January 1, 2008 19:00
If his Denny’s PBA Tour debut is any indication, Kurry Crayton is on his way to a solid professional bowling career.
In his first career event as a PBA member, Crayton led the field in Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round with a 1,658 seven-game pinfall to earn a spot in Thursday’s Round of 64 in the 2008 ConstructionJobs.com Championship at the National Bowling Stadium.
Crayton (Birmingham, Ala.) became a member on Dec. 11 and has made the decision to bowl the remainder of the 2007-08 season. The confident 26-year-old just had a feeling it was time to join the PBA.
“I just knew in my mind that if I stayed focus today I couldn’t be beat,” Crayton said. “My game is conducive to playing inside which is how they played today. That’s how I learned to bowl.”
Crayton, who has worked at Super Bowl in Birmingham most of his life, started slowly on Wednesday with a 171 a 209 in the first two games. He got comfortable in game three with a 248, starting a string of four consecutive games of 248 or better. He followed with games of 258, 266 and 279 to take the lead and held on with a 227 to finish the day.
A record-tying 11 PBA members advanced to Thursday’s Round of 64 due to five exempt bowlers being out for the season and Wes Malott and Pete Weber taking this week off.
Finishing second behind Crayton was Tom Daugherty (Tampa, Fla.) with 1,554 followed by Edward VanDaniker Jr. (Essex, Md.) in third with 1,541, the fourth time he has qualified this season. David Traber (Hebron, Ill.), a four-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist, finished fourth with 1,534.
Bob Udseth (Hanover Park, Ill.) finished fifth with 1,530 and earned a spot in the Round of 64 as the top amateur. He was followed by P.J. Haggerty (Clovis, Calif.) in sixth, Mason Sherman (Moorpark, Calif.) in seventh and Lee Vanderhoef (Greenville, S.C.) in eighth.
Earning the final spots in Thursday’s Round of 64 were Roger Kossert (Brandon, Fla.), a PBA Senior Tour bowler who qualified for the third time this season, three-time titlist Dave Arnold (Dublin, Calif.), Steve Rogers (Bourbonnais, Ill.) and Jon Brandon (Santa Clarita, Calif.).
The Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks starting at 10 a.m. PST. The top 32 will advance to match play on Friday.
The top four after Friday’s match play will advance to Sunday’s championship round at the National Bowling Stadium at 10 a.m. PST.
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