Defeating Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year contenders Norm Duke and Chris Barnes in the stepladder finals, Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, won his second career major in winning the 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open Sunday at Brunswick Zone Carolier.
It was Scroggin’s sixth career PBA Tour title; he won the 2005 United States Bowling Congress Masters for his first major victory also defeating Duke. By beating Duke and Barnes, Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, earns 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year honors.
Scroggins defeated PBA Hall of Famer Duke 191-173 in the championship match to win the $100,000 first prize and three-year Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exemption.
“It’s so satisfying to win it because it’s such a grind,” Scroggins said. “I just wanted to go out and bowl a decent game. Normally you’re going to have to throw a 220 or 230 so it was just karma, I guess, that I was able to beat Norm and Chris.
“I’m a believer in you have to beat the best to be best and I consider Norm to be one of the best,” Scroggins added.
In the semi-final match, Scroggins defeated Chris Barnes 200-199, who had a chance to repeat as Player of the Year with a victory. Barnes could have won the match with a strike on the first ball of the 10th frame but left a solid 8 pin. Needing a strike on his fill ball to tie the match, Barnes left a 10 pin.
“I threw my best shot,” said Barnes who had eight television appearances this season and two wins to get back into the Player of the Year race. “I’ve put it in perspective--things work out the way they work out, but I’m just thankful to be in this position. Four weeks ago I didn’t think I would have a shot at Player of the Year.”
Duke, who ranks tied for fifth in all-time career PBA Tour titles with 32, was trying to become the first bowler to win back-to-back U.S. Opens since Dave Husted accomplished the feat in 1995-96. Duke was Player of the Year in 1994 and 2000. He left a 4-6-7-10 split in the third frame and a 4-6-7 split in the ninth frame.
“I’ve said it before, it’s more than rolling a good shot,” said Duke. “On those shots where I had the splits I thought those were two of the best shots of my career. I still feel I bowled well, the breaks just didn’t go my way.
“I’m proud of Mike, he did a great job.”
In the opening match former exempt player Richard Wolfe of Vienna, Va., defeated PBA Hall of Famer and 19-time PBA Tour titlist Amleto Monacelli, 213-176 to advance to the second match where he lost to Barnes 243-240.
The 66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open marks the end of the regular season on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open
Brunswick Zone Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J.
1, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 391 (two games), $100,000
2, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 173 (one game), $50,000
3, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 442 (two games), $25,000
4, Richard Wolfe, Vienna, Va., 453 (two games), $13,000
5, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 176 (one game), $9,000
Match One – Wolfe def. Monacelli, 213-176
Match Two – Barnes def. Wolfe, 243-240
Semifinal Match – Scroggins def. Barnes, 200-199
Championship Match – Scroggins def. Duke, 191-173