Click here to view this article as a PDFThis Week
Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas, Nev., plays host to two Denny’s PBA Tour events this week as the PBA Exempt Doubles Classic and H&R Block Tournament of Champions take place at the brand new hotel and casino. The PBA Exempt Doubles Classic began Sunday, Jan. 20 and runs through Tuesday, Jan. 22 with four teams advancing to Sunday’s finals. The H&R Block Tournament of Champions gets underway Wednesday, Jan. 23, with the top four bowlers advancing to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised finals.
The PBA Exempt Doubles Classic marks the first doubles event since 2001 and takes place in the city that has hosted 17 of the 41 doubles events in the history of the Denny’s PBA Tour. The H&R Block Tournament of Champions, meanwhile, is the second of four Majors this season and marks the first Major held in Las Vegas since Mike Aulby won the 1979 PBA National Championship at the Showboat Bowling Center.
PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. will each look to reach historic milestones in the H&R Block Tournament of Champions. Weber needs another T of C to become the first bowler to win each of the Triple Crown events twice (T of C, U.S. Open, World Championship), while Williams will look to become just the second bowler to win all five PBA Majors - the USBC Masters, PBA World Championship, T of C, U.S. Open and the now-defunct Touring Players Championship. Weber will also look to break a tie with Anthony for most career Majors as they are tied atop the list with eight. Williams, with seven career Majors, will look to pull into a three-way tie. Last Week
Mike Scroggins rode into the final round of the 2008 Motel 6 Dick Weber Open at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, Calif., just hoping to snap an eight-game losing streak in televised matches, which was two shy the all-time record. When the day came to an end, Scroggins had completely turned the tables.
Scroggins became just the third No. 5 seed since 1998 to win a stepladder final, knocking off sentimental favorite Pete Weber, No. 3 seed Tommy Delutz Jr., No. 2 Jack Jurek and top-seed Chris Barnes, 226-171, in the title match to win his fourth career Denny’s PBA Tour title.
The finals started with a tight match between Scroggins and Weber, who was looking to win the title in honor of his late PBA Hall of Fame father. Weber had a chance to win with a strike in the 10th, but he left the 4-9 and Scroggins came up clutch with two strikes in the 10th for the win.
Things got much easier from there for the lone lefty in the finals as the four right-handers took turns burning up the lanes. Scroggins dominated Delutz and Jurek by scores of 269-224 and 254-199, respectively, then took down Barnes, who lost his seventh consecutive match on television and dropped to 0-5 this season. This Week's Schedule
The PBA Exempt Doubles Classic is in full swing with 16 teams dueling in round robin match play with the top four teams advancing to Sunday’s stepladder final round. The finals, which feature a Baker format, will take place immediately following the live ESPN-televised finals of the H&R Block Tournament of Champions and will air tape-delayed on ESPN Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. EST.
The T of C gets underway Wednesday with the official PBA practice session from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. PST. Competition starts Thursday will all 54 bowlers taking part in two seven-game qualifying blocks. The top 32 will advance to round robin match play Friday with the top four bowlers advancing to Sunday’s finals.
Saturday is a day for the fans with PBA Pro-Ams and Fan Day taking place at Red Rock Lanes at 9 a.m., Noon, 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. The live ESPN-televised finals take place at 12:30 p.m. EST with the PBA Exempt Doubles Classic final round being taped approximately one hour following the conclusion of the Tournament of Champions.Did You Know?
Jack Jurek went into Sunday’s with the highest opponents' average on TV among bowlers with a minimum of seven TV appearances and that average actually went up after his loss to Mike Scroggins in the Motel 6 Dick Weber Open.
