PBA Spare Shots

by PBA Editor October 30, 2007 19:00
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This Week
The first regular season event of the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour takes place this week with the 2007 Motor City Classic at Taylor Lanes in Taylor, Mich. The event starts Wednesday, Oct. 31 with the first Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round of the season and ends with the final four bowlers competing for the $25,000 top prize, Sunday, Nov. 4 live at 1 p.m. EST on ESPN.

This week’s event has special meaning as it also marks the debut of the PBA Women’s Series, a special four-event mini-tour featuring 16 of the greatest female bowlers in the world who earned their exemptions at the U.S. Women’s Open, a United States Bowling Congress (USBC) event. The Women’s Series, which is sponsored by the USBC, will take place over the next five weeks, with the four events running concurrently with Denny’s PBA Tour events.

On the men’s side, Tony Reyes will look to successfully defend the title he won at Taylor Lanes last season when he captured his first career Denny’s PBA Tour title and made history along the way. Reyes fired the 17th nationally-televised 300 game in Denny’s PBA Tour history in the semifinals, the first time Taylor Lanes has been the site of a televised perfect game in its 22 years as a host.

Last Week
Sean Rash showed last Sunday that he is mature well beyond his 25 years.

Bowling in his first career Major championship round in front of more than 2,000 fans in the Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park and facing a bowler on a record-setting scoring pace in the title match, Rash showed the poise of a veteran rather than a bowler who is in just his second full season on Tour.

Rash ran his career TV record to 7-0 and became just the second bowler to win a title in each of his first four TV appearances, defeating Steve Jaros, 269-245, to win the 2007 USBC Masters, the first of four Majors in 2007-08.

With four titles and one Major, Rash is now officially a star after bearing the “up-and-coming” label the past two seasons. By brushing off Jaros, who came into the match having missed the PBA’s two-game high on TV by one pin after defeating Walter Ray Williams Jr., 279-254, and Patrick Allen, 290-233, Rash showed there isn’t much that fazes him. He also solidified his spot on Tour for two more seasons with a two-year exemption and in one event surpassed his earnings from last season ($91,500) with a $100,000 paycheck.

This Week's Schedule
The 2007 Motor City Classic gets underway Wednesday, Oct. 31 with the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The top seven PBA members and top amateur will advance to Thursday’s Round of 64, which features two seven-game qualifying blocks from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. PBA Women’s Series qualifying will also take place during that time.

The field will be cut to the top 32 men and top 8 women who will advance to single elimination match play on Friday. The Round of 32 gets underway at 9 a.m. followed by the Round of 16 and the women’s Round of 8 at 2 p.m. The men’s Round of 8 and women’s Round of 4 then follow at 7 p.m. with the top four men and top two women advancing to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised finals.

Saturday is a day for the fans as PBA Pro-Ams and Fan Day take place at Taylor Lanes. Pro-Ams take place at 10 a.m., Noon, 3:30, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. On Sunday, the two Denny’s PBA Tour semifinal matches will take place starting at 1 p.m. EST live on ESPN. Those two matches will be followed by the first title match of the 2007 PBA Women’s Series with the winner taking home $10,000. The men’s title match will then follow with a one-year Denny’s PBA Tour exemption and $25,000 on the line.

Did You Know?
Sunday’s USBC Masters championship round was easily the highest scoring Masters final of all time. The four finalists averaged 261.67, obliterating the old record of 239.33 set in last season’s final round won by Doug Kent.

Steve Jaros nearly broke two PBA scoring records in the finals, falling one pin shy of the two-game record of 570 and 36 pins shy of the three-game high of 850, both set by Bob Learn Jr. in Erie, Pa., in 1996. In addition to Jaros’s 279-290-245 series, winner Sean Rash shot 269, Walter Ray Williams Jr. fired a 254 and Patrick Allen had the low score with 233.

Three Bowlers Out This Week
Three Denny’s PBA Tour exempt bowlers have withdrawn this week – Jason Couch, Tim Criss and Patrick Healey Jr. – giving seven spots to PBA members from the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round.

Bowling in the TQRs has proven to be a good training ground for bowlers hoping to work their way onto the Tour full time. Sean Rash and Mike Mineman have taken the shortest routes the last two seasons, each winning titles the same week they qualified through a TQR. On the strength of a record nine weeks where he advanced from the TQR, Dino Castillo earned an exemption for 2007-08 as the high non-exempt bowler in the 2006-07 PBA World Point Rankings.

