Baltimore has been very good to both Rhino Page and Jodi Woessner and Sunday proved no different as each claimed titles in Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship at AMF Country Club Lanes, the eighth stop of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour. Page broke the PBA’s seven-game scoring record in the Tournament Qualifying Round (TQR) and made his televised finals debut in this tournament last year and Woessner won her first regional (Professional Women's Bowling Association) title in Baltimore 15 years ago.
Top seed Page, of Topeka, Kan. defeated No. 2 seed Wes Malott of Argyle, Texas, 197-189, to claim his second career title. Malott opened in the second and third frames, and despite both competitors’ struggles to strike, it left the door open for Page. Last season’s PBA Rookie of the Year needed a mark and a count in the 10th to edge Malott which he did with a spare and a strike.
“I felt like I needed to take advantage of the situation,” Page said. “Any time a guy has an open frame, I feel I can really try to pound on him … unfortunately I didn’t. But luckily he was down early and I was able to hang in there.”
Page, who had struggled early in the season, was making his first televised finals appearance of the season.
“I can’t tell you how much confidence this brings,” the 25-year-old said. “Three weeks ago I was pounding my head into the wall. But I went back to what made me, me. I didn’t realize I had gotten away from it. But just because I won, doesn’t mean I can let up know.”
In the second match, Malott, who was making his fourth TV finals appearance in eight events, had a near-perfect game, defeating last week’s champion and Sunday’s No. 3 seed Parker Bohn III, 290-204. In the first match, Bohn III of Jackson, N.J. advanced by defeating defending champion Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., 244-233.
In the PBA Women’s Series, sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), No. 2 seed Jodi Woessner of Oregon, Ohio defeated last week’s champion and top seed Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, 247-189 in the championship match. Woessner struck in the first six frames and jumped out to a quick lead en route to her first career PBA Women’s Series title. It was Woessner’s second televised finals appearance of the season, previously losing to Michelle Feldman in the championship match of the Chameleon Championship in Taylor, Mich. on Nov. 16.
“I just tried to make good shots and kept my arm swing loose,” Woessner said. “Last month when I was on the show, I think I pressed too hard. I’ve bowled Carolyn several times and I’ve had success against her. I don’t know if I bring my game up a notch when I play her, because she’s an amazing player.”
The Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship is the fourth event in the PBA’s six event “Versatility Swing,” in which players can earn separate points based on their performance in each of the six events. These events include the five events on the named “animal” patterns (Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion, Cheetah and Shark) as well as the Earl Anthony pattern that will be used in Medford, Ore. Much like tennis has a “Clay Court Championship” or a “Hard Court Championship,” the PBA features these events on different oil patterns. Today’s event marks the only time all season the Shark pattern will be used as the sole pattern for an event.
The Shark pattern is the longest of the five patterns, measuring 44 feet of oil. 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 scoring pace is normally low for this pattern.
With her appearance in Sunday’s finals, Woessner also qualified for the Women’s Series Showdown, in which the winners (and runner-ups if there is a multiple winner) will participate in a season-ending dedicated broadcast on ESPN, sponsored by the United Stated Bowling Congress (USBC).
The PBA will travel next to Reno, Nev. for the National Bowling Stadium Championship with the finals airing live on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009.
Lumber Liquidatators Shark Championship Format:
The field of 64 players bowled two, 7-game qualifying rounds for a total of 14 games on Thursday, Dec. 11 in which the top 32 players advanced to match play. Bowlers making the cut returned on Friday morning, Dec. 12 for the first nine games of an 18 game round robin match play schedule. The field was then cut to the top 16 players who returned on Friday evening for the second round of match play competition. At the conclusion of match play, the top four finalists advanced to stepladder competition, i.e No. 4 vs. No. 3, winner vs. No. 2, winner vs. No. 1, in the championship match.
PBA Women’s Series Format
The field of 16 players bowled two, 7-game qualifying rounds for a total of 14 games on Thursday, Dec. 11 in which the top 10 players advanced to match play. Bowlers making the cut returned on Friday evening, Dec. 12 for nine games of round robin match play competition. At the conclusion of match play, the top two finalists competed in the championship match.
Stepladder Game 1Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J. defeated Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla. ($5,500), 244-233.
Stepladder Game 2Wes Malott of Argyle, Texas defeated Bohn III ($6,500), 290-204.
FinalsRhino Page of Topeka, Kansas ($25,000), defeated Wes Malott ($13,000), 197-189.
Women’s Series Championship Match
Jodi Woessner of Oregon, Ohio ($10,000) defeated Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas ($6,000), 247-189.
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) features the best bowlers in the world competing in National, Regional and Senior Tour events. The organization has more than 4,000 members spanning 13 countries, and nearly one million viewers tune-in to watch the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour every Sunday on ESPN throughout the season. PBA sponsors include Bayer, Brunswick, CLR, Denny's, Etonic, Flomax, GEICO, Go RVing, H&R Block, Lumber Liquidators, Motel 6, Pepsi-Cola and the USBC, among others. For more information on the PBA, log on to www.pba.com.