Neck and Neck

by PBA Editor August 7, 2007 19:00
PBA Hall of Famers Tom Baker and David Ozio are running neck and neck in the 2007 PBA Senior Player of the Year race with just three events remaining. Now, they’re on a collision course to meet in the title match of this week’s PBA Senior Lake County Open.

Baker earned the top seed for match play while Ozio finished second and the two will head to opposite sides of Thursday’s single elimination bracket where they could meet for the title, a match that could either seal the award’s outcome or cloud the picture even further.

The two-time defending PBA Senior Player of the Year, Baker got off to a slow start this season but has rebounded with wins in his last two events, including the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Senior Masters, one of the season’s two Majors.

Ozio, meanwhile, leads the Tour in points and championship round appearances (six), and owns one title. He has also fared well in Majors, taking second in the PBA Senior U.S. Open.

A win by Baker could wrap up his record third consecutive Player of the Year award, but a win by Ozio would make a good case for his first such honor.

“I have had (the Player of the Year) on my mind lately. It was a setback for Tom to win two in a row and now I think I have to win and stay ahead in all the (statistical) categories,” Ozio (Beaumont, Texas) said. “It’s a challenge to go head-to-head with him. You can’t cut him an inch worth of slack. He is a world class player.”

Ozio had a chance to pull even in the win column with Baker in last week’s PBA Senior Council Bluffs Open, a tournament Baker did not compete in, but the Texan fell to eventual champion Dave Patchen in the semifinals.

“I had a good chance to win last week and just got stopped against the wall,” Ozio said. “It was a tough one to take but it’s a new week. We’ll see what happens.”

After struggling early in the first round of qualifying Tuesday, Ozio came on strong late in the day then continued his surge Wednesday, finishing the day with games of 266, 256 and 256.

“I finally got the look of the lanes and was able to repeat the motion really well. Overall I was really happy with myself. I just wanted to secure one of the top eight spots. It’s a confidence builder to get one,” Ozio said, referring to the two byes the top eight receive into the Round of 16. “I got off to such a bad start yesterday because the lanes changed so drastically. I just kept trying different things until it all started to come into view.”

Baker, meanwhile, used a 257 in his second game Wednesday and a 278 in game six to take the overall lead.
“I was hitting the pocket a lot but my carry was bad,” Baker (King, N.C.) said. “On certain pairs it picked up at the right spot and carried better so tomorrow I need to be careful about that. If I leave a lot of 10-pins I’ll be going home for sure.”

Ironically, Baker and Ozio met in the Round of 8 last year at Olympia Lanes. In a high scoring best-of-five match, Ozio knocked Baker off, 3-1, averaging 273 including a 300 in game three. Ozio ended up falling in the semifinals to eventual champion Jimmy Young.

“We’re actually pretty good friends,” Baker said of Ozio. “He’s going to win some and I’m going to win some. It’s just you and the pins though when you’re on the lanes. It’s going to go right down to it here the last couple weeks. It’s going to be pretty interesting.”

Match play gets underway Thursday at 10 a.m. CST with the Round of 32. The top eight receive byes until the Round of 16 which gets underway at 3 p.m. The final two bowlers will square off for the $8,000 top prize Thursday evening at Olympia Lanes at 7 p.m.

PBA Senior Tour
PBA Senior Lake County Open
Olympia Lanes
Hammond, Ind.
Wednesday, August 8


(Pos., name/hometown and 16-game pinfall. Top 32 advance to match play. Positions 33-45 cash. $600 indicates Super Senior check, 60 years and older.)

1, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3,554.
2, David Ozio, Beaumont, Texas, 3,531.
3, Roger LeClair, Clackamas, Ore., 3,494.
4, Bob Chamberlain, The Villages, Fla., 3,489.
5, Michael Henry, Brunswick, Ohio, 3,458.
6, Roger Kossert, Lithia, Fla., 3,438.
7, Timothy Kauble, Marion, Ohio, 3,424.
8, James Brenner, LeClaire, Iowa, 3,394.
9, Henry Gonzalez, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3,382.
10, Gary Smith, E. Peoria, Ill., 3,362.
11, Dale Eagle, Tavares, Fla., 3,357.
12, Mark Jones, Amelia, Ohio, 3,336.
13, Rohn Morton, Vancouver, Wash., 3,325.
14, Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 3,315.
15, Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., 3,314.
16, Frank Gallo Jr., Newport News, VA., 3,310.
17, Steven Jansson, Barnes, Wis., 3,290.
18, (TIE) Sam Zurich, Grant, Fla., and Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 3,285.
20, Vince Mazzanti Jr., Levittown, Pa., 3,280.
21, Don Sylvia, Discovery Bay, Calif., 3,279.
22, Norb Wetzel, Fond du Lac, Wis., 3,271.
23, Ron Garr, Ridgedale, Mo., 3,255.
24, Bob Brady, Santa Monica, Calif., 3,254.
25, Ray Johnson, Battle Creek, Mich., 3,239.
26, Bill Spigner, Vernon Hills, Ill., 3,229.
27, (TIE) John Shreve Sr., Elyria, Ohio, and Mike Pullin, Rochelle, Ill., 3,226.
29, George Lord, Lakeland, Fla., 3,225.
30, Bill Henson, Westerville, Ohio, 3,219.
31, Barry Mefford, Aurora, Ill, 3,216.
32, Jeff Bellinger, Columbia, S.C., 3,211.
33, George Miller III, Grand Rapids, Mich., 3,209, $800.
34, Vinnie Atria, Louisville, Ky., 3,208, $800.
35, Robert McDonald, Addison, Ill., 3,207, $800.
36, Robert Flaws, Chicago Ridge, Ill., 3,201, $800.
37, Michael Truitt, Orland Park, Ill., 3,199, $800.
38, Dave Patchen, Oregon, Ohio, 3,170, $800.
39, Kerry Fulford, Waco, Texas, 3,169, $800.
40, (TIE) John McClure, Maumee, Ohio, and Roy Buckley, New Albany, Ohio, 3,168, $800.
42, (TIE) Chuck Pierce, Dallas, and Jimmy Plessinger, York, Pa., 3,161, $800.
44, Steve Stein, Staten Island, N.Y., 3,160, $800.
45, Dave Bernhardt, Shelby Twp., Mich., 3,155, $800.
46, Perry Keplinger, Amherst, Ohio, 3,149, $600.
47, Dale Diamond, Springfield, Ill., 3,146, $600.
48, Andy Ippolito, Forest Hills, N.Y., 3,142.
49, Mark Roth, Fulton, N.Y., 3,140.
50, Les Zikes, Palatine, Ill., 3,138, $600.
51, Kenny Parks, East Chicago, Ind., 3,133.
52, (TIE) Paul Mielens, Menomonie, Wis., and Bill Argenbright, Fisherville, Va., 3,129.
54, Keith Sharp, Orlando, Fla., 3,122.
55, Mel Wolf, Jackson, Mich., 3,113, $600.
56, Pete Bryan, Laurel, Del., 3,111.
57, Steve Neff, Homosassa Springs, Fla., 3,107.
58, Dave Soutar, Bradenton, Fla., 3,101, $600.
59, (TIE) Jay Aono, Boise, Idaho, and Dennis Psaropoulos, Lake Worth, Fla., 3,100.
61, John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., 3,091.
62, Marc Lineberry, Camanche, Iowa, 3,090.
63, Xavier Pullara, Brandon, Fla., 3,087.
64, Ronald Krippelcz, St. Louis, 3,080.
65, Charlie Tapp, Kalamazoo, Mich., 3,078.
66, Michael Brinkmann, Fountain Hills, Ariz., 3,064, $600.
