It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Although a great start and a great finish are okay too, as Doug Kent can attest to.
Kent became the sixth bowler in Denny’s PBA Tour history to win two Majors in one season, defeating Chris Barnes, 237-216, Sunday to win the 2007 Denny’s World Championship at DeVos Place.
Kent won the season-opening USBC Masters for his second career Major title, then captured his second career World Championship in the season’s second-to-last event. He is the first bowler since Walter Ray Williams Jr. in 2002-03 to win two Majors in a season and the eighth bowler all-time to win multiple World Championships.
“This one really feels great, to win two in a season is very rare and just to be in this position is a great feeling,” Kent said. “Chris is a great champion, it just came down to who would catch the breaks and I caught one early to get ahead which meant he had to play catch-up, and that’s not the best place to be.”
Though he’s been fairly quiet in the second half of the season, with two Majors under his belt Kent threw his name in an already crowded Player of the Year race with one event – and the final Major – remaining.
“The last five or six weeks I just haven’t been in synch and haven’t felt great, but I just knew if I stuck with it I would get here again,” Kent said. “I always get up for the Majors, and winning two is something everyone dreams about. It’s another step closer to the Hall of Fame, too.”
Kent jumped out to an early lead in the title match, striking in the first four frames, but Barnes clawed back with four consecutive strikes of his own in frames 5-8, while Kent had three spares in that span. With a chance to get within one pin of Kent, Barnes left the 4-pin in the 9th frame, however, and Kent struck with his first ball in the 10th frame for the ninth win of his career.
The Newark, N.Y., native advanced to the title match with a 235-219 win over Danny Wiseman. Kent had a chance to win by striking on his first ball in 10th, but a spare and a strike gave Wiseman a chance to tie with three strikes in the 10th. Wiseman struck with his first shot, but then left the 4-6-7-10 split to give Kent the match.
Barnes advanced to the title match with a 246-226 win over Tony Reyes.
Kent earned $50,000 and a four-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption through the 2010-11 season with the win. Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) took home $25,000 for second, Wiseman (Baltimore) earned $13,000 for third and Reyes (San Bruno, Calif.) earned $10,000 for fourth.
Next week the Denny’s PBA Tour season wraps up with the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions, March 29-April 1. The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday, April 1 at 1 p.m. EST at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 Denny’s World Championship
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Sunday, March 25
|1.||Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y.||472 (2 games)||$50,000|
|2.||Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas||462 (2 games)||$25,000|
|3.||Danny Wiseman, Baltimore||219 (1 game)||$13,000|
|4.||Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif.||226 (1 game)||$10,000|
SCORES – In the first match, Kent def. Wiseman, 235-219; in the second match, Barnes def. Reyes, 246-226; and in the final, Kent def. Barnes, 237-216.
This is Kent’s ninth career Denny’s PBA Tour title and third Major title.Notes
With Kent already eligible for the 2007 Motel 6 Roll to Riches due to his 2006 USBC Masters win, two bowlers will be elected into the special event via an on-line fan vote instead of one. The vote is taking place on PBA.com through next Saturday.