The PBA announced today it has changed the selection criteria for the 2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions, one of four Major events on the Denny’s PBA Tour, which will take place January 23-27 at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. Additionally, the PBA announced details of the new PBA Exempt Doubles Classic, which will run the same week as the H&R Block Tournament of Champions, and will also take place at Red Rock Lanes.
Over the past five seasons, the Tournament of Champions has been open to just 32 bowlers, however this season’s H&R Block Tournament of Champions field will expand to 52 participants. Previously, the most recent 28 Denny’s PBA Tour champions were invited, along with two champions each from the PBA Senior Tour and PBA Regional Tour’s Major events.
This season, the field will be open to the 37 most recent Denny’s PBA Tour champions, with priority on the list given to bowlers currently exempt on the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour. Two spots were available to PBA Senior Tour champions, but Tom Baker won both the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Senior Masters and the PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational, giving an extra spot to a Denny’s PBA Tour champion. Two additional spots will be given to the winners of the two PBA Regional Tour Major events.
The remaining spots up to 52 will be filled by past Tournament of Champions winners in order of most recent Tournament of Champions win. If the field still does not reach 52, the roster will open up to PBA Hall of Famers based on most recent Denny’s PBA Tour win.
Should a bowler not already eligible for the 2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions win one of the 12 events leading up to the event, they will replace a non-exempt Denny’s PBA Tour champion from the list of 36.
The H&R Block Tournament of Champions will also switch from a single elimination match play format to one with 14 games of qualifying and round robin match play. All 52 competitors will bowl 14 games of qualifying on Thursday, Jan. 24, with the top 32 advancing to match play. Those 32 will bowl nine games of round robin on Friday, Jan. 25, after which the field will be cut to the top 16.
Those 16 will bowl an additional nine games of round robin to determine the final four bowlers for the live ESPN televised finals on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET. The finals will feature two semifinal matches and a one-game title match, with the winner earning $60,000 and a two-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.
In the days leading up to the H&R Block Tournament of Champions, a new Denny’s PBA Tour event will take place at Red Rock Lanes, the PBA Exempt Doubles Classic, Jan. 20-22. The tournament will run similar to a standard Denny’s PBA Tour event except match play will feature a round robin doubles format.
The event starts with a Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round on Sunday, Jan. 20 where non-exempt bowlers and amateurs will battle it out for spots in the Round of 64. The top four PBA members and top amateur will advance to Monday’s qualifying.
On Monday, Jan. 21, the 59 exempt bowlers and five qualifiers will bowl two seven-game qualifying blocks with the top 32 advancing to match play on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The top 32 will then team up for round robin match play based on qualifying position with all pinfall carrying over. The top bowler from qualifying will team up with the No. 2 qualifier, No. 3 will team with No. 4 and so on. The 16 matches will feature both a singles and doubles component.
Within each match, each bowler’s game score counts toward the team’s total pinfall. The bowler with the highest score between the leadoff bowlers will receive 10 bonus pins, while the bowler with highest score between the anchor bowlers’ scores will also receive 10 bonus pins.
The team’s combined score is also accounted for and the team with the highest combined score will receive an additional 30 pins, giving each team a potential 50 pins for each match on top of their total pinfall.
The top four teams will advance to the championship round, where a Baker format will be used. The finals will be taped Sunday, Jan. 27 following the completion of the live ESPN televised finals of the H&R Block Tournament of Champions and will air tape-delayed on ESPN Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. ET as the Denny’s PBA Tour will be on hiatus that week.
