Click here to view this article as a PDFThis Week
After a one-week break, the Denny’s PBA Tour hits the home stretch this week with just three events remaining, starting with the 2007 Pepsi Championship at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, Ind., March 14-18. The event marks the final round-robin, stepladder format of the season with the five-bowler finals taking place Sunday, March 18 at 12:30 p.m. EST.
Walter Ray Williams Jr. will look to win his second consecutive event and third overall at Woodland Bowl as he won last season’s 2006 Denny’s World Championship in Indianapolis. This season, the Denny’s World Championship moves to Wyoming, Mich., with the arena finals taking place at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich.
PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer did not award a Commissioner’s Exemption this week and no exempt bowlers have withdrawn meaning a season-low five spots will be available to PBA members Wednesday from the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round. A record field will participate in Wednesday’s TQR as the field of 150 blows away the previous record of 114 in this season’s Bayer Classic in Parkersburg, W.Va. Last Week
Though the Denny’s PBA Tour took the week off last week, the PBA Regional Tour did not and there was plenty of excitement to go around.
In the PBA Central Region, an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season was on the line as Dave D’Entremont and Brian Waliczek went into the event separated by less than 300 points. With the race so close, D’Entremont needed to beat Waliczek by one spot in the season’s final event, the PBA Central Region Joe Firment/Plain Dealer Open.
Heading into the final two games of qualifying, D’Entremont trailed Waliczek by 55 pins, but D’Entremont fired a 257 in game seven to Waliczek’s 220 meaning that heading into the final game, D’Entremont needed to beat Waliczek by 19 pins. Bowling in front of his home crowd, and ironically on the same pair as Waliczek as the two crossed together during qualifying, D’Entremont fired a 235 while Waliczek managed just a 189 and D’Entremont’s 17th-place finish gave him the exemption for 2007-08.
In the PBA South Region, Ken Simard wrapped up his first career exemption, finishing more than 43,000 points ahead of Tom Daugherty. Simard finished fourth in last weekend’s PBA South Region Bermuda Open in Warwick, Bermuda.This Week's Schedule
This week’s 2007 Pepsi Championship at Woodland Bowl features a round robin match play format, the final round robin format of the season. Action begins Wednesday, March 14 with the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round at 9:30 a.m. EST followed by the official PBA Practice Session. Thursday, March 15 features the Round of 64 with two seven-game blocks starting at 11 a.m.
Match play takes place Friday with the Round of 32 which features nine games of round robin match play. The field will then be cut to the top 16, after which another nine games of round robin will take place. The top five will advance to Sunday’s championship rounds live on ESPN. Saturday is a day for the fans with PBA Pro-Ams and Fan Day taking place at Woodland Bowl at Noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The live ESPN televised finals take place Sunday, March 18, at 12:30 p.m. EST. The winner will take home the $25,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2007-08 season.Did You Know?
By winning last weekend’s PBA Central Region Ray-Com Senior Open in North Olmsted, Ohio, Bill McCorkle set a PBA record for most years between PBA Regional Tour titles.
McCorkle’s last PBA Regional Tour title came in 1978. The 29 years between titles broke the old record held by Barry Asher, who went 26 years between PBA Regional Tour titles. McCorkle, who had 14 runner-up finishes in between titles, never dropped his PBA membership card in those 29 years.Exemptions Rounding Out
With Dave D’Entremont and Ken Simard clinching their exemptions last weekend, five of the seven PBA Regional Tour exemptions have been handed out for the 2007-08 season. Besides D’Entremont (Central) and Simard (South), exemptions have also been clinched by Sean Swanson (Southwest), Jim Tomek Jr. (East) and Curtis Woods Jr. (West).
The two remaining exemptions are coming down to races between David Leverage and PBA Hall of Famer Ernie Schlegel in the Northwest Region and David Beres and rookie Jason Wojnar in the Midwest Region. Beres, who is right behind Wojnar, finished second to Jeff Carter in last year’s Midwest Region in an exciting race that went down to the final event. This season’s race will also go down to this weekend’s final event, which like last year will be held at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.Woodland Bowl
This week’s 2007 Pepsi Championship marks the 29th Denny’s PBA Tour event held in Indianapolis, and the 24th held at Woodland Bowl. The center played host to a Tour stop 20 consecutive seasons from 1981-2001 and after a year off, now returns for the fourth consecutive season.
