February 6, 2008 19:00
Chris Warren joked that all three bowlers he crossed with Thursday were young enough to be his sons, but that didn’t stop the Denny’s PBA Tour veteran from copying what his younger competitors were doing.
The 44-year-old Warren fired a 246 in the final game Thursday night to finish with a 3,206 14-game pinfall and earn the top seed for match play in the 2008 Bayer Classic at Oasis Lanes.
The five-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist bowled throughout the day with 22-year-old P.J. Haggerty, 26-year-old Bill O’Neill and 25-year-old Sean Rash, who all played the same part of the lane.
“The day was good but what was better was the cross I had, that helped a lot. They all hook the ball and we were all fairly close to where we were playing,” Warren (Grants Pass, Ore.) said. “I was a little to the right of them since they curve it a little more than I do, but when their ball hooked I knew the lanes were hooking more so I could adjust that way and when they went straight, I adjusted that way too. Knowing that information doesn’t necessarily make it easier but it allows you to see what the lanes are doing and it makes a big difference. That’s probably the highest I’ve averaged in the last two years.”
Warren, who has not won a title since 1992, is enjoying a solid season as he sits 28th in the PBA World Point Rankings. He used three games of 268 or better on the low-scoring Shark oil pattern to take the overall lead. He will face No. 32 Tommy Delutz Jr. (Flushing, N.Y.) in single elimination match play Friday morning. Delutz held on to the final spot despite a 191 in the final game.
D.J. Archer (Mineral Wells, Texas) finished second with 3,200 and will face No. 31 Jason Wojnar (Chicago), while 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones (Simpsonville, S.C.) finished third with 3,173 and will face No. 30 Mike Edwards (Tulsa, Okla.).
Chris Barnes (Double Oak, Texas), who finished second in last season’s Sun City Classic at Oasis Lanes, finished fourth with 3,127 and will face No. 29 Brad Angelo. Barnes will be looking to make his fourth consecutive championship round and his Tour-leading eighth of the season but is still searching for his first title in 2007-08.
Defending champion Mika Koivuniemi (Hartland, Mich.) finished 17th and will face No. 16 Dave D’Entremont.
Friday’s Round of 32 gets underway at 9 a.m. MST followed by the Round of 16 at 2 p.m. and the Round of 8 at 7 p.m.
The top four will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN-televised championship round which gets underway 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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