Reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year and 10-time Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titlist Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, is among four finalists who survived a unique elimination format Saturday to advance to Sunday’s ESPN-televised finals of the PBA Don Johnson Buckeye State Eliminator at Sequoia Pro Bowl.
Barnes, along with eight-time PBA Tour titlist Mika Koivuniemi, five-time titlist Mike Scroggins, and Rhino Page, who won his second career title earlier this season, survived three two-game elimination rounds where the lowest two-game total in each group of four players was eliminated from the tournament.
In Saturday’s Round of 8, which determined the finalists, the 39-year-old Barnes defeated 12-time Tour titlist Tommy Jones 440-366. Looking for his first title of the season, it will be Barnes’ sixth television appearance. His best finish was second in the PBA World Championship which opened the season last October and most recently finished fifth in last week’s Etonic Marathon Open in Indianapolis.
“It’s going to take better bowling and a little luck,” said Barnes, who won last year’s Columbus event. “Like the match I had with Tommy, I bowled well and he had a string or four five bad frames.
“Over the past week we’ve identified and worked through some things that I need to correct. I got into a situation last week where I was throwing the ball hard and not hitting it at release so it’s just up to me to put it all together.”
For the ESPN finals Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern, the four finalists will bowl one game on the same pair with the low scorer eliminated. The top three will bowl another game, with the low score eliminated and the final two survivors advancing to the title match. All of the finalists will have to negotiate a demanding scoring environment with different Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour lane conditions on each lane. The left lane will feature the Scorpion pattern and the right the Viper pattern.
The Buckeye State Eliminator is part of the PBA’s 50th Anniversary season “Extreme Swing,” which also includes the GEICO Plastic Ball Championship, Ultimate Scoring Championship, Etonic Marathon Open, 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.
The official charity of the Don Johnson Buckeye State Eliminator is the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Last year $31,526 was raised for the charity and all money raised this year will go to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus to help buy insulin pumps and medicine for families in need.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
Don Johnson Buckeye State Eliminator
Sequoia Pro Bowl – Columbus, Ohio
Low two-game score eliminated in each group, each round
Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 467 (248-219)
Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 467 (233-234)
Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 395 (202-193)
Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 369 (179-190) (Shafer eliminated, earned $2,600)
Scroggins 518 (277-241)
Fagan 417 (190-237)
Malott 392 (181-211) (Malott eliminated, earned $3,000)
Scroggins 456 (196-258) (Scroggins advances to ESPN finals)
Fagan 426 (243-183) (Fagan eliminated, earned $4,000)
Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 499 (245-254)
Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 493 (215-278)
Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 467 (247-220)
Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 452 (205-246) (Allen eliminated, earned $2,600)
Koivuniemi 468 (246-222)
Bohn 439 (256-183)
Wiseman 427 (224-203) (Wiseman eliminated, earned $3,000)
Koivuniemi 451 (235-216) (Koivuniemi advances to ESPN finals)
Bohn 398 (215-183) (Bohn eliminated, earned $4,000)
Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 448 (212-236)
Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa., 442 (229-213)
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 435 (258-177)
Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 368 (176-192) (McCune eliminated, earned $2,600)
Jones 463 (199-264)
Barnes 443 (186-257)
O’Neill 424 (225-199) (O’Neill eliminated, earned $3,000)
Barnes 440 (245-195) (Barnes advances to ESPN finals)
Jones 366 (201-165) (Jones eliminated, earned $4,000)
Joe Bailey, Pittsburgh, 455 (201-254)
Rhino Page, Topeka, Kan., 443 (228-215)
Ed VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 403 (189-214)
Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 378 (190-188) (DeVaney eliminated, earned $2,600)
Bailey 452 (232-220)
Page 393 (135-258)
VanDaniker 380 (214-166) (VanDaniker eliminated, earned $3,000)
Page 447 (245-202) (Page advances to ESPN finals)
Bailey 432 (234-298) (Bailey eliminated, earned $4,000)