Jurek came into the finals with an opponent’s average of 249.25. Jurek then lost to Scroggins, 254-199, to increase the number to 249.78. In nine matches on television, Jurek’s opponents have shot 250 or better five times and the lowest score he’s ever faced was a 226. For his lone career title, Jurek defeated David Traber, 231-228, in the 1995 Tums Classic.PBA Exempt Doubles Classic Update
The PBA Exempt Doubles Classic is down to the 16 teams, with just four teams advancing to Sunday’s final round. Following Monday’s Round of 64, the top 32 were broken into 16 teams based on qualifying position, with qualifiers No. 1 and No. 2 teaming up, qualifiers No. 3 and No. 4 teaming up and so on. Dino Castillo and Mike Machuga took the No. 1 seed into round robin while Michael Fagan and Danny Wiseman were the No. 2 teams. Two teams to look out for are eight-time champion Mika Koivuniemi teaming up with all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Chris Barnes and Wes Malott, who currently sit third and fourth, respectively, in the PBA World Point Rankings.
The event counts toward the PBA World Point Rankings and all other Denny’s PBA Tour statistical categories. Additionally, both bowlers on the wining team will earn an exemption for the 2008-09 season along with each bowler earning 16 points in the PBA Player of the Year race. The winners will also split the $40,000 top-prize. This weekend’s Tournament of Champions does not count toward the PBA World Point Rankings but counts toward every other category. Tournament of Champions More Exciting Than Ever
This year’s H&R Block Tournament of Champions features an expanded field, with 54 bowlers rather than 32 in years past. The field has been opened to the 39 most recent Denny’s PBA Tour champions plus the winners of two major events on both the PBA Senior Tour and PBA Regional Tour. Additionally, all past Tournament of Champions winners were invited until the field reached 54. Because that total did not reach 54, the field was opened up to PBA Hall of Famers based on most recent Denny’s PBA Tour title.
The 54-bowler field owns a combined 511 Denny’s PBA Tour titles and includes 16 PBA Hall of Famers, including such legends as Amleto Monacelli, Johnny Petraglia, Mark Roth, Wayne Webb and Brian Voss. T of C to Have Major Player of the Year Implications
With the new PBA Player of the Year point system in place, this week’s H&R Block Tournament of Champions could drastically change the complexion of this season’s award. Under the point system, more emphasis is placed on Majors than on standard events with winners earning 24 points rather than 16 in standard events.
To illustrate how important it is to win a Major, Sean Rash won the season’s first Major to earn 24 points. Although he hasn’t made a championship round appearance since, Rash is still fifth in the race. Should a bowler who has not earned any points yet this season win the T of C, they would be thrust into the thick of the race. On the other hand, should a bowler already in the thick of the race win on Sunday, such as leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. or Patrick Allen who’s currently second, they would take a commanding lead heading into the home stretch of the season.
Winning the Tournament of Champions doesn’t guarantee a player will go on to win the award, however, as just five of the 44 players to win the Tournament of Champions have gone on to be named Player of the Year the same season. Mike Aulby was the last to do it in 1995, following up on the efforts of Norm Duke (1994), David Ozio (1991), Wayne Webb (1980) and Wayne Zahn (1966). Motel 6 Roll to Riches Berth on the Line
The winner of the 2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions will not only take home the $50,000 top prize and earn a two-season exemption on the Denny’s PBA Tour, he will also win a berth into the Motel 6 Roll to Riches special event at season’s end in Orlando, Fla.
The Motel 6 Roll to Riches special event will feature six bowlers – the winners from the four Denny’s PBA Tour’s Majors this season, one All-Star voted on by fans and one of the four following – the 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year, 2007-08 PBA Harry Smith Point Leader, the 2007-08 PBA George Young High Average Award winner or defending champion Doug Kent, which will be determined by fans in the coming weeks.
Those six bowlers will compete for the $150,000, winner-take-all top prize in the special event, which does not count toward official PBA earnings and titles. So far, only Sean Rash, the 2007 USBC Masters winner, has clinched a spot. Jones Looks to Defend
In last year’s PBA Tournament of Champions, Tommy Jones went from being one of the top young stars of the game, to officially elevating himself to legend-in-the-making status with his second career Major title and his 10th Denny’s PBA Tour title overall.