While their hard work didn’t pay off immediately, six bowlers used their experience from the TQRs to earn exemptions via the 2007 Denny’s PBA Tour Trials. Chad Kloss, Ronnie Russell and Troy Wollenbecker each spent the entire 2006-07 season chasing the exemption through the TQRs and while they all came up short, their experiences paid off as they finished in the top seven in Tour Trials to each earn their first career exemptions. Three other Tour Trials qualifiers – Todd Book, Steve Harman and Stevie Weber – also spent considerable time bowling the qualifying rounds.

Women’s Series Makes its Debut
After the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour folded in 2003, women had nowhere to go to earn a living bowling. That’s when the PBA decided to open up its doors to women in 2004, allowing them to compete against the men.

Several women made names for themselves on the Denny’s PBA Tour over the last three years and showed they belonged with the men. Liz Johnson became the first woman to advance to a Denny’s PBA Tour event, the first to advance to the championship round of a Denny’s PBA Tour event and the first to win a PBA Regional Tour title. Kelly Kulick two summers ago became the first woman to earn a full-season exemption on the Denny’s PBA Tour and Missy Bellinder became the first woman to win multiple PBA Regional Tour titles.

Now, the women have their own place to bowl again. With the help of the USBC, Bellinder, Johnson and Kulick are among the 16 women who will fight it out during four events this season for a weekly prize fund of $51,100, with the hopes of parlaying the series into their own Tour again.

Among the women competing are 20-time PWBA titlist Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, former PWBA Players of the Year Michelle Feldman and Wendy Macpherson and PWBA/USBC Hall of Famer Tish Johnson. Macpherson has withdrawn from both this week’s Motor City Classic and the final stop on the women’s series – the Great Lakes Classic – and will be replaced by PWBA/USBC Hall of Famer Robin Romeo.

Still Battling the Men
While they do have their own mini-tour, it hasn’t stopped the women from taking it to the men when they can. In last week’s 2007 USBC Masters, a trio of women posted impressive performances.

Liz Johnson made the biggest noise, finishing 14th overall which stands as the best finish for a woman in USBC Masters history. Her finish included an 843 series in her losers’ bracket match against Tony Reyes, the third-highest series in USBC Masters history.

Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, meanwhile, fired the first 300 by a woman in Masters history, while Lynda Barnes finished 22nd, three spots ahead of her husband, Chris, an eight-time champion on the Denny’s PBA Tour.

ESPN360.com Adds PBA Events Beginning in November
For the first time, ESPN360.com – ESPN’s signature live sports broadband network – will simulcast ESPN’s live coverage of events from the Denny’s PBA Tour, giving fans an additional outlet for taking in their favorite PBA action. All events will be available for replay for 24 hours. ESPN360.com, available in more than 17 million homes, is free to fans that receive high-speed Internet service through an ESPN-affiliated provider. The service offers a global lineup of more than 2,500 live sports events per year. The full schedule for the PBA in November follows.

Motor City ClassicNov. 41 p.m. ET
Etonic ChampionshipNov. 111 p.m. ET
Lake County Indiana ClassicNov. 181 p.m. ET
CLR Windy City ClassicNov. 251 p.m. ET

2007-08 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Race
Thanks to his win in the 2007 USBC Masters, Sean Rash took the early lead in the 2007-08 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award race. Since Majors carry more weight than standard events, Rash earned 24 points instead of the 16 winners earn in standard events. Runner-up Steve Jaros received 12 points, Patrick Allen received eight and Walter Ray Williams Jr. earned four points. Below are the standings through two events:

1.Sean Rash24
2.Mika Koivuniemi16
3.Steve Jaros12
4.Patrick Allen8
5.Mike Wolfe8

2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions Roster
With his win in the 2007 USBC Masters, Sean Rash is at the top of the new 52-bowler Tournament of Champions roster. The 52 bowlers include the 37 most recent Denny’s PBA Tour champions (with priority on the list going to exempt bowlers) and past Tournament of Champions winners up to 52 bowlers total. Since that total does not add up to 52, the list has been filled by PBA Hall of Famers based on most recent Denny’s PBA Tour win. Tommy Delutz Jr. is still on the bubble due to his 2001 Long Island Open win.

