January 16, 2007 19:00
A seasoned veteran with eight Denny’s PBA Tour titles and a rookie who just became a PBA member last week lead the field in the 2007 Dick Weber Open at Fountain Bowl.
Patrick Allen, the 2004-05 PBA Player of the Year who won the 2007 H&R Block Classic two weeks ago after a horrible first half of the season, averaged 251.60 Wednesday to take the overall lead with a 1,258 five-game pinfall.
Andrew Cain, meanwhile, led the first squad of the day with 1,243 and finished second overall. The former three-time Team USA member and 2001 United States Amateur champion got his PBA membership last week after failing to qualify for Team USA a little over a week ago.
“It was very exciting to bowl this well in my first week as a member. I made some physical changes yesterday so I had a lot more confidence coming into today. I just tried to stay in the present and make every shot count,” said Cain, who worked on getting the ball off his hand cleaner and faster at the bottom of his swing in addition to slowing his tempo down.
The changes paid off immediately as he started his block with a 279. After a 265 in game four, Cain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) took the overall lead with a 232 in game five.
Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) then took the lead away from Cain by shooting over 250 in three of his five games. He had a high game of 267 in game two and his 227 in game five gave him the lead.
Allen and Cain are two of the eight left-handers in the top 10. Defending champion Jason Couch (Clermont, Fla.) and last year’s runner-up PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III (Jackson, N.J.) – both left-handed - are third and seventh, respectively.
The only right-handed bowlers in the top 10 are Mike Wolfe (New Albany, Ind.) who closed the round with games of 276 and 274 to finish fifth, and Jack Jurek (Lackawanna, N.Y.) who is eighth.
Kelly Kulick, the first woman to earn a full-season exemption on the Denny’s PBA Tour, is 13th with 1,133.
This week’s event honors the legendary PBA Hall of Famer Dick Weber and features an open field with a throwback round robin format.
All 153 bowlers will return Wednesday night for an additional five games of qualifying. After five more games Thursday morning the field will be cut to the top 24 for round robin match play.
The top five will 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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