December 11, 2007 19:00
Since making his first career Denny’s PBA Tour championship round a little over a year ago, Steve Rogers has had a hard time recapturing the magic from his fourth-place finish in the 2006 Lake County Indiana Classic.
He took the first step Wednesday to getting back to the promise land, leading the field in the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round with a 1,656 seven-game pinfall to earn a spot in the Thursday’s Round of 64 in the 2007 Spartanburg Classic at Shamrock Lanes.
Rogers (Bourbonnais, Ill.) has qualified through the TQR three times since his championship round appearance – including one previous time this season – but has yet to repeat the success he had in last season’s Lake County Indiana Classic when he advanced through the TQR and went on to earn a spot in the championship round. Though he came up just short that week in his efforts to earn a Denny’s PBA Tour exemption by winning a title, Rogers showed Wednesday he won’t relent in his efforts to take it a step further.
On Wednesday, Rogers opened the day with a 219 then fired a 278 in game two and never looked back. He averaged 237 over the next four games to take over the lead, and held on despite his lowest score of the day – a 211 – in the seventh and final game.
Rhino Page continued his incredible run through the weekly TQRs, finishing second with 1,651 to qualify for the Round of 64 for the sixth time in seven weeks. Last week, Page became the seventh bowler in history to advance through the TQR and make the championship round the same week. He finished fifth overall to move up to 17th in the PBA World Point Rankings, well ahead of the rest of the non-exempt field. Page will look to make his fifth match play appearance of the season Thursday.
Finishing third and qualifying for the second time this season was PBA Senior Tour bowler Roger Kossert (Lithia, Fla.), who started the day with a 300 game and finished with 1,631. Amateur Terry Decker (Shallotte, N.C.) fired the only other 300 game of the day and finished fourth with 1,575. Decker advanced to Thursday’s Round of 64 as the top amateur in the field.
Also earning a spot in the Round of 64 were Kenny Lowe Jr. (Oxon Hill, Md.), who finished fifth with 1,575, Rich Berner Jr. (Durham, N.C.), who finished sixth with 1,568 and Ronnie Horton (Christiansburg, Va.) and P.J. Haggerty (Clovis, Calif.), who tied for seventh with 1,557.
Earning the final spots in Thursdays’ field were Don Stephenson (Palm Bay, Fla.), Michael Wall (Fayetteville, N.C.), Greg Thompson Jr. (Dayton, Ohio) and Lee Vanderhoef, who finished ninth through 12th, respectively.
A record-tying 11 PBA members advanced to Thursday’s Round of 64 due to seven exempt bowlers not competing this week (Jeff Carter, Jason Couch, Tim Criss, Norm Duke, Patrick Healey Jr., Tony Reyes, Robert Smith). The Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks starting at 10 a.m. EST. The top 32 will advance to match play on Friday.
The top five after Friday’s match play will advance to Sunday’s championship round at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium at 1 p.m. EST.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.