February 14, 2008 19:00
Mike Scroggins figured out recently the best way to break a long losing streak on television is to put himself in the most difficult position possible. Now he’ll look to continue his winning streak from the best possible position.
Scroggins, who broke an eight-game TV losing streak by winning four matches as the No. 5 seed to win the 2008 Motel 6 Dick Weber Open in January, went 13-5 in match play Friday to earn the top seed for Sunday’s final round of the 2008 Pepsi Championship at Thunder-Alley.
The left-hander has struggled throughout his career on television, going just 13-22. He had lost eight matches in row and 10 of 11 since winning the 2005 USBC Masters. Scroggins then earned the No. 5 seed for the 2008 Motel 6 Dick Weber Open and went on to defeat Pete Weber, Tommy Delutz Jr., Jack Jurek and Chris Barnes to win his fourth career title.
“I was just telling someone it’s always harder to win from the No. 1 spot because the other guys have been bowling on the lanes for an hour and that makes it tough,” Scroggins (Amarillo, Texas) said. “But I’d definitely rather have one game to win a title than four.”
Scroggins was consistent on Friday, going 6-3 in the first nine-game block and 7-2 in the second block.
“I knew going into today, since there were only three lefties bowling, that our shot wasn’t going to change a whole lot,” Scroggins said. “I knew if I started off strong it was going to be good all day. I only had one game under 200 today and that was a 195. I felt like I bowled really consistent.”
All-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. earned the No. 2 seed for Sunday’s finals, compiling an 8-10 record to drop from the No. 1 seed after Thursday’s Round of 64. Bowlers earned 30 bonus pins for each win and 15 for each tie in addition to their total pinfall.
Williams will look to take back the lead in the PBA Player of the Year race after Chris Barnes took the lead last week with a win in the 2008 Bayer Classic. Barnes just missed making his fifth consecutive championship round appearances Friday as 2006-07 PBA Rookie of the Year Billy Oatman went from No. 7 to No. 5 in the position round by defeating Mike Machuga, 247-237, while Barnes fell to Eugene McCune, 216-198.
Rhino Page added to what is already one of the most prolific rookie seasons in Denny’s PBA Tour history, tying a rookie record with his fourth championship round of the season. Page, who has to qualify through the Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round each week, is the first qualifier to advance to multiple championship rounds in a season. Page was 32nd going into the day and went 12-6 to jump up to the No. 3 seed.
PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber earned the No. 4 seed and will face Oatman in the first match. Weber went 11-6-1 on the day while Oatman went 14-4, the best record of the 16 finalists.
The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday, Feb. 17 at 12:30 p.m. EST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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