December 12, 2006 19:00
With this week marking the end of his full-time bowling career, Rudy Kasimakis wants to go out with a bang.
Originally from nearby Hicksville, N.Y., Kasimakis got off to a good start Wednesday, leading the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round for the Columbia 300 Classic at AMF Babylon Lanes.
Kasimakis fired a 1,606 seven-game pinfall to lead 10 total bowlers into Thursday’s Round of 64. Five exempt bowlers withdrew this week, giving nine PBA members a spot in the first round in addition to one amateur.
The 42-year-old who now lives in Tupelo, Miss., started slow with a 181 in game one, then averaged 237.50 over the final six games, including back-to-back 268s in games four and five.
“Obviously you try to bowl well every week, but this a special week because I’m home and this is my last event bowling full time,” said Kasimakis. “I started with the 180 because I was trying so hard to bowl well in front of my friends. I think it’s harder bowling at home because everyone wants you to do well. After the first game I took a step back and just tried to let it happen.”
Kasimakis, who was exempt in 2005-06 but finished 53rd in the PBA World Point Rankings, will bowl in his second Round of 64 this season as he also qualified for the 2006 Etonic Championship.
“For the first time in a long time I’ve very exited about bowling and trying to put a good show on for the home crowd,” Kasimakis said.
Finishing second was Edward Van Daniker (Essex, Md.), who finished with 1,601 and qualified for the third time this season. John Nolen (Waterford, Mich.) finished third with 1,569.
Also qualifying for the third time was Dino Castillo (Carrollton, Texas) who finished fourth. Jason Wojnar (Chicago), Dave D’Entremont (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) and
Matt Freiberg (Somerset, N.J.) all advanced for the first time this season.
Steve Rogers (Bourbonnais, Ill.), who earlier this season became the fourth ever qualifier to advance to a Denny’s PBA Tour championship round when he finished fourth in the Lake County Indiana Classic, fired a 257 in his final game to advance. The final spot went to Robert Volk (E. Setauket, N.Y.).
John Schroeder IV (Dundalk, Md.) finished sixth overall and advanced as the high amateur in the field.
Thursday’s Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks, the first of which gets underway at 11 a.m. EST. The top 32 will advance to round robin match play on Friday.
The top five from match play advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised stepladder finals at 1 p.m. EST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
300 games (1) - Matt Freiberg.
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