March 25, 2008 19:00
Brad Angelo has quietly been one of the most consistent bowlers on the Denny’s PBA Tour this season, he just hasn’t had enough breaks go his way to get him over the hump.
He’s hoping they all fall into place this week in the most prestigious tournament of the season.
Angelo averaged 231.67 Wednesday to take the overall lead after two days with a 2,663 12-game pinfall in the 65th Denny’s U.S. Open at Brunswick Zone Carolier, the fourth Major and final event of the 2007-08 season.
The 38-year-old Angelo, who is still looking for his first title, has made match play in 14 of the 16 events he’s bowled this season, only missing in last week’s GEICO Classic and the season-opening United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters. In between, he’s posted one runner-up finish and suffered many tough breaks.
“It has been a solid season,” Angelo (Lockport, N.Y.) said. “I think the last four or five single elimination match play events, whoever I lost to they ended up making the show so it’s been that type of season. It has been disappointing to make that many match plays and not be able to break through and make a couple more shows. On the other hand I’m doing the right things to get in that position.”
After averaging 212.17 on the fresh oil on Tuesday night, Angelo came out on the burned up oil on the second squad Wednesday, shooting 230 or better in five of his six games including a 265 in game two.
“I had a very good day. (Brunswick ball rep) Rick (Benoit) had found something in my release during our practice session on Monday and that was certainly a key element in yesterday and today,” Angelo said. “It’s definitely worked out really well and I guess I’ll just keep riding the wave and keep thinking about that. The tournament is not even half over but I have to admit, it is nice to see my name at the top of the leader board.”
Angelo is no stranger to success in the U.S. Open, although he had more success when the event was held on the West Coast. In his two appearances in U.S. Open’s held in Southern California, Angelo finished ninth in 2003 and sixth in 2004. He’s bowled well in the three previous U.S. Open’s held at Brunswick Zone Carolier, but has yet to make match play, finishing 36th in 2005, 43rd in 2006 and 35th last season.
Finishing second behind Angelo was Australian sensation Jason Belmonte, a two-hander widely recognized as one of the top bowlers in the world. Belmonte averaged 217.50 on Tuesday after a 222.50 average Wednesday and will look to become the second Aussie this season to make a PBA championship round. Fellow Australian National Team member Andrew Frawley finished fourth in the Denny’s World Championship.
Mark Clark (Naperville, Ill.) finished third with 2,639 while Eugene McCune (Munster, Ind.) and Shannon Buchan (Waterloo, Iowa) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, rounding out the top five.
Rookie sensation Rhino Page (Topeka, Kan.) continued to add to what is already the greatest rookie season in PBA history, finishing the day seventh with 2,601. Page owns one title this season and has made a rookie record five championship rounds.
In the race for the PBA Player of the Year award, Mike Scroggins (Amarillo, Texas) took another step toward sneaking into the lead, finishing the day 29th. Scroggins needs to win the title this week and hope neither Chris Barnes nor Walter Ray Williams Jr. finish in the top five. Should that happen, Scroggins would win the race by one point. Things are not looking good for Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) or Williams (Ocala, Fla.), although Barnes – who has a two-point lead over Williams – moved up to 92 on Wednesday. Williams sits 125th, in danger of missing the first cut on Thursday. The top 122 bowlers after Thursday’s six games will advance to Friday’s final round of qualifying.
Following the nine-game block Friday morning, the field will be cut down to 24 bowlers for round robin match play, which starts Friday evening and runs through Saturday.
The top four after Saturday’s match play will advance to Sunday’s championship round live on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET. The winner will take home $100,000 and a three-year Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.
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