November 27, 2007 19:00
As a rookie on the Denny’s PBA Tour, Rhino Page couldn’t have found two better mentors than Patrick Allen and Parker Bohn III.
The 24-year-old lefty has received some tutoring from two of the games’ greatest left-handers this season which has led to Page having a breakthrough season and one that is shaping up to be the best for a qualifier in Denny’s PBA Tour history.
Page led the field in Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round (TQR) for the Great Lakes Classic at Spectrum Lanes with a 1,762 seven-game pinfall to advance to the Round of 64 for the fourth time in five tries this season.
The Team USA member is threatening to break Dino Castillo’s TQR records set last season as he has now led the field twice and has qualified four times overall. Last season, Castillo set records by leading the field three times and qualifying nine times overall.
“I think a lot of my success has to do with my experience on Team USA and some of the other amateur bowling I’ve done, but Patrick Allen has been really helpful with the learning curve out here,” Page (Topeka, Kan.) said. “I look up to him a lot and for him to reach out to me means a lot. He’s helped me keep an open mind and every time I’ve asked him about the patterns he’s given me an idea about where they have played in the past.”
Besides Allen, a nine-time champion on Tour, Page also credits 30-time Denny’s PBA Tour champion and PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III with his success this season. Page became a PBA member recently when it was announced that PBA stars would be eligible for Team USA for the first time. One of the six selected PBA stars was Bohn.
“Truthfully, I wouldn’t be a pro if it weren’t for Parker,” Page said. “Brunswick had a seminar for their pro staff and they allowed me to be a part of it and Parker pulled me aside and talked to me about the future and his experiences. I can’t express how cool it is to have two of the best lefties take me by the hand and help me out. I’ve been pretty lucky.”
Though his goal is to just make it out of the Tour Qualifying Round each week, Page’s ultimate goal is to earn an exemption via the top 40 in points rather than the non-exempt points race. He came into this week 37th in the PBA World Point Rankings.
Finishing second Wednesday was fellow Team USA member David O’Sullivan (Orlando, Fla.) with 1,691 followed by Walter Schaub III (Schaumburg, Ill.) in third with 1,630 and 61-year-old Dale Eagle (Tavares, Fla.) in fourth with 1,623. Eagle, who qualified for the second time this season, owns 10 PBA Senior Tour titles.
Anthony Preston (Louisville, Ky.) finished fifth with 1,605 to earn a spot as the high amateur in the field. The next five bowlers in the standings also qualified as a total of 10 PBA members advanced this week due to six exempt bowlers withdrawing from the tournament (Jeff Carter, Jason Couch, Norm Duke, Patrick Healey Jr., Tony Reyes and Pete Weber). Those five included local favorites Jimmy Levendosky (Jenison, Mich.), who finished sixth, and Mike Eaton Jr. (Wyoming, Mich.), who finished ninth. Also qualifying were Edward VanDaniker Jr. (Essex, Md.), Tom Daugherty (Tampa, Fla.), John Slavich IV (Schaumburg, Ill.) and Billy Plane (Marietta, Ga.).
Thursday’s Round of 64 for the Denny’s PBA Tour and PBA Women’s Series, which features two seven-game qualifying blocks, gets underway at 10 a.m. EST. The top 32 men and eight women will advance to match play on Friday.
The top four men and two women after Friday’s match play will advance to Sunday’s championship round live on ESPN at 1 p.m. EST. The two men’s semifinal matches take place followed by the women’s title match which will award the winner $10,000. The men’s title match follows with the winner taking home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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