Baker Rises to the Top

by PBA Editor August 18, 2007 19:00
Tom Baker remembers fondly the days when he used to run home to catch the latest PBA telecast on ABC hoping Dick Weber made the finals.

Now, Baker is in position to honor is boyhood idol, holding the overall lead heading into match play with a 3,506 16-game pinfall in the 2007 PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational, a new PBA Senior Tour event honoring the late PBA legend.

The top seed means much more in this event than in most PBA Senior Tour events. This week features round robin match play, where all pins from qualifying carry over. Baker is looking to win his third PBA Senior Tour title this season, which could lead to a record third consecutive PBA Senior Player of the Year award for the PBA Hall of Famer.

On Sunday, Baker stayed steady on a difficult lane condition, which forced him to be more conservative. He kept all eight games above 200, with a high of 245 and a low of 212.

“Today was a lot different. Yesterday I played inside and today I was going as straight as I could and taking my hand out of the ball. I didn’t have to move much the whole day,” Baker (King, N.C.) said.

This week’s event is using the PBA World Championship pattern, the same pattern Baker won the 2004 PBA World Championship on, giving him a five-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.

“Normally this pattern plays in and I thought outside would be out of bounds, but because of the surface it’s playing a lot different.”

Looming just two spots behind Baker is PBA Hall of Famer David Ozio, who is third with 3,429. Ozio (Beaumont, Texas) is running neck-and-neck with Baker for Player of the Year honors. Though he has just one title this season to Baker’s two, Ozio has been the most consistent bowler on Tour, making seven championship round appearances in 12 events.

The gutsiest performance of the day belonged to first-block leader Keith Sharp, who bowled despite receiving news Saturday night his father had passed away. Sharp opened the morning with games of 241 and 239, and had a high game of 255 in the fifth game of the day. He finished second overall with 3,477 and will continue to bowl in honor of his father.

“I talked to him two days ago and he told me if I was ever going to win a tournament to win this one for him,” Sharp (Orlando, Fla.) said. “He bowled against Dick Weber and was a big fan of his.”

Rounding out the top five were Sam Zurich (Grant, Fla.) in fourth with 3,393 and Hugh Miller (Seattle, Wash.) in fifth with 3,390. Both Zurich and Miller are rookies on the PBA Senior Tour, but with one title this season Zurich is the leading candidate for PBA Senior Rookie of the Year.

The top 24 advance to round robin match play Monday and Tuesday with the top five bowlers after 24 games advancing to the stepladder finals Tuesday evening at West County Lanes at 6 p.m. CST. The winner will take home $9,000 and a berth in the 2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions, one of four Majors on the Denny’s PBA Tour.

PBA Senior Tour
PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational
West County Lanes
Ballwin, Mo.
Sunday, Aug. 19


Pos., name, hometown, 16-game pinfall. Top 24 advance to match play. $600 indicates Super Senior check, 60 years and older.)

1, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3,506.
2, Keith Sharp, Orlando, Fla., 3,477.
3, David Ozio, Beaumont, Texas, 3,429.
4, Sam Zurich, Grant, Fla., 3,393.
5, Hugh Miller, Seattle, 3,390.
6, Rohn Morton, Vancouver, Wash., 3,379.
7, Norb Wetzel, Fond du Lac, Wis., 3,353.
8, Bob Brady, Santa Monica, Calif., 3,333.
9, Mike Pullin, Rochelle, Ill., 3,329.
10, Sam Maccarone, Glassboro, N.J., 3,318.
11, Dale Eagle, Tavares, Fla., 3,312.
12, Shannon Starnes, Fort Worth, Texas, 3,293.
13, Ray Johnson, Battle Creek, Mich., 3,280.
14, Kenny Parks, East Chicago, Ind., 3,276.
15, Mark Roth, Fulton, N.Y., 3,273.
16, (TIE) Mark Scime, Winter Garden, Fla, and William Keenan, Jr., Orlando, Fla., 3,266.
18, Bob Chamberlain, The Villages, Fla., 3,265.
19, Timothy Kauble, Marion, Ohio, 3,240.
20, John Petraglia, Manalapan, N.J., 3,238.
21, James Brenner, LeClaire, Iowa, 3,237.
22, Chuck Pierce, Dallas, 3,236.
23, Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 3,228.
24, Bob Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 3,225.
25, Gary Dickinson, Edmond, Okla., 3,223, $600.
26, Steven Jansson, Barnes, Wis., 3,220.
27, Don Sylvia, Discovery Bay, Calif., 3,214.
28, Roger Kossert, Lithia, Fla., 3,203.
29, Henry Gonzalez, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3,194.
30, Barry Mefford, Aurora, Ill, 3,175.
31, Dave Bernhardt, Shelby Twp., Mich., 3,167, $600.
32, Michael Henry, Brunswick, Ohio, 3,162.
33, Donald Kilgore, Las Vegas, 3,161, $600.
34, Fred Cole, Visalia, Calif, 3,160, $600.
35, George Lord, Lakeland, Fla., 3,142, $600.
36, Barry Gurney, West Hills, Calif., 3,129, $600.
37, Rich Holden, Chinchilla, Pa., 3,126, $600.
38, Steve Neff, Homosassa Springs, Fla., 3,123.
39, Larry Galloway, Fresno, Calif., 3,110, $600.
40, Jay Aono, Boise, Idaho, 3,094.
41, Ron Garr, Ridgedale, Mo., 3,080, $600.
42, Dan Duskin Sr, Atlantic, Iowa, 3,069, $600.
43, Ronald Krippelcz, St. Louis, 3,066.
44, Pete Bryan, Laurel, Del., 3,033.
45, Gary Hiday, Indianapolis, 3,030.
46, Vince Mazzanti Jr., Levittown, Pa., 3,023.
47, Dave Patchen, Oregon, Ohio, 3,018.
48, Marc Lineberry, Camanche, Iowa, 3,012.
49, Frank Fiscello, Bloomfield, N.J., 3,003.
50, Steve Stein, Staten Island, N.Y., 2,976.
51, (TIE) Les Zikes, Palatine, Ill., and Larry Graybeal, Elizabethton, Tenn., 2,968.
53, John Shreve Sr., Elyria, Ohio, 2,951.
54, Dave Soutar, Bradenton, Fla., 2,945.
55, Mel Wolf, Jackson, Mich., 2,938.
56, Leo Plaia, New Orleans, 2,906.
57, Randy Niehaus, Rockford, Ill., 2,894.
58, Chuck Huckelberry, Rockford, Ill., 2,876.
59, Ken Waters, Kingsport, Tenn., 2,871.
60, Teata Semiz, North Brunswick, N.J., 2,818.
61, Robert Teeters, Lapel, Ind., 2,813.
62, Dave Kangas, Gwinn, Mich., 2,805.
63, Fred Baldwin, Sturgis, Mich, 2,632.
64, Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 1,418 (WD).
65, Gene Vincent, Decatur, Ill., 1,413 (WD).

300 games - None.
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