January 18, 2007 19:00
It was no surprise that Jason Couch and Patrick Allen were two of the five Denny’s Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour exempt bowlers to advance to the finals of the 2007 Dick Weber Open at Fountain Bowl.
It was a mild surprise that Andrew Cain and Parker Bohn III advanced to the finals, while it was definite surprise for Walter Ray Williams Jr. as the all-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader used 24 games of round robin match play to finish with a 16-8 match play record and a 39-game pinfall of 9,395.
Williams entered the first round of match play Thursday night in 12th, before moving up three spots in the first and second rounds to begin Friday night’s final round in sixth. Williams sat in sixth until the final game of the eight-game block, a positioning match against Mike Scroggins (Amarillo, Texas). In a match that went to the 10th frame, Williams edged Scroggins, 231-215.
“The guys on top were scoring so well. I really didn’t know if I could strike that much, but fortunately this morning I did get some good strikes,” said Williams (Ocala, Fla.), the only right-hander of the five finalists. “Tonight I kind of hung in there and fortunately for me, Mike didn’t get many breaks against me. He bowled a great game until the last shot, but unfortunately that’s part of the game.”
Williams will face Bohn (Jackson, N.J.) in Sunday’s first match. Bohn finished 14-10 with 9,556.
Couch (Clermont, Fla.) pulled away from the field early in match play and battled fellow Florida resident Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) for the top seed in Sunday’s show. In the end it was Couch with 9,893 and a 15-8-1 record edging Allen, who shot 9,794 and finished 17-5-2 in match play.
One story worth watching Sunday is Cain (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Cain, who is bowling in his first event as a PBA member after joining this past week, finished third with a match play record of 19-5 and a total pinfall of 9,595.
The five bowlers advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 10 a.m. PST at Fountain Bowl. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.
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