January 5, 2007 19:00
Four bowlers with a combined 95 Denny’s PBA Tour titles will take the lanes Sunday to duke it out for the title in the 2007 H&R Block Classic at the National Bowling Stadium.
All-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., who won his record-breaking 42nd career title in the 2006-07 season-opening Dydo Japan Cup, defeated amateur Patrick Flynn III, four-games-to-one, Saturday to advance to his third championship round of the season. Flynn (Caldwell, Idaho) was looking to become the first amateur to advance to a championship round in a standard Tour event.
Williams (Ocala, Fla.) will face the top seed from qualifying, 13-time titlist Jason Couch (Clermont, Fla.) who defeated Brian Kretzer (Dayton, Ohio), 4-1. Couch finished match play with a 12-1 record and will be making his first TV appearance of the season after winning two titles last season.
Also advancing to his first championship round this season was Patrick Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) who finished match play with a perfect 12-0 record. The 2004-05 PBA Player of the Year, who won two titles in 2005-06, will look to become just the second bowler in Tour history to go 14-0 in winning a title. Norm Duke became the first in this season’s Lake County Indiana Classic.
Allen, who made a career-high six TV appearances last season, advanced to his first this season with a 4-0 sweep of Chris Loschetter (Avon, Ohio). He credited a ball change to Ebonite’s Angular One as his key to victory Saturday.
“I was just trying to get my ball to read the lanes sooner,” Allen said. “The lanes were a lot tighter today than they had been all week. They played like there was a lot more oil so I needed to get a ball that would hook earlier.”
Allen will face PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber (St. Ann, Mo.), who will be looking for his second title of the season and the 34th of his career which would tie him for third on the all-time titles list with Mark Roth. Weber defeated Ryan Shafer (Horseheads, N.Y.), 4-2.
The final four will bowl for the $25,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2007-08 season Sunday live on ESPN at 10 a.m. PST at The National Bowling Stadium.
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