January 24, 2007 19:00
Not that he needs any luck, but finishing Thursday’s Round of 64 at 777 pins over par in Las Vegas was enough of an omen that this may be Jason Couch’s week again on the Denny’s PBA Tour.
The lucky sevens helped Couch maintain his lead with a 3,577 14-game pinfall in the 2007 Motel 6 Classic at Strike Zone at Sunset Station. Par in bowling is based on an average score of 200 for 14 games.
Last week’s 2007 Dick Weber Open champion, who has finished in the top six in all three events in the second half this season, is looking to win back-to-back titles for the first time in his career. Earlier in the day, Couch tied the Denny’s PBA Tour seven-game scoring record of 1,853, equaling Bobby Stives record from the 2005 El Paso Classic.
“I’m just riding the momentum and a lot of confidence,” said Couch (Clermont, Fla.), who owns 14 Denny’s PBA Tour titles. “It wasn’t really that big of an adjustment on today’s oil pattern from last week’s. We’ve bowled on this pattern a couple of times so I know what equipment to use and how to play the lanes. All I did today was make speed adjustments and small moves with my feet. I’ve thrown the same ball all day.”
Couch earned the top seed for Friday’s Round of 32 where he will face No. 32 Jack Jurek (Lackawanna, N.Y.), who was 50th after seven games but averaged 225.43 over the final seven games – including a 300 in game 10 – to make the match play cut.
Finishing second was Danny Wiseman (Baltimore) with 3,526. He will face No. 31 Dino Castillo (Carrollton, Texas) who currently leads the non-exempt points race.
Billy Oatman (Chicago), the Tour’s first-ever exempt African-American, finished third and will face No. 30 Brian Himmler (Cincinnati). Last week’s Dick Weber Open runner-up Patrick Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) finished fifth and will face No. 28 Mike Edwards (Tulsa, Okla.).
Match play gets underway Friday at 8 a.m. PST with the Round of 32. The Round of 16 starts at 1 p.m. followed by the Round of 8 at 6 p.m.
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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