Ciminelli Takes Top Spot

by PBA Editor January 8, 2008 19:00
Ryan Ciminelli can only hope his performance this week after leading the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round will be as good as his performance the last time he led a qualifying round, if not better.

Ciminelli became just the second bowler to lead a Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round as both an amateur and a PBA member, averaging 240.14 over his seven games Wednesday to earn a spot in Thursday’s Round of 64 of the 2008 Lumber Liquidators Earl Anthony Medford Classic at Lava Lanes.

The 21-year-old led the TQR as an amateur in the 2006 GEICO Classic in his hometown of Cheektowaga, N.Y., as a 19 year old. He went on to finish ninth in the event, just missing out on a chance to become the first amateur to advance to a Denny’s PBA Tour championship round when he fell to Tim Criss, four-games-to-three, in the Round of 16.

Ciminelli became a PBA member in April 2007 and joins Bo Goergen as the only bowlers to lead as both an amateur and member. Goergen did it in back-to-back weeks in the 2005-06 season.

On Wednesday, Ciminelli (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) had just one game under 234, a 193 in game three. He started off with games of 236 and 246 before bowling his low game of the day, but rebounded with games of 256, 234, 259 and 257, the latter of which helped him jump over David Traber for the lead.

Ciminelli qualified for the second time this season. He finished 11th in the Lumber Liquidators Championship in Baltimore in December.

Finishing second was Tom Daugherty (Tampa, Fla.) who qualified second for the second consecutive week. Daugherty finished with a 1,638 seven-game pinfall to Ciminelli’s 1,681.

Erik Hohlbein (Renton, Wash.) finished third with 1,602 to advance out of his first career Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round. Four-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist David Traber (Hebron, Ill.) was fourth with 1,597 while Andrew Cain and Denny’s PBA Tour champion Bryon Smith, who lives is in nearby Roseburg, Ore., tied for fifth with 1,594.

In a tight race for the amateur spot, Redmond, Oregon’s Grant Benton edged Kevin Henley of Medford, Ore., by just 10 pins, finishing seventh with 1,578.

The final three PBA member spots were taken by Rhino Page (Topeka, Kan.), who qualified for the seventh time in nine tries this season, and Edward VanDaniker Jr. (Essex, Md.), who qualified for the fifth time, and former exempt bowler Nathan Bohr (Wichita, Kan.).

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 Lava Lanes at 10 a.m. PST.
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