May 31, 2008 19:00
After 44 games and five long days, several bowlers’ fate came down to the final frame of the 45th game in the 2008 Lake County Indiana Denny’s PBA Tour Trials at Stardust Bowl I.
The thrill of victory and agony of defeat was evident as seven bowlers earned exemptions for the 2008-09 Denny’s PBA Tour season while a pair of bowlers who were on Tour in 2007-08 came up just short.
Dave D’Entremont, Chad Kloss, Criag Tuholski and Jason Lundquist faced little drama Sunday to wrap up exemptions, while Joe Bailey, Randy Weiss and Terrance Reeves all had to wait to find out their fate until the last game.
The six-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist D’Entremont (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) regained his exemption by leading the field with a 10,051 45-game pinfall.
“It’s nice. Obviously I felt pretty comfortable going into the final day and the goal I set was to lead. I finally got it done the last game so it’s a good feeling,” D’Entremont, who just missed an exemption after suffering a freak injury prior to the final event of last season, said. “The fact that I had to do this again wasn’t fun, but I felt all along that one of these spots was mine. I just had to take it.”
Craig Tuholski (Washougal, Wash.) earned his first career exemption by finishing second with 10,040 while Kloss (Greenfield, Wis.) earned his second consecutive exemption via Tour Trials by finishing third with 10,012.
Lundquist (Delaware Water Gap, Pa.) also earned his first career exemption and became the first left-handed bowler to earn an exemption via the Tour Trials in the four years the event has been held at Stardust Bowl II. He finished fifth with 9,841.
There was high drama for the rest of the bowlers who qualified during the last game. Joe Bailey (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was eighth going into the final game but struck with his first 11 shots and finished with a 298 to jump to fourth and earn his first exemption.
Randy Weiss (Columbia, S.C.) shot 213 his final game to finish sixth with 9,806, finishing just 11 pins inside the cut. Some big late strikes turned out to be the difference as he earned his second career exemption and first since 2005-06.
Terrance Reeves, meanwhile, had to watch as Ronnie Russell (Indianapolis) and Brian LeClair (Athens, N.Y.) both had chances to pass him. LeClair needed a double in the 10th frame to go around Reeves, but after a strike with his first shot he got just eight pins with his second to fall three pins shy of Reeves.
Russell then had the final shot at regaining the exemption he earned at Stardust Bowl II last summer but lost by just 150 points via the 2007-08 PBA World Point Rankings. Russell needed two strikes and nine pins in his 10th frame, but he left an 8-pin on his first shot, giving Reeves (Valrico, Fla.) his first career exemption.
The seven bowlers round out the field of 58 exempt bowlers for the 2008-09 Denny’s PBA Tour season which kicks off in late October.
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