January 30, 2007 19:00
At the rate he’s going, Dino Castillo’s 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour season as a qualifier could be more successful than his 2005-06 season as an exempt bowler.
Castillo led Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round for the 2007 Sun City Classic with a 1,679 seven-game pinfall, qualifying for the Round of 64 for the sixth time this season, tying for the Tour high.
Coming into this week, Castillo was the highest non-exempt bowler in the PBA World Point Rankings, which would give him an exemption for 2007-08 if he held his lead. At 43rd in points coming into this week, Castillo might instead qualify for 2007-08 by finishing in the top 40 overall. He is currently ahead of 15 exempt bowlers in points after finishing ninth, 27th and 14th in the last three events.
“From what I learned last year I just tried to apply it to this year. I think there is less pressure on me so I used that to help me bowl better,” said Castillo, who finished 45th in the 2005-06 PBA World Point Rankings. “My biggest concern is to just bowl well every week and let the pins fall where they may. I know my (point ranking) is right there but that’s not my concern. I just try to make good decisions every time I’m out there.
Castillo has also benefited from spending the season as a ball rep for Ebonite, whose staff includes 15-time titlist Jason Couch, 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones and Kelly Kulick.
“That was a big advantage, getting the heads up on our products and helping Tommy, Jason and Kelly,” Castillo said. “That has been a big help for me.”
Castillo (Carrollton, Texas) was a model of consistency all day, shooting six of his seven games in the 230s or 240s. His low game of the day was a 228 in game one.
Troy Wollenbecker set a Denny’s PBA Tour record by advancing through the TQR for the fourth consecutive time, finishing seventh with 1,577. The previous record of three was set by Tom Daugherty during the 2004-05 season. Daugherty finished fourth this week with 1,614 to qualify for the first time this season. Wollenbecker is tied with Castillo for the Tour lead by qualifying six times.
Also advancing to Thursday’s Round of 64 were Edward VanDaniker Jr. (Essex, Md.), Dave D’Entremont (Middleburg Heights, Ohio), Chad Kloss (Greenfield, Wis.), D.J. Archer (Mineral Wells, Texas), Steve Weber (Chalmette, La.), Ronnie Russell (Indianapolis) and Greg Thompson Jr. (Dayton, Ohio).
Finishing as the highest amateur and earning a spot in Thursday’s play was Bobby Stives (El Paso, Texas), who also qualified the last time the Tour was in El Paso in 2005.
The top 10 PBA members advanced this week as exempt bowlers Norm Duke, Jason Hurd, Amleto Monacelli, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. all withdrew.
Thursday’s Round of 64 gets underway at 11 a.m. MST.
The final four advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at Noon MST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
300 games (1) - Tom Daugherty.
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