January 2, 2007 19:00
Patrick Flynn III became the first amateur to lead a Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round this season, finishing with a 1,660 seven-game pinfall to lead nine qualifiers into the 2007 H&R Block Classic at the National Bowling Stadium.
Non-PBA members earn just one spot into the Round of 64 each week. This week was the most competitive among the non-members this season as three of the top six finishers were amateurs.
Flynn started strong with games of 234 and 245 but had a low of 186 in game three. He bounced back with a high of 265 in game four and his 223 in game seven pushed him past Troy Wollenbecker for the overall lead.
“I’ve never bowled on this pattern before so I just tried to go out and execute the shots,” Flynn said. “The first couple games I felt relaxed and calm and then I started watching the scores. The third game I struggled so after that I just regrouped and made the best shots possible.”
A former Junior Team USA member who bowled at Central Missouri State University and Vincennes University, Flynn (Caldwell, Idaho) was a PBA member from 2002-05 during which he won a PBA Regional Tour title.
This week, eight PBA members advanced to the Round of 64 as no Commissioner’s Exemption was awarded and exempt bowlers Patrick Healey Jr., Amleto Monacelli and Jim Pratt withdrew.
Liz Johnson (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) finished tied for eighth to earn a spot in the Round of 64 for the second time this season and the fifth time in her career. Johnson was the first woman to qualify for a Denny’s PBA Tour event back in November 2004 and finished second in the 2005 Banquet Open. She finished seventh earlier this season in the Etonic Championship and currently leads the non-exempt points race.
Wollenbecker (Toledo, Ohio) finished second with 1,646, while Vayle Floria (Cerritos, Calif.) finished fourth with 1,588. Steve Rogers (Bourbonnais, Ill.), who finished fourth in the Lake County Indiana Classic after advancing through the Qualifying Round earlier this season, finished fifth with 1,584.
Rounding out the qualifiers were Ronnie Russell (Indianapolis), Curtis Woods Jr. (Santa Rosa, Calif.), Chad Kloss (Greenfield, Wis.) and John Slavich IV (Schaumburg, Ill.).
Thursday’s Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks, the first of which gets underway at 11 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 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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