January 24, 2007 19:00
In the city of lights, Jason Couch is certainly making a claim to have his name up in lights. The left-hander is undoubtedly the hottest bowler on the Denny’s Professional PBA Tour.
After running away with last week’s 2007 Dick Weber Open, in which he led four out of the six rounds, Couch complied a seven-game pinfall of 1,853 in Thursday’s first block in the Round of 64 in the 2007 Motel 6 Classic at Strike Zone at Sunset Station. Couch’s total matched Bobby Stives for the PBA scoring record in a seven-game block. Stives accomplished the feat in the 2005 El Paso Classic.
“I’m just riding the momentum and a lot of confidence,” said Couch (Clermont, Fla.), who topped the 256 mark in six of his seven games. “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.”
The past two weeks are just a glimpse into Couch’s turnaround in the second half of the Tour. He also finished third in the 2007 H&R Block Classic and sixth in the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic.
Nine pins behind Couch is Billy Oatman (Chicago, Ill.), who had a chance to catch Couch in the seventh game, but fell just short after leaving a spare in the 10th frame for 1,844.
Danny Wiseman (Baltimore, Md.) is in third with 1,779 after back-to-back scores of 279 in games six and seven.
PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III (Jackson, N.J.) is fourth with 1,755.
All 64 bowlers return Thursday for another seven games at 3 p.m. PST. The top 32 will advance to Friday’s single-elimination match play beginning at 8 a.m.
The top four bowlers will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 9:30 a.m. PST at Strike Zone at Sunset Station. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.
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