November 29, 2007 19:00
After two weeks without a championship round appearance, Walter Ray Williams Jr. is back on track and adding to what is already one of the best starts to a season in his 25-year PBA Hall of Fame career.
The Denny’s PBA Tour’s all-time titles leader advanced to his fourth championship round in the last six weeks and will look to win title No. 44 Sunday as he defeated Billy Oatman, four-games-to-one, to advance to the championship round in the 2007 Great Lakes Classic at Spectrum Lanes.
Williams ended the run of the No. 1 seed Oatman, who led qualifying with a 249 average and went 8-0 in his first two matches in the Rounds of 32 and 16, averaging 259.13 over the eight games. But against Williams, Oatman struggled to regain the form and Williams averaged 251.60 over the five games to Oatman’s, including a 225-204 win in game five.
The 48-year-old finished third in the United States Bowling Congress Masters, won the next week’s Motor City Classic and made a third consecutive championship round when he finished second in the following week’s Etonic Championship. After two weeks where he finished sixth and 45th, Williams is back in the finals and making his Tour-record 162nd career TV appearance.
Williams will face Mike Scroggins who defeated Mitch Beasley, 4-3, with an exciting 269-267 win in game seven.
The other semifinal features PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III taking on Chris Loshetter. Bohn advanced to his first championship round of the season and will look to break a 59-event winless streak which is the longest of his career. The 30-time titlist last won the 2005 El Paso Classic. Bohn, who defeated Mike Mineman, 4-1, will face Loschetter, who defeated Sean Rash, 4-3.
In the final PBA Women’s Series event of the season, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard will look to become the only two-time PBA Women’s Series champion as she defeated Kelly Kulick, 4-1. Dorin-Ballard barely snuck into match play as the No. 8 seed this week, then knocked off No. 1 Liz Johnson, 4-3, in the Round of 8. Dorin-Ballard won the inaugural PBA Women’s Series event, the 2007 Motor City Classic.
Dorin-Ballard will face No. 6 Diandra Asbaty, who is not an exempt bowler on the PBA Women’s Series, but was the second alternate and earned a spot in this week’s event after both Wendy Macpherson and first alternate Robin Romeo withdrew. Asbaty defeated Tish Johnson, 4-3, with a 207-185 win in game seven.
The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday at 1 p.m. EST at Spectrum Lanes. The two men’s semifinals take place first 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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