Michael Machuga of Erie, Pa., won six of his eight matches Friday afternoon, establishing a Professional Bowlers Association 40-game scoring record as he maintained his lead in the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by the United States Bowling Congress at Northrock Lanes.
Machuga, a 33-year-old two-time Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titlist, improved his average to 252.03 for 40 games, posting an actual total of 10,081 pins to establish a PBA record for 40 games. Including his bonus pins after posting an 11-5 match play record, he had a total of 10,411 pins for a 136-pin lead over rookie Wayne Garber of Modesto, Calif.
Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., was third with 10,207 pins; Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, fourth with a 10,156 total; Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., fifth at 10,153 and Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., held the sixth spot for the championship finals with 10,121 pins.
Friday morning’s White round, Machuga’s favorite, produced two more 300 games to boost the record for most perfect games in a PBA Tour event to 28.
“I saw some different things today, but the adjustments I had to make made sense,” Machuga said. “I struggled on a couple of pairs, but I figured things out. Every adjustment I made worked, and that’s been the key this week. You have to make quick decisions and not get confused, because you’re going to need to throw a six- or seven-bagger every game.
“It’s nice to have a 136-pin lead, but when you’re averaging 250 and the people chasing you are averaging 245 or so, you don’t have a comfort zone. Throw a couple 220s in a row and lose those matches, you’ll give away 80 pins a game. Things can change very quickly.
“My strategy has been to try to pick up 100 pins a game. If you can come close to that, no one can catch you and I think that strategy is why I’m where I am right now.”
The Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by the USBC is being conducted on three different lane conditioning patterns the USBC plans to introduce on an optional basis to American league bowlers in cooperation with the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America for the 2010-11 winter league season. Similar in concept to golf’s tee system, the USBC Red condition is the most forgiving pattern, the White condition is a medium challenge and the Blue pattern is the most challenging.
After Friday’s final eight-game round of round-robin match play on the Blue pattern, the top six will advance to the championship round which will be taped Sunday to air on ESPN on Jan. 10.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
PESPI RED, WHITE AND BLUE OPEN PRESENTED BY USBC
Northrock Lanes, Wichita, Kan., Dec. 11
FIFTH ROUND (after 40 games, including match play bonus pins)
1, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 11-5, 10,411
2, Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 11-5, 10,275
3, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 11-5, 10,207
4, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 11-4-1, 10,156
5, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 8-8, 10,153
6, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 9-7, 10,121
7, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 6-10, 10,093
8, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 10-6, 10,017
9, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 7-9, 9,981
10, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 9-6-1, 9,974
11, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 9-6-1, 9,968
12, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 9-7, 9,957
13, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 6-8-2, 9,955
14, (tie) Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 8-8, and Cassidy Schaub, Ashland, Ohio, 6-10, 9,931
16, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 9-7, 9,824
17, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 8-8, 9,798
18, Gilbert Sanchez, Mulvane, Kan., 9-7, 9,782
19, David Ruder, Edmond, Okla., 7-9, 9,769
20, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 3-13, 9,719
21, Cory Simmons, Wichita, Kan., 6-9-1, 9,679
22, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 7-8-1, 9,570
23, Andrew Mortensen, Tulsa, Okla., 4-11-1, 9,541
24, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4-12, 9,521
300 Games (28) – Mitch Beasley, Tommy Jones, Todd Book (2), Leroy Willis Jr., Billy Oatman, Scott Newell, Michael Machuga (2), Cassidy Schaub (2), Liz Johnson, Derek Hartnell, Cory Simmons, Gilbert Sanchez, Ritchie Allen (2), Walter Ray Williams Jr. (2), Brad Angelo, Mike Scroggins, Jason Sterner, Rhino Page, Jason Couch, Wayne Garber, Wes Malott, David Ruder, Jeff Carter.