November 14, 2007 19:00
Tommy Jones and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard earned the top seeds for match play in their respective sides of the tournament, leading qualifying in the 2007 Lake County Indiana Classic presented by United Way at Stardust Bowl II.
The 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year, Jones has struggled early in the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season after winning 10 titles over the past three seasons, setting a PBA record with the shortest time between his first and 10th titles.
Dorin-Ballard, on the other hand, has been on top for much of the 2007 PBA Women’s Series, winning the first-ever event two weeks ago and finishing fourth last week. This week marks the third of four PBA Women’s Series events, a mini-tour which features 16 women and is running concurrently with Denny’s PBA Tour events.
Jones shot his lowest game of the day in the second game of the second seven-game block with a 168, but he made a ball change which resulted in a 258.20 average over the final five games.
“The lanes transitioned a little and I struggled in that second game so I changed balls and it was the right change. I got lined up for a couple games there,” Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) said. “Everyone’s back to even now but a week like this where the scoring pace is a little lower than it has been, it definitely means a lot to bowl well this first day.”
Dorin-Ballard (N. Richland Hills, Texas) won 20 titles on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour and has taken her dominance to the PBA Women’s Series. She averaged 223.93 on Thursday to earn the top seed for match play for the first time this season after finishing second after qualifying in each of the first two weeks.
Jones will face his roommate Wes Malott, who earned the final spot in match play by just three pins over Mike Edwards. Jones and Malott, who won the 2006-07 Harry Smith Point Leader award, are two of the top young stars on Tour.
Three bowlers off to hot starts this season finished second through fifth. Mika Koivuniemi, who owns one title already this season, finished second with 3,227. He will face No. 31 Bo Goergen. Mike Wolfe, who won last week’s Etonic Championship, finished third with 3,218. PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber, who has finished seventh each of the last two weeks, finished fourth with 3,161.
Weber, who has been eliminated by all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. in each of the last three events, will not have to face Williams this week unless they meet in the title match. Williams, who has made three consecutive championship round appearances, finished 14th with 3,042. Weber will face No. 29 Sean Swanson while Williams will face No. 19 Mike Mineman.
Dorin-Ballard will face No. 8 Olivia Sandham, who fired a 300 game Thursday to help her earn the final spot in match play. Joy Esterson finished second with 3,072, Kelly Kulick finished third with 3,066 and Liz Johnson finished fourth with 3,045.
Match play gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. with the Round of 32 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 take place Friday at 7 p.m. to determine Sunday’s finalists.
Sunday’s championship round takes place live on ESPN at Noon p.m. CST. The two men’s semifinal matches take place first followed by the women’s title match and the men’s title match.
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