November 8, 2006 19:00
On a wild day in which the lead changed numerous times, Mike DeVaney emerged as the overall leader in the 2006 Etonic Championship at AMF Thruway Lanes.
DeVaney fired a 265 in his final game to leap over five bowlers and finish as the top seed for Friday’s match play with a 3,135 14-game pinfall Thursday. He averaged 230.57 over his final seven games after finishing 14th through the first seven games.
“I just caught a couple breaks and had good pairs my last couple games,” said DeVaney (Temecula, Calif.). “The pairs I followed were good all day. Sometimes if you get caught behind the wrong guys it can be trouble, but the guys I was following didn’t do anything silly.”
DeVaney will face No. 32 Bill O’Neill (Levittown, Pa.) in the single elimination, best-of-seven games match play. O’Neill earned the final spot in match play with 2,923, five pins ahead of PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III (Jackson, N.J.).
For the first time in a standard Tour event, two women advanced to match play as both Liz Johnson (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) and Michelle Feldman (Skaneateles, N.Y.) made the cut. Both Johnson and Feldman advanced into the Round of 64 via Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round. Ironically, Johnson and Feldman will face each other in Friday’s Round of 32 as Johnson finished 12th with 2,996 and Feldman finished 21st with 2,963.
Two other featured matches include PBA Hall of Famers Tom Baker (King, N.C.) and Pete Weber (St. Ann, Mo.) facing off, and 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) taking on seven-time titlist Chris Barnes (Flower Mound, Texas).
In addition to Baker (a Buffalo native), Johnson and Feldman, a handful of other local favorites made the cut. Doug Kent (Newark, N.Y.), who won the season-opening USBC Masters, finished third. Joe Ciccone (Buffalo) finished tied for 15th and Brad Angelo (Lockport, N.Y.) finished tied for 27th. Angelo made a big run in the second block of qualifying, averaging 223.43 in the final seven games – including a 248 in the final game – to go from 54th to 27th.
Match play gets underway Friday morning at 9 a.m. EST with the Round of 32, followed by the Rounds of 16 and 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
The final four will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 1 p.m. EST at AMF Thruway Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
300 games (2) - Doug Kent, Steve Jaros.
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