November 7, 2007 19:00
As a rookie on the Denny’s PBA Tour and crossing with PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber, Todd Book knew he had to show up during Thursday’s Round of 64 in the 2007 Etonic Championship.
Book did more than that. He blew away the field in the second seven-game block, earning the top seed for match play, finishing ahead of the pack with a 3,425 14-game pinfall at AMF Thruway Lanes.
The 36-year-old earned his first career exemption by leading this summer’s Denny’s PBA Tour Trials. He struggled in his first two weeks as an exempt bowler, finishing 132nd in the USBC Masters and 52nd in last week’s Motor City Classic.
On Thursday, Book shot nearly 200 pins better in his second seven-game block than his first. He was 21st after the first block but averaged 257.86 over the final seven games to take the lead. His 1,805 second-block pinfall was 48 pins shy of the seven-game record.
“When you bowl with Pete Weber you have to show up,” Book (Cantonment, Fla.) said. “We were moving together all day and watching each other a little bit. The lanes played the same tonight as this morning, but I made a couple ball changes and made a surface change and that opened the lanes wide open.”
Book had a high game of 255 in his first block, then had just two games under 255 in the second block. He had a high of 279 in game eight and finished with a 268.
“It was just one of those times where it really came together,” Book said. “I get in a rhythm and I turn the switch on. It’s one of those zones we all talk about it. When you get in it you just try to stay in it.”
Book will face No. 32 Eugene McCune (Munster, Ind.) in Friday’s single elimination Round of 32. McCune, who finished second to all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. in last week’s Motor City Classic, fired a 268 in the final game to finish eight pins ahead of Brian Kretzer for the final spot. Williams (Ocala, Fla.) finished fourth and will face No. 29 Jim Tomek Jr.
Patrick Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) finished second with 3,420 and will face No. 31 Rich Ferraro (Webster, N.Y.), a local amateur who advanced into the event by finishing first in Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round. Ferraro’s 246 in the final game secured his spot in match play.
Edward VanDaniker Jr., who also advanced through Wednesday’s Qualifying Round, finished third with 3,420 and will face No. 30 Norm Duke. The 22-year-old VanDaniker advanced to the Round of 8 last week after going through the Qualifying Round.
Just one of the three Buffalo-area exempt bowlers advanced to match play. Jack Jurek (Lackawanna, N.Y.) finished ninth and will face No. 24 Robert Smith.
Weber, the defending champion, finished 28th. He will face No. 5 Rhino Page, who was one of four qualifiers to advance to match play.
Also running this week is the second of four PBA Women’s Series events. The 16-woman field is competing alongside the men but in their own tournament. Joy Esterson led the field with a 3,461 14-game pinfall to earn the top seed for match play. The top eight women advanced to Friday.
One of the eight to advance was Cheektowaga, N.Y. native Liz Johnson, who finished third with 3,318. Johnson, who fired one of six 300 games on the day, has made history in her career on the Denny’s PBA Tour. Four seasons ago she became the first woman to advance to the championship round of a Denny’s PBA Tour event when she finished second in the 2005 Banquet Open. She nearly repeated the feat at AMF Thruway Lanes last season, finishing seventh against the men, falling to eventual champion Pete Weber in the Round of 8.
Last week’s winner of the first PBA Women’s Series event, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, finished second with 3,389. She will face No. 7 Wendy Macpherson. Esterson will face No. 8 Kelly Kulick, who was exempt on the Denny’s PBA Tour last season, while Johnson will face No. 6 Shannon Pluhowsky.
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 1 p.m. 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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