November 29, 2006 19:00
Despite winning an emotional second career Denny's PBA Tour title last week, Wes Malott won’t admit to feeling more relaxed.
Malott bowled like someone feeling no pressure, however, finishing second in the Round of 64 in Thursday’s Ace Hardware Championship with a 3,288 14-game pinfall to earn the No. 2 seed for Friday’s match play at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe.
“You have to be very nice to the ball at the release this week because there is a lot of friction and if you touch the fingers, the ball will react to the dry part of the lane more than usual,” said Malott (Argyle, Texas). “If I ever had a chance to repeat this would be the week because we’re bowling on wood. Because I throw the ball so hard, I normally have a decent ball reaction on this surface. It’s a matter of me performing after that.”
Malott will face Joe Ciccone (Buffalo, N.Y.), who finished 31st with 2,950.
Maintaining the overall lead from the morning block was 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones, who earned the top seed with 3,288. He will face No. 32 Jason Hurd (Titusville, Fla.), who finished with 2,945, just 11 pins ahead of Doug Kent (Newark, N.Y.).
Advancing to match play for the first time in her career in a standard Denny’s PBA Tour event was Kelly Kulick (Union, N.J.), who finished 26th with 2,961. Kulick will face last week’s Discover® Card Windy City Classic runner-up Chris Barnes (Flower Mound, Texas), who finished seventh with 3,129.
Defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. (Ocala, Fla.) finished 21st with 3,021 and will face No. 12 Chris Hayden (Orlando, Fla.). Williams captured his 40th career title at Freeway Lanes in November 2004, and his since gone on to win two titles since then to become the Tour’s all-time titles leader.
Match play gets underway Friday morning at 9 a.m. EST with the Round of 32, followed by the Rounds of 16 and 8.
The final four will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised finals at 1 p.m. EST at Freeway Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
300 Games (2) - Danny Wiseman, Wes Malott.
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