Mike DeVaney Leads After Round of 64 Qualifying at PBA GEICO Plastic Ball Championship

by PBA Editor February 18, 2009 19:00
In a tournament where all competitors are required to use identical plastic bowling balls, Mike DeVaney of San Diego and two-handed bowling star Jason Belmonte of Australia, are the leaders after Round of 64 qualifying Thursday in the PBA GEICO Plastic Ball Championship at Brunswick Zone Wheat Ridge.
DeVaney leads with a 3,348 14-game pinfall (239.1 average) just eight pins ahead of Belmonte in second with 3,340.
The concept of requiring players to use identical plastic bowling balls for this tournament is designed to provide an even playing field from an equipment standpoint.
“I normally use 8-10 balls in a normal week,” said DeVaney, who owns one Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title. “I used one ball all day today. The transition of oil is more consistent over time -- I only moved a total of six boards today between the two squads.”
Belmonte’s previous best finishes on the PBA Tour were a 10th in the PBA World Championship and a 15th place finish in the recent Denny’s Dick Weber Open.
“I was very happy to sneak in through the rabbits (PBA Tour Qualifying Round) and very happy to be in this position,” said Belmonte. “Truth be told, the first few shots in each round I threw too hard.  For this pattern you had to slow ball speed down.”
“Plastic” polyester balls like the ones featured in the Plastic Ball Championship are almost exclusively used for spare shooting due to the balls’ tendency to go straight on the majority of today’s lane conditions. However, they were at the forefront of ball technology in the 1970s and early 80s. Today’s most popular bowling balls are composed of resin with exotic weight blocks, which enhance the balls’ ability to hook.
The top 32 players will now move into best-of-seven game matches on Friday until the final four are remaining for the ESPN finals airing Sunday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Mountain).
PBA Hall of Famer Brian Voss and 2009 USBC Masters champion John Nolen were given commissioner’s exemptions into the tournament with Voss advancing to the Round of 32 by finishing 14th in qualifying while Nolen failed to advance finishing 45th.
The GEICO Plastic Ball Championship is part of the 50th Anniversary season “Extreme Swing,” which also includes the Ultimate Scoring Championship, Etonic Marathon Open, Don Johnson Buckeye State Eliminator and the GoRVing Match Play Championship. The creative format events are meant to test the greatest bowlers in the world in different areas of the game, provide television audiences with a fresh look while providing education on pertinent aspects of the game.
GEICO Plastic Ball Championship
Brunswick Zone Wheat Ridge – Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Qualifying Round Standings (14 Games), Money for Non-Qualifiers
Top 32 Advance to Match Play
1, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 3,348
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,340
3, Edward VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 3,290
4, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,260
5, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 3,257
6, Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 3,234
7, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 3,203
8, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,195
9, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 3,182
10, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,178
11, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 3,177
12, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 3,170
13, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 3,166
14, Brian Voss, Kennesaw, Ga., 3,163
15, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 3,142
16, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 3,141
17, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 3,136
18, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 3,131
19, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 3,122
20, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 3,118
21, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 3,101
22, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3,099
23, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 3,094
24, Steve Harman, Indianapolis, 3,092
25, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,081
26, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 3,059
27, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 3,058
28, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 3,049
29, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 3,045
30, David Williams Jr., Omaha, Neb., 3,039
31, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 3,033
32, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 3,028
33, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 3,025, $1,800
34, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,023, $1,800
35, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 3,022, $1,800
36, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 3,006, $1,800
37, George Lambert IV, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 3,002, $1,800
38, Andrew Cain, Scottsdale, Ariz., 2,989, $1,800
39, Jason Lundquist, Delaware Water Gap, Pa., 2,968, $1,800
39, Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif., 2,968, $1,800
41, Ken Simard, Greenville, S.C., 2,959, $1,800
42, Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash., 2,953, $1,800
43, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 2,944, $1,800
44, Chester Rogers Jr., Milwaukie, Ore., 2,934, $1,800
45, John Nolen, Waterford, Mich., 2,920, $1,800
46, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 2,907, $1,800
47, Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, 2,895, $1,800
48, Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 2,888, $1,800
49, Joe Bailey, Pittsburgh, 2,885, $1,800
50, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 2,871, $1,800
51, Ken Abner, Cincinnati, 2,857, $1,800
52, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 2,848, $1,800
53, Terrance Reeves, Valrico, Fla., 2,844, $1,800
54, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 2,840, $1,800
55, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 2,838, $1,800
56, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,825, $1,800
57, Chad Kloss, Greenfield, Wis., 2,811, $1,800
58, David Traber, Hebron, Ill., 2,796, $1,800
59, Mike Keily, Lakewood, Colo., 2,788, $1,800
60, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 2,776, $1,800
61, John Slavich IV, Schaumburg, Ill., 2,756, $1,800
62, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 2,754, $1,800
63, Kris Koeltzow, Wheat Ridge, Colo., 2,634, $1,800
64, Chris Wimpey, Aurora, Colo., 2,614, $1,800
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