67, Bill Idzior, Crown Point, Ind., 3,061, $600.
68, Terry Hockstad, Shelby Twp, Mich., 3,057.
69, Pete Gurskis, Orland Park, Ill., 3,054, $600.
70, Jim Knoblauch, Waukesha, Wis., 3,045.
71, Teata Semiz, North Brunswick, N.J., 3,040, $600.
72, Barry Gurney, West Hills, Calif., 3,030, $600.
73, Randy Niehaus, Rockford, Ill., 3,024.
74, James Stanley, Cincinnati, Ohio, 3,022.
75, Donnie Todd Sr., Somerset, Ky., 3,020.
76, Daniel Miner, East Moline, Ill., 3,014.
77, (TIE) Rich Holden, Chinchilla, Pa., and Dick Selgo, Archbold, Ohio, 3,009.
79, Bob Pazur, Venice, Fla., 3,004.
80, Michael Chrzanowski, Shepherd, Mich., 3,002.
81, Lee Tucker, Camarillo, Calif., 3,000.
82, Sam Perrotta, Lincoln Park, N.J., 2,999.
83, Leo Plaia, New Orleans, 2,998.
84, Tony Biliskov Jr., Chicago, 2,990.
85, Gregory Goetz, Washington, 2,989.
86, Lyle Zikes, Arlington Heights, Ill., 2,988.
87, Ron Pellack Sr., Chicago, 2,987.
88, Dave Kangas, Gwinn, Mich., 2,981.
89, (TIE) Larry Graybeal, Elizabethton, Tenn., and Donald Breihan, Columbia, S.C., 2,967.
91, Brian Buczek, Brighton, Mich., 2,964.
92, Walter Sova Sr., South Daytona, Fla., 2,960.
93, Ronald Libs, Tinley Park, Ill., 2,959.
94, Ken Waters, Kingsport, Tenn., 2,957.
95, Dave Frame, Temple City, Calif., 2,954.
96, (TIE) Wayne Schuerman, Burlington, Ky., and Larry Galloway, Fresno, Calif., 2,950.
98, Gene Vincent, Decatur, Ill., 2,945.
99, Juan Garza, Munster, Ind., 2,933.
100, Richard Hunt, Valparaiso, Ind., 2,931.
101, Guy Gevedon, Petersburg, Tenn., 2,924.
102, Jerry Michalak, Crown Point, Ind., 2,922.
103, Kim Buell, Speedway, Ind., 2,918.
104, Fred Cole, Visalia, Calif., 2,912.
105, Bob Amoruso, Glenview, Ill, 2,910.
106, Bob Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 2,909.
107, Chuck Huckelberry, Rockford, Ill., 2,903.
108, Len Gray, Cincinnati, 2,888.
109, Frank Fiscello, Bloomfield, N.J., 2,887.
110, Charles Sitko, Jackson, Mich., 2,873.
111, Vincent Oliva, Orland Park, Ill., 2,857.
112, Nicholas Rencich, Portage, Ind., 2,851.
113, (TIE) Peter George, Chicago, and Chester Moneta, Hammond, Ind., 2,843.
115, Harv Pallas, Stevensville, Mich., 2,842.
116, Ray Randall, Dearborn, Mich., 2,835.
117, (TIE) Radar Presley, Atlanta, and Robert Teeters, Lapel, Ind., 2,833.
119, Aron Lipshy, Roseville, Mich., 2,832.
120, Allen Meskan, Wood Dale, Ill., 2,825.
121, Johnny Howe, Columbia, S.C., 2,821.
122, John Hunt, Grayling, Mich., 2,819.
123, Ron Hubbell, Rochester, N.Y., 2,817.
124, Edward Kramarcik Sr., Lake Mary, Fla., 2,810.
125, Keith Hennricks, Green Bay, Wis., 2,805.
126, Frank Kobli, Jr., Highland, Ind., 2,767.
127, David Shell, Elk Grove, Calif., 2,760.
128, Paul Lundahl, Chicago, 2,753.
129, George Decker, Indianapolis, 2,750.
130, Gary Friedman, Farmingdale, N.Y., 2,715.
131, James Scott, Villa Park, Ill, 2,700.
132, Joseph Venezio, Linden, N.J., 2,699.
133, Tom Wills, Thornton, Ill., 2,682.
134, Fred Baldwin, Sturgis, Mich., 2,643.
135, Joseph LaBellarte, Chicago, 2,627.

300 games – None.
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