With the help of a first-round match play record of 7-1, Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela, moved into the lead in the 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open at Brunswick Zone Carolier.
Monacelli, a 19-time PBA Tour titlist who is bowling only in occasional PBA Tour stops this season, has a 7,738 35-game overall pinfall and leads defending U.S. Open champion Norm Duke in second with 7,715 and reigning PBA Player of the Year Chris Barnes in third with 7,677. During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.
“I really look forward to bowling the U.S. Open because of the challenging lane conditions,” Monacelli said. “I’m reading the lanes well and choosing the right equipment and feel like I’m bowling as well as I did 20 years ago when I was doing my best on Tour.”
Monacelli, 47, hasn’t competed full-time on Tour since 2006 when he developed a hip injury which he has only recently fully recovered from. He won back-to-back Player of the Year honors in 1989 and 1990.
Monacelli started the tournament in 33rd qualifying position and has moved steadily up the standings.
“I’m going into this tournament without any expectations,” said Monacelli, who was voted No. 21 on PBA’s list of 50 greatest players which was announced earlier this year as part of its 50th anniversary. “I’m just enjoying what’s out there and hopefully I’ll continue to be able to read the lanes well and match up the right equipment.”
With a major title and Player of the Year implications hanging in the balance, Duke and Barnes continued to be in good position to make the stepladder finals. If Malott, who is currently in 21st place, fails to make the stepladder finals, it will open the door for Barnes and Duke to make a run for Player of the Year if they can make the finals and then win.
Duke, who won Player of the Year honors in 1994 and 2000, has three titles this season, including winning the PBA World Championship which kicked off the season last October. Barnes had made five television finals appearances this season before winning back-to-back titles in March.
The 24 remaining players will compete in two more rounds of match play Saturday to determine the top five for the live two-hour ESPN stepladder finals which will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
The winner earns a $100,000 prize and a three-year PBA Tour exemption.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open
Brunswick Zone Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J.
Round 5 Match Play, Results After 35 Games
1, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 7-1, 7,738
2, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 5-3, 7,715
3, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 4-4, 7,677
4, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5-3, 7,574
5, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 7-1, 7,560
6, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 6-2, 7,527
7, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 5-3, 7,516
8, Ron Nelson Jr., Bridgeview, Ill., 5-3, 7,500
9, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 3-5, 7,495
10, Richard Wolfe, Vienna, Va., 6-1-1, 7,484, $100
11, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 5-3, 7,477
12, Jeff Lizzi, Sandusky, Ohio, 3-5, 7,457
13, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2-6, 7,419
14, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 3-5, 7,378
15, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 3-5, 7,375
16, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 4-3-1, 7,358
17, Sean Riccardi, Piscataway, N.J., 3-4-1, 7,356
18, Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash., 5-3-0, 7,315
19, Rhino Page, Topeka, Kan., 2-6-0, 7,309
20, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 3-4-1, 7,285
21, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2-6-0, 7,282
22, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 3-5-0, 7,250
23, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 2-6-0, 7,225
24, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1-7-0, 7,176