Below is the list of eligible participants for the 2008 H&R Block Tournament of Champions:Denny’s PBA Tour Entrants
PBA Senior Tour Entrants
|1.||Tommy Jones||PBA Tournament of Champions (4/1/07)|
|2.||Doug Kent||Denny’s World Championship (3/25/07)|
|3.||Norm Duke||Pepsi Championship (3/18/07)|
|4.||Pete Weber||64th U.S. Open (3/4/07)|
|5.||Mike Mineman||Bayer Classic (2/25/07)|
|6.||Patrick Allen||Go RVing Classic (2/18/07)|
|7.||Chris Barnes||GEICO Classic (2/11/07)|
|8.||Mika Koivuniemi||Sun City Classic (2/4/07)|
|9.||Jason Couch||Motel 6 Classic (1/28/07)|
|10.||Sean Rash||Earl Anthony Medford Classic (1/14/07)|
|11.||Wes Malott||Discover® Card Windy City Classic (11/26/06)|
|12.||Tony Reyes||Motor City Classic (11/5/06)|
|13.||Walter Ray Williams Jr.||Dydo Japan Cup 2006 (9/24/06)|
|14.||Ritchie Allen||Motel 6 Phoenix Classic (1/22/06)|
|15.||Brian Himmler||Earl Anthony Medford Classic (1/8/06)|
|16.||Mike Wolfe||Empire State Classic (12/18/05)|
|17.||Mike Scroggins||USBC Masters (11/20/05)|
|18.||Mike Machuga||Greater Omaha Classic (11/13/05)|
|19.||Steve Jaros||Dexter Tournament of Champions (4/10/05)|
|20.||Parker Bohn III||El Paso Classic (1/16/05)|
|21.||Danny Wiseman||USBC Masters (10/31/04)|
|22.||Robert Smith||Odor-Eaters Open (2/15/04)|
|23.||Patrick Healey Jr.||PBA Tournament of Champions (12/14/03)|
|24.||Ryan Shafer||Empire State Open (11/23/03)|
|25.||Mike DeVaney||GEICO Earl Anthony Classic (1/5/03)|
|26.||Eugene McCune||Banquet Classic (11/17/02)|
|27.||Dave D’Entremont||Wichita Open (10/13/02)|
|28.||Chris Collins||Pepsi Championship (3/5/06)|
|29.||Brian Voss||Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic (1/29/06)|
|30.||Amleto Monacelli||Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Open (2/13/05)|
|31.||Jason Hurd||Pepsi Open (11/28/04)|
|32.||Rick Lawrence||BowlersParadise.com Open (11/21/04)|
|33.||Lonnie Waliczek||Odor-Eaters Open (2/26/03) |
|34.||Chris Hayden||VIA Bowling Open (2/16/03)|
|35.||Bryon Smith||USBC Masters (1/19/03)|
|36.||Bryan Goebel||Medford Open (1/12/03)|
|37.||Randy Pedersen||Pepsi Open (11/24/02)|
PBA Regional Tour Entrants
|38.||Tom Baker||USBC Senior Masters || PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational |
PBA Tournament of Champions Winners
|39.||Scott Santos||PBA Regional Players Championship |
|40.||TBA||PBA Regional Players Invitational|
PBA Hall of Famers
|41.||Mike Aulby||1995 Tournament of Champions|
|42.||David Ozio||1991 Tournament of Champions|
|43.||Del Ballard Jr.||1989 Tournament of Champions|
|44.||Mark Williams||1988 Tournament of Champions|
|45.||Marshall Holman||1986 Tournament of Champions|
|46.||Mike Durbin||1984 Tournament of Champions|
|47.||Steve Cook||1981 Tournament of Champions|
|48.||Wayne Webb||1980 Tournament of Champions|
|49.||George Pappas||1979 Tournament of Champions|
|50.||Dave Davis||1975 Tournament of Champions|
|51.||Johnny Petraglia||1971 Tournament of Champions|
|52.||Billy Hardwick||1965 Tournament of Champions|
|Dave Husted||National/Senior Doubles (1/15/00) |
|Ernie Schlegel||Bayer/Brunswick Touring Players Championship (11/8/95)|
|Mark Roth||IOF Foresters Open (4/15/95)|
|Gary Dickinson||B.P.A.A. U.S. Open (4/2/83)|
|Dave Soutar||Syracuse Open (11/9/82)|