After a successful opening test in the Professional Bowling Association’s new King of Bowling Powered by Amp Energy series, Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, is ready to take on a left-handed challenge Wednesday night in his second attempt to retain his crown.
The one-hour King of Bowling Powered by Amp Energy telecast will air on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. Eastern. The week two telecast also will feature a challenge match pitting Malott vs. ESPN “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Mike Wilbon.
Malott, who defeated Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, 268-214, in the first King of Bowling Powered by Amp Energy telecast, will bowl the winner of a “challenge match” featuring the top two left-handers from the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season – PBA Tournament of Champions winner Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open champion Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas – who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, on the Player of the Year points list.
Allen and Scroggins will bowl a one-game match for the right to bowl Malott, the reigning “King,” for the $10,000 weekly first prize. The winner of the “King of Bowling” match will return the following week where two new challengers will try to knock him off his throne.
“All of the guys who made this series are here because they bowled well all season,” Malott said of his newest challengers. “It isn’t going to be an easier than last week. I feel pretty good about getting the first win, but you can’t let your guard down. The goal is to hopefully still be king at the end of the whole series.”
The inclusion of Wilbon in the series is the culmination of a challenge that started growing roots during the PBA’s experimental Plastic Ball Championship earlier in the season, an event Malott declined to enter.
“I did an interview with a newspaper about taking the technology out of the sport for the plastic ball tournament. Wilbon heard that comment and made it a much bigger issue than it was,” Malott said. “The reality is, I didn’t bowl that tournament because of where it fell in the schedule and because it takes an adjustment in arm swing to bowl with plastic, and I didn’t want to do that.
“Someone brought the technology issue to the PTI show, which is what that show is all about. They bash guys for the comments they make, but after I won the Etonic Marathon, I sent Wilbon a challenge. I told him he could bowl with whatever equipment he wanted to use, and I’d bowl with plastic.
“The bottom line is, he agreed to come to for a match, so we’re going to make it happen.” Florida
In week three, the reigning “King of Bowling” will face the winner of a match between Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Bill O’Neill. Contestants the final two weeks will be John Nolen and Rhino Page, and Brad Angelo and “wild card” competitor Parker Bohn III.