Jones’ 10th title came just two years, six months and seven days after his first title, which broke Dick Weber’s 45-year-old record by just four days. The win also gave him two-thirds of the PBA’s Triple Crown following his U.S. Open win in 2006. Jones, who now has 11 titles after winning the ConstructionJobs.com Championship three weeks ago, will look to become just the second bowler to successfully defend a Tournament of Champions crown, following Jason Couch who won an unprecedented three consecutive Tournament of Champions titles from 1999-2002.
Just four players have ever successfully defended a Major title in the 49-year history of the Tour. Mike McGrath became the first, winning back-to-back PBA National Championships in 1969-70. Earl Anthony won three consecutive PBA National Championships twice, winning the event from 1973-75 and again from 1981-83. Dave Husted is the only bowler to win consecutive U.S. Open crowns (1995-96) while Couch won the Tournament of Champions three consecutive times. Dick Weber Video Still on Sale
During the telecast of this past Sunday’s Motel 6 Dick Weber Open, fans got to see two excerpts (interviews with Billy Hardwick and Ernie Schlegel) from a DVD documentary about Dick Weber. The documentary was the work of PBA Senior Tour bowler Bill McCorkle and features video from Weber’s life and numerous interviews with Weber’s family, friends and bowling legends.
Proceeds from the sale of the DVD benefit the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum. For more information about the DVD or to order a copy, go to www.dickwebervideo.com. Membership Promotion Still in Full Swing There’s still time for bowlers to take advantage of the PBA’s membership promotion, which runs through Feb. 29. The promotion waives the initiation or reinstatement fees for bowlers who join the PBA and enter a Denny’s PBA Tour event between now and Feb. 29, 2008.
Bowlers who become PBA members and enter a Denny’s PBA Tour event at the same time between now and Feb. 29 will have either their initiation fee ($99) or reinstatement fee ($99 or $198) waived. Participants in the promotion are required to maintain PBA membership for a minimum of six months.
EliteBowling.com is offering a free PBA double-ball tote bag to any bowlers who join the PBA via this special promotion and buy a PBA Series Ball from EliteBowling.com. 2007-08 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Race
With his win in last week’s Motel 6 Dick Weber Open, Mike Scroggins moved up to eighth in the 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year race. Walter Ray Williams Jr. still holds the lead, while Patrick Allen sits second, Wes Malott is third and Mike Wolfe is fourth.
Chris Barnes, who made his Tour-high tying fifth TV appearance but has yet to win a match on TV this season, moved up to ninth with his second-place finish.
2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions Roster
|1.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||44|
|Parker Bohn III||24|