Six current exempt bowlers have won at Woodland Bowl including Jason Couch, Steve Jaros, Doug Kent, Mika Koivuniemi, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. Couch, Weber and Williams have all won multiple titles in the center.
The first Denny’s PBA Tour event held in Indianapolis was the 1962 Indianapolis Open at Play Bowl which was won by Billy Welu. After two stops at Play Bowl, one at Raceway Lanes and another at Astro Bowl, the Tour kicked off its 20-year run at Woodland Bowl with the 1981 Kessler Classic won by Wayne Webb.Cut Line Drama
This week’s 2007 Pepsi Championship and next week’s 2007 Denny’s World Championship are the final two events of the season which offer points meaning tensions will be high as exemptions for 2007-08 will be won or lost in these two weeks.
With the 64th U.S. Open offering more points than standard events, one bowler all but locked up an exemption with a clutch performance. Going into the Major event, Jeff Carter was 42nd in the PBA World Point Rankings, three spots out of the cut. His third-place finish, however, pushed him up to 28th which should be a safe spot heading into the final two events.
Potentially complicating matters was Tom Baker dropping down to 39th in the point rankings. Should Baker finish 40th or lower, the cut line would move to 38th.
Below is a look at the bowlers around the cut line:
|35.||Mike Machuga||91,314.00 |
|36.||Patrick Healey Jr.||90,821.00 |
|37.||Tim Criss||90,606.50 |
|38.||Dino Castillo||90,560.00 |
|39.||Tom Baker||89,691.00||CUT LINE|
|40.||Brian Himmler||89,556.00 |
|41.||Chris Hayden||82,766.00 |
|42.||John May||82,752.00 |
|43.||Brian Voss||80,675.50 |
|44.||Dale Traber||77,217.50 |
Another exciting race to watch over the final two weeks is the non-exempt points race. With his eighth-place finish in the 64th U.S. Open, Dino Castillo moved back into the cut line at 38th. If he finishes in the top 39, Castillo would earn an exemption via the top 39 rather than take the exemption as the high non-exempt bowler.
Though Dave D’Entremont’s fourth-place finish in the 64th U.S. Open moved him into second in the non-exempt race, D’Entremont was eliminated from that race when he wrapped up an exemption for 2007-08 via the PBA Central Region. Should Castillo stay in the top 39, the next bowler down the list would earn an exemption, which at this point is Ronnie Russell after he turned in a solid performance in the 64th U.S. Open by finishing 14th.
Below is a look at the leaders:
The Stretch Run
|58.||Edward VanDaniker Jr.||49,512|
With two of the final three events this season being Majors, anything can still happen in the 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year race, but with his second win of the season in the 64th U.S. Open, Pete Weber may have seized control for now.
Weber is one of five bowlers on Tour with two titles (Patrick Allen, Jason Couch, Norm Duke and Sean Rash are the others) but he is the only of the five with a Major title. He also ranks first in earnings, fourth in points and tied for fourth with four TV appearances. Perhaps most important are Weber’s seven top-eight finishes which is tied with Couch for tops on Tour, a tell-tale sign of consistency. One of those top-eight finishes for Weber was a sixth-place finish in the 2006 USBC Masters.
Others still in the race are Wes Malott and Chris Barnes, who sit 1-2 in the PBA World Point Rankings and each own a title this season.Denny’s World Championship Looming
With the 64th U.S. Open reaching capacity a week before the event, bowlers are encouraged to enter the 2007 Denny’s World Championship early as spots will fill up fast. The Denny’s World Championship is the only event open exclusively to PBA members on the schedule and is the third of four Majors.
The Denny’s World Championship runs March 18-25 at Spectrum Lanes in Wyoming, Mich., with the live ESPN televised finals taking place Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. EST at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich. The event will offer a $50,000 top prize and a four-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption. This season, byes will no longer be given to the top four bowlers in the PBA World Point Rankings. Instead, the eight byes into the Round of Super 16 will come from the top eight in qualifying.
Bowlers should sign up now before the field fills up so they won’t miss their chance to compete against the best bowlers in the world in one of the most prestigious events on the Denny’s PBA Tour.Looking Ahead
Bowlers can also make plans for the 2007 Regional Players Championship which will take place May 25-28 at Stardust Bowl II in Merrillville, Ind. The event, which is open to 320 bowlers, will offer a spot in the 2007-08 PBA Tournament of Champions to the winner. Last season, D.J. Archer captured his first career PBA title and a spot in the upcoming 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions with a win in the 2006 Regional Players Championship.
