January 23, 2007 19:00
One week ago Joel Reyes was a little-know PBA Regional Tour bowler who decided to try his hand at a Denny’s PBA Tour event. Now Reyes is starting to become a house hold name.
Coming off a career-best 11th-place finish in last week’s Dick Weber Open, Reyes continued to prove himself by leading Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round for the 2007 Motel 6 Classic with a 1,732 seven-game pinfall at Strike Zone at Sunset Station.
The left-handed Reyes owns two PBA Regional Tour titles but has only bowled a handful of Denny’s PBA Tour events.
“I’ve bowled one or two events here and there, just in Fountain Valley because it’s close to home. I wouldn’t count out bowling more events this season if I finish well this week, but I won’t think about that until the time comes around and I have to make a decision,” Reyes (Chula Vista, Calif.) said. “Right now I’m just taking it one day at a time and enjoying every moment.”
Reyes was a model of consistency Wednesday with his lowest game being a 223 in game four. He started with games of 248, 243 and 248 and rebounded from his low game with a 264 in game five and a 269 in game six to take the lead. He held the top spot with a 237 in game seven.
Five-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist and Las Vegas resident Eric Forkel finished second with 1,705 while Andrew Cain (Scottsdale, Ariz.), who finished fourth in last week’s Dick Weber Open in his first career Denny’s PBA Tour event, was third with 1,661.
Also advancing to Thursday’s Round of 64 were Nathan Bohr (Wichita, Kan.), Dino Castillo (Carrollton, Texas), Dennis Horan Jr. (Temecula, Calif.), Greg Thompson Jr. (Dayton, Ohio) and Troy Wollenbecker (Toledo, Ohio). Castillo, who advanced from the Qualifying Round for a Tour-high fifth time this season, currently leads all non-exempt bowlers in the 2006-07 PBA World Point Rankings. The leader at the end of the season earns an exemption for the 2007-08 season.
Also earning a spot in the Round of 64 was Steven Villaneuva (North Las Vegas, Nev.) who finished fifth and advanced as the highest amateur in the field.
The top eight PBA members advanced this week as exempt bowlers Norm Duke, Doug Kent and Amleto Monacelli withdrew.
Thursday’s Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks, the first of which gets underway at 8 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 9:30 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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