With Mike Scroggins winning the 2008 Motel 6 Dick Weber Open, Kurt Pilon clinched a spot in this week’s 2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions as last week’s event marked the final time a bowler could get bumped off the roster. Since the PBA Exempt Doubles Classic final round does not take place until after the Tournament of Champions telecast, that event could be the first to bump a bowler from next year’s Tournament of Champions. Below is a look at the final roster for this week’s event.Denny’s PBA Tour Entrants
PBA Senior Tour Entrants
|1.||Mike Scroggins||Motel 6 Dick Weber Open (1/20/08)|
|2.||Wes Malott||Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic (1/13/08)|
|3.||Tommy Jones||ConstructionJobs.com Championship (1/6/08)|
|4.||Parker Bohn III||Spartanburg Classic (12/16/07)|
|5.||Patrick Allen||Lumber Liquidators Championship (12/9/07)|
|6.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Great Lakes Classic (12/2/07)|
|7.||Robert Smith||CLR Windy City Classic (11/25/07)|
|8.||Michael Haugen Jr.||Lake County Indiana Classic (11/18/07)|
|9.||Mike Wolfe||Etonic Championship (11/11/07)|
|10.||Sean Rash||USBC Masters (10/28/07)|
|11.||Mika Koivuniemi||Dydo Japan Cup 2007 (9/23/07)|
|12.||Doug Kent||Denny’s World Championship (3/25/07)|
|13.||Norm Duke||Pepsi Championship (3/18/07)|
|14.||Pete Weber||64th U.S. Open (3/4/07)|
|15.||Mike Mineman||Bayer Classic (2/25/07)|
|16.||Chris Barnes||GEICO Classic (2/11/07)|
|17.||Jason Couch||Motel 6 Classic (1/28/07)|
|18.||Tony Reyes||Motor City Classic (11/5/06)|
|19.||Ritchie Allen||Motel 6 Phoenix Classic (1/22/06)|
|20.||Brian Himmler||Earl Anthony Medford Classic (1/8/06)|
|21.||Mike Machuga||Greater Omaha Classic (11/13/05)|
|22.||Steve Jaros||Dexter Tournament of Champions (4/10/05)|
|23.||Amleto Monacelli||Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Open (2/13/05)|
|24.||Danny Wiseman||USBC Masters (10/31/04)|
|25.||Ryan Shafer||Empire State Open (11/23/03)|
|26.||Mike DeVaney||GEICO Earl Anthony Classic (1/5/03)|
|27.||Eugene McCune||Banquet Classic (11/17/02)|
|28.||Dave D’Entremont||Wichita Open (10/13/02)|
|29.||Tommy Delutz Jr.||Long Island Open (11/18/01)|
|30.||Brian Voss||Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic (1/29/06)|
|31.||Jason Hurd||Pepsi Open (11/28/04)|
|32.||Rick Lawrence||BowlersParadise.com Open (11/21/04)|
|33.||Lonnie Waliczek||Odor-Eaters Open (2/26/03) |
|34.||Chris Hayden||VIA Bowling Open (2/16/03)|
|35.||Bryon Smith||USBC Masters (1/19/03)|
|36.||Randy Pedersen||Pepsi Open (11/24/02)|
|37.||Hugh Miller||Dream Bowl 2002 (9/2/02)|
|38.||Dave Arnold||Miller High Life Open (10/9/01)|
|39.||Kurt Pilon||Peoria Open (9/21/01)|
PBA Regional Tour Entrants
|38.||Tom Baker||USBC Senior Masters || PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational |
PBA Tournament of Champions Winners/PBA Hall of Famers
|39.||Scott Santos||PBA Regional Players Championship |
|40.||Eddie Graham||PBA Regional Players Invitational|
2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour Statistical Leaders
|41.||Bryan Goebel||1998 Tournament of Champions |
|42.||David Ozio||1991 Tournament of Champions|
|43.||Del Ballard Jr.||1989 Tournament of Champions|
|44.||Mark Williams||1988 Tournament of Champions|
|45.||Steve Cook||1981 Tournament of Champions|
|46.||Wayne Webb||1980 Tournament of Champions|