PBA Sponsor Competition With his second-place finish in the 64th U.S. Open, Wes Malott (Ace Hardware) took back the lead in the 2006-07 PBA Sponsor Competition. The Pepsi team, which carries Chris Barnes, Parker Bohn III and Sean Rash, kept its lead in the team standings. 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
Sponsor Competition by Team
|1.||Wes Malott/Ace Hardware||192,249 |
|2.||Chris Barnes/Pepsi||178,018.5 |
|3.||Pete Weber/Etonic||173,564 |
|4.||Parker Bohn III/Pepsi||170,450 |
|5.||Patrick Allen/Discover® Card||170,400 |
|6.||Tommy Jones/Denny's||152,250.5 |
|7.||Walter Ray Williams Jr./Denny's||152,247.5 |
|8.||Mike Scroggins/Denny's||150,969.33 |
|9.||Ryan Shafer/GEICO||143,369 |
|10.||Norm Duke/Motel 6||137,999 |
|11.||Mike DeVaney/Bayer||136,793 |
|12.||Bill O'Neill/Ace Hardware||135,681 |
|13.||Jack Jurek/Discover® Card||134,263|
|15.||Tommy Delutz Jr./USBC||129,422 |
|16.||Sean Rash/Pepsi||127,877 |
|17.||Joe Ciccone/USBC||127,015 |
|18.||Steve Jaros/GEICO||123,926.5 |
|19.||Chris Loschetter/Ace Hardware||113,486 |
|20.||Mike Wolfe/Motel 6||112,994|
|23.||Michael Fagan/Bayer||97,818 |
|24.||Danny Wiseman/Motel 6||93,846 |
|25.||Mike Machuga/Etonic||91,314 |
|26.||Patrick Healey Jr./H-R Block||90,821 |
|27.||Tim Criss/Bayer||90,606.5 |
|28.||Brian Himmler/Etonic||89,556 |
|29.||Brian Voss/H-R Block||80,675.5 |
|30.||Chris Johnson/Discover® Card||67,116|
|31.||Chris Collins/H-R Block||66,625.5 |
|32.||Jason Hurd/Denny's||41,380.5 |
|Rk. Team||Avg. Points Per Player |
|(Barnes, Bohn, Rash) |
|2. Ace Hardware||147,138.67|
|(Loschetter, Malott, O’Neill) |
|(Jaros, Koivuniemi, Shafer) |
|4. Discover® Card||123,926.33|
|(Allen, Johnson, Jurek) |
|(Angelo, Ciccone, Delutz) |
|(Himmler, Machuga, Weber) |
|7. Motel 6||114,946.33|
|(Duke, Wiseman, M. Wolfe) |
|(Criss, DeVaney, Fagan)|
|9. Denny’s||105,991.36* |
|(Jones, Hurd, Monacelli, Reyes, Scroggins, Williams)|
|10. H-R Block||79,374.00|
|(Collins, Healey, Voss) |
*Denny’s carries six players while other teams carry three2007 PBA Tournament of Champions Roster
With Pete Weber’s win in the 64th U.S. Open, Ryan Shafer remained on the bubble for the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions. Shafer is still eligible for the event due to his 2003 Empire State Open win.
