It has been a long time since reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year Chris Barnes and PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber have used a plastic bowling ball on a regular basis for other than spare shooting. But they got the most out of that technology Friday when both bowlers advanced to Sunday’s finals of the PBA GEICO Plastic Ball Championship at Brunswick Zone Wheat Ridge.
Barnes, who is looking for his first win of the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season, defeated Mike DeVaney of San Diego, 4-1 in the Round of 8 best-of-seven match to advance to the finals. He had games of 279, 279, 279, 230 and 257.
“The last time I used a plastic ball on a regular basis was at the American Bowling Congress Tournament in 1992 and I shot an 800 series with it,” said Barnes, who owns 10 PBA Tour titles. “Under any circumstances my primary adjustment is speed and release which is particularly critical when you are using plastic equipment.”
For today’s match play competition all players continued to use identical plastic bowling balls as will the four finalists for Sunday’s ESPN finals which will get underway at 1 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Mountain). The concept of having all competitors use identical equipment for this event is to level the playing field from an equipment standpoint.
“For the TV finals adjusting your speed will be especially important because there will be more carry down (lane conditioner moving down the lane),” Barnes continued. “But there is one advantage--there won’t be a lot of decisions to make in what equipment to use.”
Weber, who is making his second television appearance of the season having previously made the finals when he finished third in the recent Denny’s Dick Weber Open, defeated Jack Jurek of Lackawana, N.Y., 4-3 to advance to the finals. Weber said it has been at least 20 years since plastic equipment was the mainstay of his arsenal.
“I like the format and would have had a lot of fun even if I didn’t make the finals,” said Weber who is tied for third with Mark Roth in career Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titles with 34. “Using this equipment really made you focus plus you had to have a lot of breaks. You had to make the right adjustments to keep from hitting the pocket like a 6-pound ball.”
Joining Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, and Weber, St. Ann, Mo., in the finals will be Jeff Carter of Springfield, Ill., who is looking for his first PBA Tour title and Michael Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., who hopes to win his first individual PBA Tour title. Fagan, who won the PBA Exempt Doubles Classic with Danny Wiseman last season, finished second to Norm Duke in the Denny’s Dick Weber Open.
The GEICO Plastic Ball Championship is part of the PBA’s 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.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
GEICO Plastic Ball Championship
Brunswick Zone Wheat Ridge – Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Match Play Standings (Best 4 of 7 Games), Money for Non-Finalists
Round of 8
#8 Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. #1 Mike DeVaney $4,100, San Diego, 4-1
#6 Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., def. #14 Brian Voss $4,100, Kennesaw, Ga., 4-3
#15 Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., def. #7 Robert Smith $4,100, Columbus, Ohio, 4-3
#4 Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., def. #28 Jack Jurek $4,100, Lackawanna, N.Y., 4-3
Round of 16
#8 Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. #9 Jason Couch $2,700, Clermont, Fla., 4-2
#15 Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., def. #2 Jason Belmonte $2,700, Australia, 4-1
#6 Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., def. #22 Ryan Shafer $2,700, Horseheads, N.Y., 4-2
#4 Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., def. #20 Brian Kretzer $2,700, Dayton, Ohio, 4-0
#28 Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., def. #21 Ronnie Russell $2,700, Indianapolis, 4-0
#14 Brian Voss, Kennesaw, Ga., def. #3 Edward VanDaniker Jr. $2,700, Essex, Md., 4-0
#7 Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, def. #10 Tommy Jones $2,700, Simpsonville, S.C., 4-1
#1 Mike DeVaney, San Diego, def. #16 Nathan Bohr $2,700, Wichita, Kan., 4-2
Round of 32
#1 Mike DeVaney, San Diego, def. #32 Patrick Allen $2,200, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 4-2
#2 Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. #31 Billy Oatman $2,200, Chicago, 4-3
#3 Edward VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., def. #30 David Williams Jr. $2,200, Omaha, Neb., 4-2
#4 Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., def. #29 Tom Hess $2,200, Urbandale, Iowa, 4-0
#28 Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., def. #5 Joe Ciccone $2,200, Buffalo, N.Y., 4-1
#6 Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., def. #27 Michael Machuga $2,200, Erie, Pa., 4-2
#7 Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, def. #26 Dave D'Entremont $2,200, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 4-0
#8 Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. #25 Brad Angelo $2,200, Lockport, N.Y., 4-1
#9 Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., def. #24 Steve Harman $2,200, Indianapolis, 4-1
#10 Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., def. #23 Mike Edwards $2,200, Tulsa, Okla., 4-3
#22 Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., def. #11 Sean Rash $2,200, Wichita, Kan., 4-3
#21 Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, def. #12 Bill O'Neill $2,200, Southampton, Pa., 4-1
#20 Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, def. #13 Mike Wolfe $2,200, New Albany, Ind., 4-1
#14 Brian Voss, Kennesaw, Ga., def. #19 Mitch Beasley $2,200, Puyallup, Wash., 4-1
#15 Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., def. #18 Jason Sterner $2,200, McDonough, Ga., 4-1
#16 Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., def. #17 Walter Ray Williams Jr. $2,200, Ocala, Fla., 4-3