After one of the worst stretches of his career, all Patrick Allen needed to get back on track was a ball change and a week on the Chameleon oil pattern.
Allen captured his eighth career Denny’s PBA Tour title – his last three of which have come on the Chameleon, one of five Tour oil patterns – defeating all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., 255-247, to win the 2007 H&R Block Classic at the National Bowling Stadium.
Allen has won three of the last four events held on the pattern, including the last two last season. The 2004-05 PBA Player of the Year came into the week 36th in the PBA World Point Rankings and hadn’t made a championship round all season.
“There were some issues with me the first half of the season and I made a bold change. Some agreed, some didn’t, but I had to do it to get back here. I didn’t think it would happen this soon,” said Allen, who switched ball companies over the two-week holiday break. “I’ve bowled a lot of TV shows, at least for my standards not Walter’s, but I’ve never come up in the 10th frame needing a strike to win. Needing it against Walter Ray is what you dream of. Getting up and doing it is something I’ll never forget it as long as I live.”
Allen tied a Tour record by going 14-0 in match play this week, equaling the standard Norm Duke set earlier this season.
In the title match, Williams took the early lead with strikes in the first four frames, but a spare in the 5th frame gave Allen an opening. After back-to-back spares in the 4th and 5th, Allen struck six consecutive times to take over. Williams could have struck out to force Allen to double, but instead Williams left a 10-pin with his second shot in the 10th and Allen’s first strike in the 10th clinched the win.
Allen advanced to the title match with a 233-204 win over Pete Weber. The 36-year-old dominated from the start, striking with his first six shots. Weber, meanwhile, started with two opens and dug too much of a hole to catch Allen.
In the first semifinal, Williams defeated Jason Couch, 215-200. Couch led throughout the match until a 4-6-10 split and an open in the 9th. Williams took advantage by breaking a string of five consecutive nine-spares by striking out in the 10th frame to shut Couch out.
Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) earned $25,000, while Williams (Ocala, Fla.) took home $13,000 for second. Couch (Clermont, Fla.) earned $6,500 for third and Weber (St. Ann, Mo.) earned $5,500 for fourth.
Next week the Denny’s PBA Tour heads to Medford, Ore. for the 2007 Earl Anthony Medford Classic, Jan. 10-14, at Lava Lanes. The nationally televised ESPN finals take place Sunday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. PST. Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 H&R Block Classic
National Bowling Stadium
Sunday, Jan. 7
|1.||Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.||488 (2 games)||$25,000|
|2.||Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla.||462 (2 games)||$13,000|
|3.||Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla.||200 (1 game)||$6,500|
|4.||Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo.||204 (1 game)||$5,500|
SCORES – In the first match, Williams def. Couch, 215-200; in the second match, Allen defeated Weber, 233-204; and in the final, Allen def. Williams, 255-247.