March 20, 2007 19:00
Doug Kent will look to do something that has only been accomplished five times in Denny’s PBA Tour history after finishing qualifying in the top spot in the 2007 Denny’s World Championship at Spectrum Lanes.
Kent, who won the season-opening 2006 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters for his second career Major title, will look to become the sixth bowler all-time and the first since Walter Ray Williams Jr. in 2002-03 to win two Majors in a season. The eight-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist finished qualifying with a 6,296 27-game pinfall, averaging 233.19 to earn one of eight byes through the first two rounds of match play.
Kent has had past success in the World Championship, winning his first career Major in the 2002 PBA World Championship.
“There’s something about the Majors I just get up for and go into a different frame of mind,” Kent (Newark, N.Y.) said. “I don’t necessarily try harder, I just focus a little more. It’s very rewarding. It’s hard to win any of the tournaments out here let alone the Majors.”
Kent came out of the gates fast on Thursday, starting the day seventh but firing games of 247, 278 and 257 to take the lead. He had a low game of 233 in the nine-game block Thursday, averaging 248.67.
“I just had a look that was unbelievable,” Kent said. “If I got it a little right it rolled back and if it got left it laid there. You add a little carry with that and you get a lot of 240s.”
Wes Malott (Argyle, Texas), one of several bowlers in the running for 2006-07 PBA Player of the Year award, finished second with 6,191. Tim Criss (Bel Air, Md.) finished third, Jeff Lizzi (Sandusky, Ohio) was fourth and Danny Wiseman (Baltimore) was fifth.
Also earning byes into Friday’s Round of Super 16 were Chris Barnes (Double Oak, Texas), Tony Reyes (San Bruno, Calif.) and Todd Book (Cantonmemt, Fla.).
The top 40 advanced to single elimination match play which gets underway tonight at 6 p.m. EST with the Round of 32. The winners move on to the Round of 16 Friday morning with those winners moving on to the Round of Super 16, where they will face the top eight from qualifying.
Edward VanDaniker Jr., a 21-year-old from Essex, Md., earned the final spot in match play, finishing 40th with 5,729. Just ahead of VanDaniker was Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (N. Richland Hills, Texas), who finished 39th with 5,738 and became the first woman to make match play in a PBA World Championship.
The final four advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 2 p.m. EST at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich. The winner will take home $50,000 and a four-season exemption through the 2010-11 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
300 Games (1) - Tony Reyes.
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