Just ten minutes down the road from Country Club Lanes, local bowler William Barlow definitely made his presence known at Wednesday’s Tournament Qualifying Round (TQR) of the Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship, the eighth stop on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour.
Barlow of Edgewood, Md. finished with 1,597 pins over the 7-game block, averaging 228.14 to lead the 89-playerfield. Richard Fairley of Christiansburg, Va. finished in second with a score of 1,538.
“I won a regional bowling this (Shark) pattern so I felt pretty confident,” Barlow said. “I’m pretty excited because I’ve competed in several TQRs but this is the first time I led. This is also my first tournament of the season.”
The Shark oil pattern is the longest of the five named animal patterns, measuring 44 feet of oil. This pattern forces bowlers to play deep inside the center of the lanes. Typical to the length and design, professionals will migrate more towards the center of the lane as the ball normally will not hook back to the pocket if it strays too far outside near the gutter. This pattern usually requires extreme inside angles to get to the pocket after five or six games.
The 35 year-old, who works as a groundskeeper in Aberdeen, Md., hopes to improve on his career-best finish of 21st in a PBA national event.
“My goal tomorrow is to make it past the Round of 32,” Barlow said. “I like this pattern, it fits my game.”
Also earning spots in Thursday’s Round of 64 were George lambert IV of Hamilton, Ontario with 1,528 pins, Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Fla. with a score of 1,527, Brian Valenta of Lockport, Ill. with 1,514, amateur Derek Payne of Capitol Heights, Md. with 1,514, Brandon Robertson of Clinton, Conn. With 1,492 pins and Thomas Wall III of Fayetteville, N.C. at 1,472.
Thursday’s men’s competition continues with the qualifying Round of 64, cutting down the field to the top 32 players. The women’s field will begin play on Thursday with its qualifying Round of 16, cutting the field down to 10.
Lumber Liquidatators Shark Championship Format:
The field of 64 players will bowl two, 7-game qualifying rounds for a total of 14 games on Thursday, Dec. 11 in which the top 32 players advance to match play. Bowlers making the cut return on Friday morning, Dec. 12 for the first nine games of an 18 game round robin match play schedule. The field will then be cut to the top 16 players who will return on Friday evening for the second round of match play competition. At the conclusion of match play, the top four finalists will advance to stepladder competition, i.e No. 4 vs. No. 3, winner vs. No. 2, winner vs. No. 1, in the championship match, aired live on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. ET.
PBA Women’s Series Format
The field of 16 players will bowl two, 7-game qualifying rounds for a total of 14 games on Thursday, Dec. 11 in which the top 10 players advance to match play. Bowlers making the cut return on Friday evening, Dec. 12 for nine games of round robin match play competition. At the conclusion of match play, the top two finalists will compete in the championship match on Sunday, Dec. 14, aired live on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.