Tommy Jones and Patrick Allen have enjoyed a friendly rivalry the last few years, needling each other about which star has more Denny’s PBA Tour titles.
With both players owning 10 titles heading into Sunday’s ConstructionJobs.com Championship, Jones took over bragging rights by defeating Allen, 254-214, at the National Bowling Stadium (NBS) to capture victory No. 11 and become the second bowler ever to win on all five of the PBA’s oil patterns.
Jones redeemed himself for a sluggish first half of the season just like Allen did in last year’s event at the NBS. Allen did not make a championship round the entire first half of the 2006-07 season before running the table in Reno in the first event following the holiday break, winning what was his eighth career title. Allen would go on to win again in 2006-07 while Jones would cap the season with a win in the PBA Tournament of Champions to set a PBA record for shortest time between his first and 10th titles, while also earning an advantage over Allen in their personal battle.
The tables turned in the first half of this season as Allen made three championship rounds and won his 10th career title in December to pull even with Jones, while Jones suffered one of the worst slumps of his career. He failed to make a championship round in the first half for the first time since his rookie year in 2001-02.
Jones surprised even himself by turning things around this week on the Shark pattern, the only one of the five standard patterns he’d never won on, and one he hadn’t even made a championship round on since 2002. He took advantage of a lower scoring pace, which forced players to make good shots every frame.
“I definitely like it when the scores are lower,” Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) said. “The good players are going to win no matter what but when the pace is lower you get rewarded for throwing the ball better instead of just grabbing a ball and guessing right.”
Jones definitely got rewarded on Sunday, getting break after break against both Allen and his semifinal opponent Ryan Shafer. Shafer hurt himself by missing the head pin three times in the first five frames and Jones took advantage by throwing a turkey in frames four through six to take the lead and win the match, 223-210.
In the title match, Allen lost his carry after looking solid in defeating Danny Wiseman 248-192 in the first semifinal. After a strike in the first frame, Allen left six consecutive single-pins, including three straight 7-pins at the end of the string. Jones, meanwhile, was locked in, striking six times in a row to run away with the victory and more importantly take over bragging rights between the two, who are the only bowlers to win at least two titles in each of the last three seasons.
“P.A. and I joke back and forth about who has more titles so it’s nice to have the edge now, but it’s just one of those deals,” Jones said. “It’s a good start to the New Year and maybe it’s the start of another trend like the last couple years.”
The 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year joined Mika Koivuniemi as the only bowlers to win on all five patterns.
“It’s definitely an accomplishment to know you can bowl well on all the patterns, but I was pretty fortunate today,” Jones said. “Shafer got some bad breaks and P.A. just missed a ball change. If he makes that change he would have bowled a lot better. It’s been a year of struggles and fortunately I got a lot of breaks today.”
Jones earned $25,000 for his win. Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) earned $13,000 for second while Wiseman (Baltimore) and Shafer (Horseheads, N.Y.) took home $6,000 each for third and fourth, respectively.
The Denny’s PBA Tour moves to Medford, Ore., next week for the 2008 Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic, Jan. 9-13 at Lava Lanes. The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. ET.
Denny’s PBA Tour2008 ConstructionJobs.com Championship
National Bowling Stadium
Sunday, Jan. 6
|1.||Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C. ||477 (2 games)||$25,000|
|2.||Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.||462 (2 games)||$13,000|
|3.||Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, Md.||192 (1 game)||$6,000|
|4.||Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y.||210 (1 game)||$6,000|
– In the first match, Allen def. Wiseman, 248-192; in the second match, Jones def. Shafer, 223-210; and in the final, Jones def. Allen, 254-214.
This is Jones’ 11th career Denny’s PBA Tour title.