February 5, 2008 19:00
P.J. Haggerty struggled through a tough week away from the Denny’s PBA Tour last week, enduring the flu and the passing of his college bowling coach.
The 22-year-old came into this week’s Bayer Classic refreshed and fueled with extra motivation, however, which resulted in the best day of his young career.
Haggerty averaged 242.57 to lead Wednesday’s Denny’s PBA Tour Qualifying Round at Oasis Lanes with a 1,698 seven-game pinfall to earn a spot in Thursday’s Round of 64.
The former Team USA member, who became a PBA member prior to the 2007-08 season, attended the funeral of Glenn Carlson, his head coach at Fresno State University who coached the Bulldogs’ bowling team for 35 years. Haggerty was determined to bowl well in honor of his coach this week and for himself as he had struggled recently in the TQRs. He made the cut through the TQR in five of seven events in the first half but had qualified just once in three previous qualifying rounds this half.
“It was nice to have a week off. I practiced quite a bit and worked on a few things and changed my timing a bit. I just regrouped,” Haggerty (Clovis, Calif.) said. “I realized there isn’t a lot of time left in this season and I needed to start bowling better. With Glenn passing away that motivated me a little more. I thought about him most of the day and what he had taught me when I was in college.”
Haggerty, who qualified for the sixth time this season which ranks third among non-exempt bowlers, will look to make match play for the first time this season.
“I feel good about tomorrow,” Haggerty said. “I’m learning a lot out here. I just want to make it to Friday. That would be nice.”
Haggerty was one of 11 PBA members who advanced to Thursday’s Round of 64 as exempt bowlers Jack Jurek and Wes Malott both withdrew from the event. One of the 11 was rookie Rhino Page, who tied a PBA record by qualifying through the TQR for the ninth time this season. Page has had an historic season, making the championship round three times, a record for non-exempt bowlers. He is currently ranked 13th in the PBA World Point Rankings, well in the cut for an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
D.J. Archer (Mineral Wells, Texas) finished second with 1,611 while Lee Vanderhoef (Greenville, S.C.) finished third with 1,581. Edward VanDaniker Jr. finished fourth with 1,568 to qualify for the seventh time this season. VanDaniker is currently second in the PBA World Point Rankings among non-exempt bowlers.
Also qualifying were George Gaucin (El Paso, Texas), Greg Thompson Jr. (Dayton, Ohio), Humberto Vazquez (San Pedro, Mexico), Edward Rede (Las Cruces, N.M.), Corey Husted (Clackamas, Ore.) and Ryan Ciminelli (Cheektowaga, N.Y.).
Earning the final spot in the Round of 64 was Bobby Stives (El Paso, Texas), who finished 13th with 1,414 and earned a spot as the top amateur in the field. Stives, who is the General Manager of Oasis Lanes, has earned the top amateur spot all three times the Tour has come to Oasis Lanes.
Thursday’s Round of 64 gets underway at 10 a.m. MST and features two seven-game qualifying blocks. The top 32 will advance to single elimination on Friday.
The top four after Friday’s match play will advance to Sunday’s championship round live on ESPN at 10:30 a.m. MST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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