With two events left before the season-ending PBA Tournament of Champions, Robert Smith is officially locked for the event.Denny’s PBA Tour Entrants
|1.||Pete Weber||64th U.S. Open (3/4/07)|
|2.||Mike Mineman||Bayer Classic (2/25/07)|
|3.||Patrick Allen||Go RVing Classic (2/18/07)|
|4.||Chris Barnes||GEICO Classic (2/11/07)|
|5.||Mika Koivuniemi||Sun City Classic (2/4/07)|
|6.||Jason Couch||Motel 6 Classic (1/28/07)|
|7.||Sean Rash||Earl Anthony Medford Classic (1/14/07)|
|8.||Norm Duke||Columbia 300 Classic (12/17/06)|
|9.||Tommy Jones||Ace Hardware Championship (12/3/06)|
|10.||Wes Malott||Discover® Card Windy City Classic (11/26/06)|
|11.||Tony Reyes||Motor City Classic (11/5/06)|
|12.||Doug Kent||USBC Masters (10/29/06)|
|13.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Dydo Japan Cup 2006 (9/24/06)|
|14.||Chris Collins||Pepsi Championship (3/5/06)|
|15.||Brian Voss||Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic (1/29/06)|
|16.||Ritchie Allen||Motel 6 Phoenix Classic (1/22/06)|
|17.||Brian Himmler||Earl Anthony Medford Classic (1/8/06)|
|18.||Mike Wolfe||Empire State Classic (12/18/05)|
|19.||Mike Scroggins||USBC Masters (11/20/05)|
|20.||Mike Machuga||Greater Omaha Classic (11/13/05)|
|21.||Steve Jaros||Dexter Tournament of Champions (4/10/05)|
|22.||Amleto Monacelli||Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Open (2/13/05)|
|23.||Parker Bohn III||El Paso Classic (1/16/05)|
|24.||Jason Hurd||Pepsi Open (11/28/04)|
|25.||Rick Lawrence||BowlersParadise.com Open (11/21/04)|
|26.||Danny Wiseman||Miller High Life Masters (10/31/04)|
|27.||Robert Smith||Odor-Eaters Open (2/15/04)|
|28.||Patrick Healey Jr.||Dexter Tournament of Champions (12/14/03)|
|29.||Ryan Shafer||Empire State Open (11/23/03)|
2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour Statistical Leaders
|PBA Senior Tour Entrants|
|30.||Tom Baker||Senior U.S. Open and USBC Senior Masters|
|PBA Regional Tour Entrants|
|31.||D.J. Archer||PBA Regional Players Championship |
|32.||Mitch Beasley||PBA Regional Players Invitational|
|1.||Wes Malott||Argyle, Texas||192,249|
|2.||Chris Barnes||Double Oak, Texas||178,018.5|
|3.||Jason Couch||Clermont, Fla.||177,320|
|4.||Pete Weber||St. Ann, Mo.||173,564|
|5.||Parker Bohn III||Jackson, N.J.||170,450|
|6.||Patrick Allen||Wesley Chapel, Fla.||170,400|
|7.||Tommy Jones||Simpsonville, S.C.||152,250.5|
|8.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Ocala, Fla.||152,247.5|
|9.||Mike Scroggins||Amarillo, Texas||150,969.33|
|10.||Ryan Shafer||Horseheads, N.Y.||143,369|
|1.||Pete Weber||St. Ann, Mo.||$188,450|
|2.||Doug Kent||Newark, N.Y.||$144,830|
|3.||Wes Malott||Argyle, Texas||$135,900|
|4.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Ocala, Fla.||$110,870|
|5.||Patrick Allen||Wesley Chapel, Fla.||$100,360|
|6.||Jason Couch||Clermont, Fla.||$97,000|
|7.||Chris Barnes||Double Oak, Texas||$90,607|
|8.||Norm Duke||Clermont, Fla.||$88,850|
|9.||Jack Jurek||Lackawanna, N.Y.||$87,550|
|10.||Sean Rash||Wichita, Kan||$81,500|
Match Play Statistics (Single Elimination Only, Min. Five Apps.)
|1.||Norm Duke||Clermont, Fla.||227.46|
|2.||Wes Malott||Argyle, Texas||226.68|
|3.||Jason Couch||Clermont, Fla.||226.49|
|4.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Ocala, Fla.||226.29|
|5.||Parker Bohn III||Jackson, N.J.||225.94|
|6.||Mike Scroggins||Amarillo, Texas||225.18|
|7.||Tommy Delutz Jr.||Flushing, N.Y.||224.73|
|8.||Chris Barnes||Double Oak, Texas||224.63|
|9.||Patrick Allen||Wesley Chapel, Fla.||223.52|
|10.||Pete Weber||St. Ann, Mo.||222.96|
|1.||Parker Bohn III||504||725||69.52|
|3.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||660||980||67.35|
Match Game Win Percentage
|1.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||271||307||88.27|
|4.||Tommy Delutz Jr.||250||294||85.03|
Match Play Average
|3.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||49||34||.590|
Legends vs. Young Guns
|1.||Parker Bohn III||55||13,159||239.25|
|2.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||83||19,706||237.42|
|Wins||TV Apps.||Top 8s||Point Rank |
|Parker Bohn III||0||5||5||5 |
|Norm Duke||2||2||4||12 |
|Walter Ray Williams Jr.||1||5||6||8 |
|Totals (avg. pt. rank)||5||16||22||7.3 |
|Wins||TV Apps.||Top 8s||Point Rank |
|Young Guns |
|Tommy Jones||1||2||3||7 |
|Billl O’Neill||0||1||2||14 |
|Totals (avg. pt. rank)||4||11||13||10|