Wes Malott Is Top Qualifier for PBA Etonic Marathon Open Stepladder Finals

by PBA Editor February 26, 2009 19:00
Arguably the most versatile bowler on the Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association Tour, Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, earned top qualifier honors Friday for Sunday’s stepladder finals of the PBA Etonic Marathon Open at Woodland Bowl.
With a 12,272 54-game pinfall (227.2 average), Malott finished 223 pins ahead of Hall of Famer Pete Weber with 12,049 (223.1 average) who earned the No. 2 spot for the finals.
“I’m feeling it and I can tell you everybody out here who bowled the 54 games is feeling it,” said Malott of the grueling format. “I was able to adjust to the pressure of bowling the different conditions—I had a little trouble this morning on the Earl Anthony pattern but I found I had to stay slow on the Shark pattern tonight and I bowled well.”
The unique tournament format consisted of 54 games—total pinfall with no match play—over the last four days contested on six different PBA Tour lane condition patterns. The long format and the use of PBA’s Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion, Earl Anthony and Shark oil patterns was designed to test the competitors’ stamina and versatility.
As the tournament leader, Malott earned the privilege of choosing the Scorpion oil pattern for the ESPN telecast which starts Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. The Scorpion pattern incorporates a larger volume of oil on the lanes applied to a distance of 42 feet which often demands a more direct line.
“There are a few reasons why I chose Scorpion, but really nothing more complicated than I do well on it,” said the 32-year-old right-hander.
Earlier this season Malott, a five-time Tour titlist, won the Tour’s Versatility Swing which consisted of six tournaments that featured the Tour’s six named lane conditions. During the Swing he won two events including the CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Classic.
Weber, who is tied with Mark Roth for third on the all-time PBA Tour win list with 34 titles, came from 45th after the first round to second.
“Today especially, I was focused on what I had to do when I had to do it. I didn’t second guess myself,” said the 46-year-old Weber. “I’ve always said that the more games you bowl the cream rises to the top. Don’t count anybody out when you have nine-game blocks.”
Looking for his first win this season, Weber has made the last three out of four Tour telecasts.
Qualifying third was hometown favorite Ronnie Russell of Indianapolis. The 29-year-old Russell has toured off and on for the last six years with a best finish of second in last season’s PBA Exempt Doubles Classic with Joe Ciccone.
Opening the stepladder on Sunday will be No. 4 qualifier Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa., who coming into this event is the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour points list leader taking on No. 5 qualifier Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, the reigning PBA Player of the Year. 
The winner earns a $35,000 first prize and a one-year PBA Tour exemption.
Etonic Marathon Open
Woodland Bowl – Indianapolis, Ind.
Qualifying Round 6 Standings (After 54 Games) Pinfall, Money for Non-Finalists
1, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 12,272
2, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 12,049
3, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 12,047, $100
4, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 12,013
5, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 12,010
6, Edward VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 11,983, $4,000
7, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 11,914, $3,500
8, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 11,904, $3,200
9, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 11,886, $3,100
10, Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, Fla., 11,876, $2,900
11, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 11,869, $2,800
12, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 11,841, $2,700
13, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 11,836, $2,600
14, Thomas Smallwood, Flushing, Mich., 11,816, $2,500
15, Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 11,775, $2,450
16, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 11,754, $2,400
17, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 11,753, $2,450
18, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 11,748, $2,300
19, Christopher Collins, Savannah, Ga., 11,720, $2,250
20, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 11,712, $2,300
21, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 11,697, $2,150
22, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 11,685, $2,120
23, Joe Bailey, Pittsburgh, Pa., 11,667, $2,190
24, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 11,656, $2,060
25, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 11,634, $2,030
26, Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 11,544, $2,000
27, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 11,537, $2,070
28, Derek Sapp, Keokuk, Iowa, 11,536, $1,940
29, Rhino Page, Topeka, Kan., 11,520, $1,910
30, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 11,497, $1,865
30, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 11,497, $1,865
32, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 11,487, $1,820
33, John Nolen, Waterford, Mich., 11,481, $1,790
33, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 11,481, $1,790
35, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 11,445, $1,760
36, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 11,390, $1,740
37, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 11,383, $1,720
38, Jonathan Van Hees, Newport, R.I., 11,373, $1,700
39, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 11,363, $1,680
40, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 11,328, $1,660
41, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 11,209, $1,640
42, George Branham III, Indianapolis, 11,190, $1,620
43, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 11,184, $1,600
44, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 11,145, $1,590
45, Jason Lundquist, Delaware Water Gap, Pa., 11,118, $1,580
46, Adrienne Miller, Albuquerque, N.M., 10,906, $1,570
47, Andrew Cain, Scottsdale, Ariz., 10,830, $1,560
48, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 10,737, $1,550
49, Jason Poli, West Des Moines, Iowa, 10,496, $1,640
50, Steve Harman, Indianapolis, 9,518, $1,530
51, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 9,492, $1,520
52, Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif., 9,376, $1,510
53, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 5,748, $1,500
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