|47.||Johnny Petraglia||1971 Tournament of Champions|
|48.||Dave Husted||National/Senior Doubles (1/15/00)|
|49.||Ernie Schlegel||Bayer/Brunswick Touring Players Championship (11/8/95)|
|50.||Mark Roth||IOF Foresters Open (4/15/95)|
|51.||Dave Soutar||Syracuse Open (11/9/82)|
|52.||Roy Buckley||Buffalo Open (7/28/81)|
|1.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Ocala, Fla.||152,830|
|2.||Patrick Allen||Wesley Chapel, Fla.||137,969 |
|3.||Chris Barnes||Double Oak, Texas||132,636.7|
|4.||Wes Malott||Argyle, Texas||126,129 |
|5.||Parker Bohn III||Jackson, N.J.||114,854|
|6.||Sean Rash||Wichita, Kan.||104,706|
|7.||Mike Scroggins||Amarillo, Texas||101,850|
|8.||Michael Haugen Jr.||Cave Creek, Ariz.||98,940.7|
|9.||Pete Weber||St. Ann, Mo.||96,249|
|10.||Rhino Page||Topeka, Kan.||95,879.5|
|1.||Sean Rash||Wichita, Kan.||$127,500|
|2.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Ocala, Fla.||$98,150|
|3.||Patrick Allen||Wesley Chapel, Fla.||$87,650|
|4.||Mika Koivuniemi||Hartland, Mich.||$80,530|
|5.||Mike Wolfe||New Albany, Ind.||$74,121|
|6.||Steve Jaros||Yorkville, Ill.||$73,125|
|7.||Wes Malott||Argyle, Texas||$69,600|
|8.||Parker Bohn III||Jackson, N.J.||$54,580|
|9.||Mike Scroggins||Amarillo, Texas||$52,500|
|10.||Chris Barnes||Double Oak, Texas||$49,500|
Final 2007 PBA Women’s Series Statistical Leaders
|1.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Ocala, Fla.||229.87|
|2.||Rhino Page||Topeka, Kan||228.25|
|3.||Patrick Allen||Wesley Chapel, Fla.||225.96|
|4.||Chris Barnes||Double Oak, Texas||224.90|
|5.||Wes Malott||Argyle, Texas||224.46|
|6.||Parker Bohn III||Jackson, N.J.||223.09|
|7.||Mike Scroggins||Amarillo, Texas||222.82|
|8.||Mika Koivuniemi||Hartland, Mich.||222.20|
|9.||Tommy Jones||Simpsonville, S.C.||221.54|
|10.||Michael Haugen Jr.||Cave Creek, Ariz.||220.98|
|1.||Carolyn Dorin-Ballard||N. Richland Hills, Texas||82,997|
|2.||Liz Jonson||Cheektowaga, N.Y.||71,167|
|3.||Kelly Kulick||Union, N.J.||66,690|
|4.||Joy Esterson||Annapolis, Md.||65,893|
|5.||Shannon Pluhowsky||Phoenix, Ariz.||55,670|
|6.||Missy Bellinder||Fullerton, Calif.||54,676|
|7.||Tish Johnson||Colorado Springs, Colo.||53,860|
|8.||Olivia Sandham||Wichita, Kan.||51,715|
|9.||Amy Stolz||Castle Rock, Colo.||47,726|
|10.||Michelle Feldman||Skaneateles, N.Y.||40,059|
|1.||Carolyn Dorin-Ballard||N. Richland Hills, Texas||$25,000|
|2.||Joy Esterson||Annapolis, Md.||$19,300|
|3.||Liz Johnson||Cheektowaga, N.Y.||$17,111|
|4.||Shannon Pluhowsky||Phoenix, Ariz.||$16,100|
|5.||Kelly Kulick||Union, N.J.||$15,800|
|6.||Tish Johnson||Colorado Springs, Colo.||$14,700|
|7.||Missy Bellinder||Fullerton, Calif.||$12,600|
|8.||Olivia Sandham||Wichita, Kan.||$10,600|
|9.||Amy Stolz||Castle Rock, Colo.||$10,000|
|1.||Carolyn Dorin-Ballard||N. Richland Hills, Texas||225.75|
|2.||Liz Johnson||Cheektowaga, N.Y.||222.19|
|3.||Joy Esterson||Annapolis, Md.||216.52|
|4.||Kelly Kulick||Union, N.J.||214.54|
|5.||Olivia Sandham||Wichita, Kan.||212.26|
|6.||Missy Bellinder||Fullerton, Calif.||211.88|
|7.||Shannon Pluhowsky||Phoenix, Ariz||211.36|
|9.||Amy Stolz||Castle Rock, Colo.||209.70|
|10.||Tish Johnson||Colorado Springs, Colo.||208.94|