January 9, 2007 19:00
At just 20 years old, Matt Freiberg knows he’ll learn more from his failures than his successes as a qualifier on the Denny’s PBA Tour, but he’ll take a day like he had Wednesday any time.
Freiberg led the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round for the first time in his career and topped it off with his second 300 game of the season, finishing with a 1,815 seven-game pinfall at Lava Lanes.
The Somerset, N.J., native has been bowling the Tour Qualifying Rounds the last two seasons, qualifying three times and aquiring valuable knowledge along the way.
“I could probably write a decent sized book about how much I’ve learned since I’ve been out here. And it hasn’t even slowed down yet. I still learn something every time out here,” Freiberg said. “You learn so much more when you bowl badly because you take the time to figure out what you’re doing wrong and you learn how to make the right ball changes. When you’re stringing a lot of strikes together it’s hard to learn from that.”
Freiberg also spent this summer working at the Kegel Training Center in Orlando, Fla.
“I had a run after I made the cut in Parkersburg last season until the end of the season when I didn’t cash once. I learned so much from those six or seven eight weeks and from working at Kegel,” Freiberg said. “You can’t learn nearly as much when you’re out bowling league.”
Freiberg came out smoking with a 287 then took over the lead with games of 267, 258 and 253. He then had his two lowest games of the day – 224 and 226 – before finishing with his second career 300. His first came in the TQR for the Columbia 300 Classic in December, where he qualified for the first time this season.
Finishing second with 1,736 was Steve Weber (Chalmette, La.) while local bowler Bryon Smith (Roseburg, Ore.) finished third with 1,698.
Advancing for the fourth time this season were Troy Wollenbecker (Toledo, Ohio), who finished fourth with 1,668, and Dino Castillo (Carrollton, Texas) who was fifth with 1,602. Earning the sixth and final spot in the Round of 64 was Ronnie Russell (Indianapolis), who qualified for the third time this season, with 1,586.
Earning a spot in the Round of 64 as the top amateur was Matt Eilenberger (Central Point, Ore.), who finished 14th with 1,542.
The top six PBA members advanced this week as exempt bowlers Amleto Monacelli and Jim Pratt withdrew.
Thursday’s Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks, the first of which gets underway at 11 a.m. PST.
The top 32 will advance to single elimination match play on Friday.
The final four advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 10 a.m. PST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
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