When two titles are considered a down year, it can only mean the bar has been raised to an unbelievably high level.
Tommy Jones has raised the bar higher than any bowler in Denny’s PBA Tour history, capturing his 10th career title and second Major Sunday with a 257-222 win over Tony Reyes to win the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Jones won his 10 titles in two years, six months and seven days, breaking the PBA record for shortest time between first and 10 titles by four days. PBA legend Dick Weber held the record for 45 years until Jones salvaged what was considered a down year for the 28-year-old.
Jones won his first career title in the 2004 Japan Cup and went on to win four titles in both 2004-05 and 2005-06, including his first Major in last season’s 63rd U.S. Open. He had won just one title this season coming into this week, but he dominated both his opponents on Sunday.
“It feels great. I haven’t been bowling very well this season, but I worked with Del Ballard recently and I have to thank him for getting me back here,” said Jones, the 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year, of the 12-time titlist. “Next year I’m going to be back and ready to go again. I’m ready to win another Player of the Year.”
Though he hasn’t been among the many bowlers in a crowded PBA Player of the Year race, Jones did take another step toward history, capturing his second of the PBA’s Triple Crown events. He only needs a World Championship title to become the fifth bowler in history to win the Triple Crown.
The title match was never in doubt as Jones started with six consecutive strikes while Reyes, making his Tournament of Champions debut, struggled with just one strike in the first four frames including an open in the 4th frame.
Jones advanced to the title match with a 279-238 win over the defending champion Chris Barnes. On the 40th anniversary of the Tour’s first-ever televised 300 game in the 1967 Tournament of Champions, Jones looked like he might repeat the feat, starting with the first seven strikes. A 10-pin in the 8th frame foiled the effort, but he recovered with four consecutive strikes to close out the match.
Reyes advanced to the title match with a 215-206 win over Norm Duke.
Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) earned $60,000 for the win. Reyes (San Bruno, Calif.) took home $20,000 for second, while Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) and Duke (Clermont, Fla.) earned $10,000 each for third and fourth, respectively.
The Tournament of Champions wraps up the 2006-07 Denny’s PBA Tour season. Next week, six bowlers will compete in a special winner-take-all event, the 2007 Motel 6 Roll to Riches at Sequoia Pro Bowl in Columbus, Ohio. The Major winners from this season (Doug Kent, Jones and Pete Weber), PBA World Point Rankings leader (Wes Malott) and two bowlers from an on-line fan vote (Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr.) will compete for the $150,000 top prize.Denny’s PBA Tour
2007 PBA Tournament of Champions
Mohegan Sun Arena
Sunday, April 1
|1.||Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.||536 (2 games)||$60,000|
|2.||Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif.||437 (2 games)||$20,000|
|3.||Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas||238 (1 game)||$10,000|
|4.||Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla.||206 (1 game)||$10,000|
SCORES – In the first match, Reyes def. Duke, 215-206; in the second match, Jones def. Barnes, 279-238; and in the final, Jones def. Reyes, 257-222.