Many considered Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla. the heavy favorite as the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour unveiled its first multiple-pattern event at the National Bowling Stadium Championship. Williams, Jr., the all-time PBA titles leader, charged to the top of the leader board with a 13-5 record in match play and will seek his unprecedented 46th career title as the tournament leader and top seed for Sunday’s live ESPN final round.
“I bowled pretty well,” said Williams, Jr. “I was able to do something with the Shark and had a nice reaction on Cheetah.”
This is the first time that multiple oil patterns were used during a Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour tournament and on the telecast, requiring bowlers to face the challenge of negotiating each oil pattern by determining equipment choices and lane play strategy on every alternating shot.
Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Tex. finished as the second seed with a 12-6 match play record, stroking the first multiple-pattern 300 game in PBA history.
“I followed Walter Ray in game eight of Match Play,” said Malott. “He created a hook spot for me and I was able to take advantage. I set myself up to stay in the PBA Player of the Year race.”
The Round of 16 shaped up as one of the most compelling in the history of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour. Eight of the recently named 50 Greatest Players in the history of the Professional Bowlers Association started the round with a chance to make the ESPN television show. Going into the Position Round (32nd Game) positions 3rd through 6th were separated by only four pins.
The reigning PBA Player of the Year, Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Tex. qualified in 3rd place. “There were some really important shots in the last few games,” said Barnes. “It’s nice to be back on the television show.”
“It was sick,” said 4th-seeded Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., “I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life. It shows you the mental toughness of the great players on multiple patterns.”
Fifth-seeded Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa. completes the television field making his fourth final round appearance of the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season.
Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. finished 7th, the top woman in the field advancing to match play. Defending champion Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C. finished in 10th place. Jones won the 2008 Constructionjobs.com Championship at the National Bowling Stadium on Jan. 6, 2008.
Bowling fans will be treated to a pair of nationally-televised Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour events on Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium. Tickets are free and doors are open to the public at 8 a.m. PT.
The bowling doubleheader starts with ESPN’s live final round coverage of The National Bowling Stadium Championship at 10 a.m. PT followed by the taping of the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship.
Norm Duke and Liz Johnson qualified as the top seeds in the mixed doubles event. Sean Rash and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard qualified in second position. In third position was the mixed doubles team of Steve Harman and Jennifer Petrick. The fourth-seeded Tom Hess and Laura Hardeman with fifth-seeded Brad Angelo and Shannon Pluhowsky round out the field for the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship.
NOTES: National Bowling Stadium Championship – Reno, Nev.
--300 Game, Wes Malott 2 (Round of 64 – Block 2, Round of 16)
--252 Game, Pete Weber (Round of 32) 5 Strikes, Gutter/6, 6 Strikes
--Brian LeClair received this week’s Commissioner’s Exemption after Wayne Webb withdrew from the tournament due to injury
--Two women: Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y. and Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic advanced out of the PBA Tour Qualifying Round to make the 64-player tournament field
--Eight players among the Greatest 50 Players in PBA History advanced to the Round of 16 (Mika Koivuniemi (49), Patrick Allen (44), Danny Wiseman (42), Tommy Jones (30), Chris Barnes (26), Norm Duke (7), Pete Weber (4) and Walter Ray Williams Jr. (TBA)
--Going into the position round (Game 32) positions 3rd-6th were separated by only 4 pins
National Bowling Stadium Championship – Reno, Nev.
Round of 16 – Total Pinfall, Earnings (32 Games)
1. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 13-5-0, 7,673
2. Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 12-6-0, 7,412
3. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 12-6-0, 7,395
4. Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 12-6-0, 7,384
5. Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 10-8-0, 7,340
6. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 6-12-0, 7,324, $4,000
7. Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 12-6-0, 7,314, $3,700
8. Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 10-8-0, 7,306, $3,400
9. Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 10-8-0, 7,290, $3,200
10. Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 11-7-0, 7,284, $3,000
11. Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 10-8-0, 7,219, $2,800
12. Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 9-8-1, 7,212, $2,700
13. Robert Smith, Columbus, 8-9-1, 7,179, $2,650
14. Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 10-8-0, 7,166, $2,600
15. Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 8-9-1, 7,114, $2,550
16. Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 8-9-1, 6,965, $2,500