick LawrenceBowlersParadise.com Open (11/21/04)
25.Danny WisemanMiller High Life Masters (10/31/04)
26.Robert SmithOdor-Eaters Open (2/15/04)
27.Patrick Healey Jr.Dexter Tournament of Champions (12/14/03)
28.Ryan ShaferEmpire State Open (11/23/03)
29.Lonnie WaliczekOdor-Eaters Open (3/2/03)

PBA Senior Tour Entrants

30.Tom BakerSenior U.S. Open and USBC Senior Masters

PBA Regional Tour Entrants

31.D.J. ArcherPBA Regional Players Championship
32.Mitch BeasleyPBA Regional Players Invitational

2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour Statistical Leaders

Point Leaders

1.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas106,986
2.Tommy JonesSimpsonville, S.C.98,967
3.Norm DukeClermont, Fla.96,554
4.Doug KentNewark, N.Y.93,050
5.Pete WeberSt. Ann, Mo.87,445
6.Parker Bohn IIIJackson, N.J.86,133
7.Jack JurekLackawanna, N.Y.82,245
8.Ryan ShaferHorseheads, N.Y.80,054
9.Chris BarnesFlower Mound, Texas79,115
10.Mike ScrogginsAmarillo, Texas78,079

Earnings Leaders

1.Doug KentNewark, N.Y.$128,400
2.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Ocala, Fla.$75,200
3.Pete WeberSt. Ann, Mo.$70,300
4.Jack JurekLackawanna, N.Y.$69,800
5.Norm DukeClermont, Fla.$68,850
6.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas$66,500
7.Tommy JonesSimpsonville, S.C.$58,600
8.Tony ReyesSan Bruno, Calif.$49,600
9.Ryan ShaferHorseheads, N.Y.$44,100
10.Sean RashWichita, Kan.$38,100

Average Leaders

1.Norm DukeClermont, Fla.229.79
2.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas228.09
3.Tommy Delutz Jr.Flushing, N.Y.227.88
4.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Ocala, Fla.227.76
5.Mike ScrogginsAmarillo, Texas226.38
6.Pete WeberSt. Ann, Mo.225.28
7.Doug KentNewark, N.Y.225.03
8.Parker Bohn IIIJackson, N.J.224.39
9.Ryan ShaferHorseheads, N.Y.224.35
10.Chris BarnesFlower Mound, Texas224.01

Match Play Statistics (Single Elimination Only, Min. Two Apps.)

Strike Percentage

1.Norm Duke25434872.99
2.Parker Bohn III19128068.21
3.Walter Ray Williams Jr.18327167.53
4.Sean Rash18427367.40
5.Wes Malott34753564.86

Spare Percentage

1.Norm Duke778590.59
2.Walter Ray Williams Jr.778689.53
3.Doug Kent11112787.40
4.Chris Hayden859985.86
5.Chris Barnes14216884.52

Match Game Win Percentage

1.Norm Duke255.833
2.Parker Bohn III147.667
3.Sean Rash168.667
4.Walter Ray Williams Jr.159.625
5.Tommy Jones2818.609

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