Though he’s still a long way from retirement, Patrick Allen may have cemented his future among the bowling elite on Sunday.
Allen defeated Wes Malott, 247-217, to win the 2007 Lumber Liquidators Championship at AMF Country Club Lanes, capturing his 10th career Denny’s PBA Tour title and making himself eligible for the PBA Hall of Fame once he retires.
After joining the PBA late at the age of 29 in 1999, Allen won just one title in his first four seasons on Tour. Since then, he’s become one of the top players in the game, winning the 2004-05 PBA Player of the Year award and winning multiple titles in each of the last three seasons.
On Sunday, Allen had a comfortable lead early until back-to-back nine-spares in the sixth and seventh frames. Malott could not take advantage, however, as he left the 2-8 and spared in the eighth frame and Allen responded with a double to keep his lead. Malott could have struck out in the 10th to force Allen to get the first strike, but he could only manage one strike. Allen struck with his first ball in the 10th for the win.
“I lived in this area for a few years so it means a lot to get my 10th title here and be eligible for the (PBA) Hall of Fame,” Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) said. “There are a lot of great bowlers out there who have won 10 tiles or more and are not in the Hall of Fame – Steve Hoskins, Del Ballard Jr., Bryan Goebel – and now I’m in that group. Just because you have 10 titles doesn’t mean it’s a lock you’ll end up there, but it’s out of my hands now.”
The 37-year-old became the sixth No. 1 seed in the last seven stepladder finals to win a title following a nine-match losing streak by top seeds. Allen’s last title before today came in last season’s 2007 Go RVing Classic when he was also the top seed for the finals.
Allen led from start to finish this week, leading the Rd. of 64 Thursday and going 10-5-3 in match play on Friday. He doubled in the 10th frame of the final game of round robin Friday evening against Malott to clinch the No. 1 seed by a slim margin, meaning he only had to bowl one match on Sunday.
The No. 2 Malott advanced to the title match with a 236-207 win over No. 7 Mike DeVaney, who won three matches just to get to the semifinal. Malott struck five consecutive times in frames three through seven to take a commanding lead and he stayed clean the rest of the way to advance to the finals.
DeVaney advanced to the semifinal with a 221-220 win over the No. 3 seed Mike Wolfe and a 278-215 win over No. 4 Rhino Page. Page was making his first career championship round appearance and was looking to become just the third bowler in history to win a title after advancing through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round. He struggled early with three spares in the first five frames, however, while DeVaney missed just twice in the match.
The finals started with an exciting four-bowler shootout which nearly ended in a three-way tie. After Walter Ray Williams Jr. finished first with a 196, the remaining three bowlers could have all struck out to finish with 258. Chris Warren went first and struck with his first two shots, but he left a 9-pin with his final shot and finished with 257. Chris Barnes then looked to raise the bar higher, but after a strike with his first shot, the eight-time titlist left a 4-pin to finish with 248.
DeVaney saved the best for last. After opening in his first two frames of the match, DeVaney completed a string of 10 consecutive strikes by striking out in the 10th to finish with 258 and move on.
Allen took home $25,000 for the win and an exemption for the 2008-09 season, while Malott (Argyle, Texas) earned $13,000 for second. DeVaney (Temecula, Calif.) took home $6,500 for third, Wolfe (New Albany, Ind.) earned $5,500 for fourth while Page (Topeka, Kan.) earned $5,000 for fifth. Williams finished sixth, Warren seventh and Barnes eighth.
The Denny’s PBA Tour heads to Spartanburg, S.C., next week for the 2007 Spartanburg Classic at Shamrock Lanes, Dec. 12-16. The live ESPN televised finals take place Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. EST at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 Lumber Liquidators Championship
AMF Country Club Lanes
Sunday, Dec. 9
|1.||Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.||247 (1 game)||$25,000|
|2.||Wes Malott, Argyle, Texas||453 (2 games)||$13,000|
|3.||Mike DeVaney, Temecula, Calif.||964 (4 games)||$6,500|
|4.||Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind.||220 (1 game)||$5,500|
|5.||Rhino Page, Topeka, Kan.||215 (1 game)||$5,000 |
|6.||Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla.||196 (1 game)||$4,000|
|7.||Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore.||257 (1 game)||$3,700|
|8.||Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas||248 (1 game)||$3,400|
– In the first match, DeVaney (258) won a four-bowler shootout against Warren (257), Barnes (248) and Williams (196); in the second match, DeVaney def. Page, 278-215; in the third match, DeVaney def. Wolfe, 221-220; in the semifinal, Malott defeated DeVaney, 236-207; and in the final, Allen def. Malott, 247-217.
This is Allen’s 10th career Denny’s PBA Tour title.