Not Ready to Pass the Torch

by PBA Editor December 15, 2007 19:00
Rhino Page may be carrying the torch for left-handed bowlers and the next generation of stars on the Denny’s PBA Tour for years to come, but PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III showed Sunday that at 44 years old, he’s still the man among the lefties.

Bohn captured his 31st career Denny’s PBA Tour title, defeating the rookie Page, 267-257, to win the 2007 Spartanburg Classic at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.

In a thrilling title match, the 24-year-old Page, making his second career championship round appearance compared to Bohn’s 103, had a chance to win the match with a double and nine pins in the 10th frame. Page had trailed early, but he struck six consecutive times to rally and put himself in a position to win.

Bohn had started the match with six strikes and looked like he may become the first bowler to fire two perfect games on TV in his career, but he had back-to-back nine spares in the seventh and eight frames while Page was making his comeback.

Bohn recovered with three strikes in a row in the ninth and 10th frames and finished with 267, forcing Page to double. After a strike with his first shot in the 10th and with the crowd chanting his name, Page got up and looked to win his first title with a strike and nine, but he left the 6- and 9-pins giving Bohn the victory.

“I hope my next win takes about one tenth of the time it took me to get to this one,” Bohn, who went a career-long 61 events between his 30th and 31st titles, said. “It’s been about 60 weeks and that’s way too long. I like it to be about two or three weeks between wins.”

Bohn’s win puts him three titles shy of Mark Roth and Pete Weber for third all-time. His last win came in the 2005 El Paso Classic nearly three years ago, and he came into the finals winless in his last 10 championship rounds.

One of five left-handed bowlers in the finals, Bohn has helped mentor his fellow left-hander Page, a Team USA member who has taken the Tour by storm. A non-exempt bowler, he’s advanced through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round six times in seven tries and Sunday became the first bowler to advance to two championship rounds after qualifying through the TQR.

“I told Rhino this summer, ‘you’re a young gun and there’s no way you shouldn’t be on Tour,’” Bohn (Jackson, N.J.) said. “He’s perked up everyone’s ears and shown that he’s a great player and he’s here to stay. He didn’t back down at all today. Fortunately for me I bowled my best game in the title match. But I guarantee he will be back.”

Bohn advanced to the title match with a 227-214 win over No. 2 Patrick Allen. Allen was looking to win back-to-back titles for the second time in his career, but the 10-time titlist had trouble carrying, leaving four 7-pins. Bohn used three doubles in the match, including one in the ninth and 10th frames, to seal the win.

The No. 3 seed Bohn won the first of his three matches against the 2006-07 PBA Rookie of the Year Billy Oatman, 239-213. Oatman opened twice in the match and was ultimately undone by a failed single-pin conversion in the seventh frame, the same thing that cost his opponent, Mike Scroggins, in the first match. Bohn stayed clean the entire match and wrapped it up with a strike on his first ball in the 10th.

Oatman defeated No. 4 Scroggins, 209-207. Scroggins had a chance to take the lead with a strike in the seventh frame but he left a 7-pin and then made matters worse when he missed the conversion. It was the second time this season a missed single-pin cost him a match and it’s a problem that has plagued him throughout what is now an eight-match losing streak on television, two shy of tying the PBA record for consecutive losses.

Oatman threatened to give the lead right back when he left the 2-4-6-7-10 split in the ninth frame, but he picked up the split to all but wrap up the match. After Scroggins, struck out to finish with 207, Oatman this time left the 3-7-9 in the 10th, but he just needed one pin to win the match, and he picked up two to advance.

Bohn took home $25,000 for the win and an exemption for the 2008-09 season, while Page (Topeka, Kan.) earned $13,000 for second. Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) took home $6,500 for third, Oatman (Chicago) earned $5,500 for fourth while Scroggins (Amarillo, Texas) earned $5,000 for fifth.

The Denny’s PBA Tour takes a two-week break for the holidays before returning with the 2008 Championship, Jan. 2-6 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. EST.

Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 Spartanburg Classic
Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
Spartanburg, S.C.
Sunday, Dec. 16


Pos.Name, hometownTotal/GamesMoney
1.Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J.723 (3 games)$25,000
2.Rhino Page, Topeka, Kan.257 (1 game)$13,000
3.Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.214 (1 game)$6,500
4.Billy Oatman, Chicago422 (2 games)$5,500
5.Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas207 (1 game)$5,000

SCORES – In the first match, Oatman def. Scroggins, 209-207; in the second match, Bohn def. Oatman, 239-213; in the third match, Bohn defeated Allen, 227-214; and in the final, Bohn def. Page, 267-257.

This is Bohn’s 31st career Denny’s PBA Tour title.
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