August 19, 2007 19:00
As late as last Wednesday, Hugh Miller had no intentions of bowling this week’s PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational.
But after watching his friend and fellow Northwest native Kevin Croucher win last week’s PBA Senior Decatur Open, Miller quickly changed his mind.
His decision was a good one as Miller leads the final event of the 2007 PBA Senior Tour season heading into the final round of match play, going 10-6 Monday to finish with a 7,138 32-game pinfall at West County Lanes.
All pinfall from the 16 games of qualifying carried over, where Miller had finished fifth. He moved into the lead by posting the second-best record of the day in round robin match play. Bowlers receive 30 bonus pins for each win and 15 for each tie.
The PBA Senior Tour rookie, who won seven titles in his career on the Denny’s PBA Tour, bowled six events early in the season and made match play three times but grew frustrated with the single-elimination format used in standard events. This week’s event, which is being held in honor of the late PBA legend Dick Weber, features a throwback round robin format, which Miller prefers.
“I’ve had the same problem out here I had on the (Denny’s PBA) Tour my last couple of years out there where every time I get to match play my opponents just blew me out,” Miller (Seattle) said. “The secret here is the round robin format. I get to play until the last game no matter what.”
Miller finished just one pin ahead of Keith Sharp, who after some deliberation continued to bowl despite the loss of his father Saturday night. Sharp (Orlando, Fla.) matched Miller with a 10-6 record in match play, finishing with 7,137. Sharp is looking for his first career PBA Senior Tour title.
As they seem to do every week, PBA Hall of Famers Tom Baker and David Ozio finished next to each other in the standings, with Baker finishing third with 7,087 after going 9-7 and Ozio finishing fourth with 7,051, posting the best record of the day at 11-5. Baker and Ozio are in a heated battle for PBA Senior Player of the Year honors, with this week potentially being the deciding factor in the vote.
Baker (King, N.C.), the two-time defending PBA Senior Player of the Year, owns two titles this season including one Major, while Ozio (Beaumont, Texas) leads the PBA Senior Point Rankings and is looking to make his eighth championship round appearance in 13 events.
Another PBA Senior Tour rookie, Sam Maccarone (Glassboro, N.J.), sits fifth with 6,946 after posting a 10-6 record. Maccarone, who won a title earlier this season in Dayton, Ohio, moved up five spots after finishing qualifying in 10th.
All 24 finalists will bowl another eight games of round robin Tuesday morning after which the top five will advance to the stepladder finals which get underway Tuesday 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
Monday, Aug. 20
ROUND ROBIN MATCH PLAY
(Pos., name, hometown, match play record. 32-game pinfall. Pinfall includes 30 bonus pins for each win, 15 bonus pins for each tie.)
1, Hugh Miller, Seattle, 10-6-0, 7,138.
2, Keith Sharp, Orlando, Fla., 10-6-0, 7,137.
3, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 9-7-0, 7,087.
4, David Ozio, Beaumont, Texas, 11-5-0, 7,051.
5, Sam Maccarone, Glassboro, N.J., 10-6-0, 6,946.
6, Norb Wetzel, Fond du Lac, Wis., 8-7-1, 6,920.
7, Bob Brady, Santa Monica, Calif., 9-7-0, 6,915.
8, Dale Eagle, Tavares, Fla., 10-6-0, 6,910.
9, John Petraglia, Manalapan, N.J., 9-7-0, 6,818.
10, Sam Zurich, Grant, Fla., 6-10-0, 6,812.
11, James Brenner, LeClaire, Iowa, 8-7-1, 6,794.
12, Shannon Starnes, Fort Worth, Texas, 8-8-0, 6,788.
13, Mark Roth, Fulton, N.Y., 7-9-0, 6,718.
14, William Keenan, Jr., Orlando, Fla., 8-7-1, 6,683.
15, Chuck Pierce, Dallas, 7-8-1, 6,662.
16, Bob Chamberlain, The Villages, Fla., 8-7-1, 6,646.
17, Kenny Parks, East Chicago, Ind., 8-8-0, 6,640.
18, Rohn Morton, Vancouver, Wash., 5-11-0, 6,616.
19, Bob Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 9-7-0, 6,569.
20, Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 5-11-0, 6,540.
21, Timothy Kauble, Marion, Ohio, 4-11-1, 6,494.
22, Mark Scime, Winter Garden, Fla, 6-10-0, 6,467.
23, Ray Johnson, Battle Creek, Mich., 7-9-0, 6,456.
24, Mike Pullin, Rochelle, Ill., 7-9-0, 6,442.
300 games - None.
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