February 7, 2007 19:00
Mike DeVaney knows as much as anyone that all the hard work Thursday isn’t worth a thing if you don’t make it count on Friday.
DeVaney led Thursday’s Round of 64 in the 2007 GEICO Classic at AMF Irving Lanes with a 3,001 14-game pinfall to earn the top seed for Friday’s single elimination match play.
The one-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist has advanced to match play in the single elimination format in seven of nine tries this season, but has just a 3-6 match record. He also earned the top seed for the 2006 Etonic Championship, but fell to Chris Loschetter in the Round of 16.
“I just grinded it out and took advantage of the good pairs I had, but whatever happens Thursday is irrelevant. It’s what you do Friday that matters,” DeVaney (Temecula, Calif.) said. “I played a part of the lane today that no one else played. I played the second arrow when everyone else was playing way inside of that.”
DeVaney will look to improve on his season-best ninth-place finish, but he’ll first have to get by Joe Ciccone (Buffalo, N.Y.), who finished 32nd with 2,802 to earn the final spot in match play by two pins over Patrick Girard (Jonquiere, Quebec).
The 2005-06 PBA Rookie of the Year Bill O’Neill (Levittown, Pa.) finished second with 3,000. O’Neill, looking for his first career Tour title, will face No. 31 Brian Voss (Alpharetta, Ga.), a PBA Hall of Famer with 24 career titles.
The Round of 32 will feature a match-up between two of the greatest bowlers of all time as PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber (St. Ann, Mo.) and Walter Ray Williams Jr. (Ocala, Fla.) will go head-to-head Friday morning. The last time the two faced each other Williams defeated Weber, 289-236, in the title match of the Dydo Japan Cup 2006 to capture his record-breaking 42nd career Tour title.
A total of five Dallas area bowlers advanced to match play including seven-time Tour titlist and Double Oak, Texas resident Chris Barnes who finished third with 2,959. Barnes will face No. 30 Doug Kent (Newark, N.Y.). Also advancing were Wes Malott (Argyle, Texas), Del Ballard Jr. (North Richland Hills, Texas), Dino Castillo (Carrollton, Texas) and Patrick Healey (Denton, Texas).
Friday’s Round of 32 gets underway at 9 a.m. CST, followed by the Rounds of 16 and 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
The final four bowlers advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 11:30 a.m. CST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
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