T of C Field to Expand

by PBA Editor August 21, 2007 19:00
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

1.Tommy JonesPBA Tournament of Champions (4/1/07)
2.Doug KentDenny’s World Championship (3/25/07)
3.Norm DukePepsi Championship (3/18/07)
4.Pete Weber64th U.S. Open (3/4/07)
5.Mike MinemanBayer Classic (2/25/07)
6.Patrick AllenGo RVing Classic (2/18/07)
7.Chris BarnesGEICO Classic (2/11/07)
8.Mika KoivuniemiSun City Classic (2/4/07)
9.Jason CouchMotel 6 Classic (1/28/07)
10.Sean RashEarl Anthony Medford Classic (1/14/07)
11.Wes MalottDiscover® Card Windy City Classic (11/26/06)
12.Tony ReyesMotor City Classic (11/5/06)
13.Walter Ray Williams Jr.Dydo Japan Cup 2006 (9/24/06)
14.Ritchie AllenMotel 6 Phoenix Classic (1/22/06)
15.Brian HimmlerEarl Anthony Medford Classic (1/8/06)
16.Mike WolfeEmpire State Classic (12/18/05)
17.Mike ScrogginsUSBC Masters (11/20/05)
18.Mike MachugaGreater Omaha Classic (11/13/05)
19.Steve JarosDexter Tournament of Champions (4/10/05)
20.Parker Bohn IIIEl Paso Classic (1/16/05)
21.Danny WisemanUSBC Masters (10/31/04)
22.Robert SmithOdor-Eaters Open (2/15/04)
23.Patrick Healey Jr.PBA Tournament of Champions (12/14/03)
24.Ryan ShaferEmpire State Open (11/23/03)
25.Mike DeVaneyGEICO Earl Anthony Classic (1/5/03)
26.Eugene McCuneBanquet Classic (11/17/02)
27.Dave D’EntremontWichita Open (10/13/02)
28.Chris CollinsPepsi Championship (3/5/06)
29.Brian VossJackson Hewitt Tax Service Classic (1/29/06)
30.Amleto MonacelliJackson Hewitt Tax Service Open (2/13/05)
31.Jason HurdPepsi Open (11/28/04)
32.Rick LawrenceBowlersParadise.com Open (11/21/04)
33.Lonnie WaliczekOdor-Eaters Open (2/26/03)
34.Chris HaydenVIA Bowling Open (2/16/03)
35.Bryon SmithUSBC Masters (1/19/03)
36.Bryan GoebelMedford Open (1/12/03)
37.Randy PedersenPepsi Open (11/24/02)

PBA Senior Tour Entrants

No. NameTournament
38.Tom BakerUSBC Senior Masters PBA Senior Dick Weber Invitational

PBA Regional Tour Entrants

39.Scott SantosPBA Regional Players Championship
40.TBAPBA Regional Players Invitational

PBA Tournament of Champions Winners

41.Mike Aulby1995 Tournament of Champions
42.David Ozio1991 Tournament of Champions
43.Del Ballard Jr.1989 Tournament of Champions
44.Mark Williams1988 Tournament of Champions
45.Marshall Holman1986 Tournament of Champions
46.Mike Durbin1984 Tournament of Champions
47.Steve Cook1981 Tournament of Champions
48.Wayne Webb1980 Tournament of Champions
49.George Pappas1979 Tournament of Champions
50.Dave Davis1975 Tournament of Champions
51.Johnny Petraglia1971 Tournament of Champions
52.Billy Hardwick1965 Tournament of Champions

PBA Hall of Famers

NameLast Win
Dave HustedNational/Senior Doubles (1/15/00)
Ernie SchlegelBayer/Brunswick Touring Players Championship (11/8/95)
Mark RothIOF Foresters Open (4/15/95)
Gary DickinsonB.P.A.A. U.S. Open (4/2/83)
Dave SoutarSyracuse Open (11/9/82)

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