Denny’s PBA Tour Entrants

1.Sean RashUSBC Masters (10/28/07)
2.Mika KoivuniemiDydo Japan Cup 2007 (9/23/07)
3.Tommy JonesPBA Tournament of Champions (4/1/07)
4.Doug KentDenny’s World Championship (3/25/07)
5.Norm DukePepsi Championship (3/18/07)
6.Pete Weber64th U.S. Open (3/4/07)
7.Mike MinemanBayer Classic (2/25/07)
8.Patrick AllenGo RVing Classic (2/18/07)
9.Chris BarnesGEICO Classic (2/11/07)
10.Jason CouchMotel 6 Classic (1/28/07)
11.Wes MalottDiscover® Card Windy City Classic (11/26/06)
12.Tony ReyesMotor City Classic (11/5/06)
13.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Dydo Japan Cup 2006 (9/24/06)
14.Ritchie AllenMotel 6 Phoenix Classic (1/22/06)
15.Brian HimmlerEarl Anthony Medford Classic (1/8/06)
16.Mike WolfeEmpire State Classic (12/18/05)
17.Mike ScrogginsUSBC Masters (11/20/05)
18.Mike MachugaGreater Omaha Classic (11/13/05)
19.Steve JarosDexter Tournament of Champions (4/10/05)
20.Parker Bohn IIIEl Paso Classic (1/16/05)
21.Danny WisemanUSBC Masters (10/31/04)
22.Robert SmithOdor-Eaters Open (2/15/04)
23.Patrick Healey Jr.PBA Tournament of Champions (12/14/03)
24.Ryan ShaferEmpire State Open (11/23/03)
25.Mike DeVaneyGEICO Earl Anthony Classic (1/5/03)
26.Eugene McCuneBanquet Classic (11/17/02)
27.Dave D’EntremontWichita Open (10/13/02)
28.Brian VossJackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic (1/29/06)
29.Amleto MonacelliJackson Hewitt Tax Service Open (2/13/05)
30.Jason HurdPepsi Open (11/28/04)
31.Rick LawrenceBowlersParadise.com Open (11/21/04)
32.Lonnie WaliczekOdor-Eaters Open (2/26/03)
33.Chris HaydenVIA Bowling Open (2/16/03)
34.Bryon SmithUSBC Masters (1/19/03)
35.Randy PedersenPepsi Open (11/24/02)
36.Hugh MillerDream Bowl 2002 (9/2/02)
37.Tommy Delutz Jr.Long Island Open (11/18/01)

PBA Senior Tour Entrants

38.Tom BakerUSBC Senior Masters PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational

PBA Regional Tour Entrants

39.Scott SantosPBA Regional Players Championship
40.TBAPBA Regional Players Invitational

PBA Tournament of Champions Winners/PBA Hall of Famers

41.Bryan Goebel1998 Tournament of Champions
42.David Ozio1991 Tournament of Champions
43.Del Ballard Jr.1989 Tournament of Champions
44.Mark Williams1988 Tournament of Champions
45.Steve Cook1981 Tournament of Champions
46.Wayne Webb1980 Tournament of Champions
47.Johnny Petraglia1971 Tournament of Champions
48.Dave HustedNational/Senior Doubles (1/15/00)
49.Ernie SchlegelBayer/Brunswick Touring Players Championship (11/8/95)
50.Mark RothIOF Foresters Open (4/15/95)
51.Gary DickinsonB.P.A.A. U.S. Open (4/2/83)
52.Dave SoutarSyracuse Open (11/9/82)

2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour Statistical Leaders

Point Leaders

1.Sean RashWichita, Kan.33,641
2.Steve JarosYorkville, Ill.28,324
3Patrick AllenWesley Chapel, Fla.25,642
4.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Ocala, Fla.24,740
5.Stevie WeberChalmette, La18,999
6.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas18,638
7.Chris CundiffPortage, Ind.16,383
8.Michael Haugen Jr.Cave Creek, Ariz.16,223
9.Bill O'NeillLevittown, Pa.15,387
10.Norm DukeClermont, Fla.14,721

Earnings Leaders

1.Sean RashWichita, Kan$102,500
2.Mika KoivuniemiHartland, Mich.$51,800
3.Steve JarosYorkville, Ill.$51,000
4.Mike WolfeNew Albany, Ind.$27,500
5.Patrick AllenWesley Chapel, Fla.$26,000
6.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Ocala, Fla.$17,000
7.Stevie WeberChalmette, La$6,000
8.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas$4,500
9.Chris LoschetterAvon, Ohio$4,235
10.Doug KentNewark, N.Y.$3,800

Average Leaders

1.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Ocala, Fla.231.02
2.Wes MalottArgyle, Texas227.85
3.Michael Haugen Jr.Cave Creek, Ariz.227.60
4.Chris LoschetterAvon, Ohio226.74
5.Chris BarnesDouble Oak, Texas226.55
6.Bill O'NeillLevittown, Pa.226.09
7.Jack JurekLackawanna, N.Y.225.00
8.Steve JarosYorkville, Ill.224.56
9.Mika KoivuniemiHartland, Mich.223.72
10.Liz JohnsonCheektowaga, N.Y.222.64

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