In a battle of three of the biggest names in bowling, Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, maintained a slim lead over a pair of the most successful players in history as the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Motor City Open headed into its final eight games Thursday.
Barnes, with a 31-game total of 7,338 pins and an 11-4-1 match play record, led Walter Ray Williams of Ocala, Fla., by 22 pins in the kick-off event in the inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling at Taylor Lanes. Another PBA Hall of Famer, Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., was 125 pins out of first place, but still in the chase for one of the five stepladder finals positions.
Heading into the final eight-game match play round Thursday night Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan., was in fourth place with 7,053 pins and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., was fifth at 7,044.
“I thought I bowled pretty good today,” Barnes said. “I was 60 over (a 200 average) for my first three games, but I looked up and I had lost 130 pins to Walter Ray. But he’s the best all-time, so you can’t feel bad about that.”
Williams is the winningest player in PBA Tour history with 45 titles. Weber has 34. Barnes, the 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year, is a 12-time champion.
“Walter Ray made a really good move this morning,” Barnes continued. “I was a little slow in moving out to where he was playing, but then conditions changed and you had to move inside where rev rate was a little more in my favor.
“Walter Ray and I are in pretty good shape to make the TV finals, but we haven’t settled things yet. And the lanes are hard. Even when you strike, you can’t get comfortable. You can shoot some big scores, but there are sand traps out there. Sometimes it’s not so much shooting a big game as it is avoiding the really low games.”
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA MOTOR CITY OPEN
Taylor Lanes, Taylor, Mich., Aug. 6
FIFTH ROUND (After 31 games, including match play records and bonus pins)
1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 11-4-1, 7,338
2, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 9-6-1, 7,316
3, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 11-5, 7,213
4, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 8-8, 7,053
5, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 9-7, 7,044
6, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 9-7, 7,035
7, Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, 11-5, 7,004
8, Osku Palermaa, Espoo, Finland, 8-7-1, 7,001
9, Rhino Page, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 8-8, 6,964
10, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 9-7, 6,944
11, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 9-7, 6,943
12, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 7-9, 6,934, $100
13, Dave Arnold, Dublin, Calif., 8-8, 6,896
14, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 7-9, 6,888
15, Dan MacLelland, Saginaw, Mich., 8-7-1, 6,857
16, Andres Gomez, Bogota, Colombia, 7-9, 6,847
17, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 6-10, 6,836
18, Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 5-11, 6,811
19, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 7-9, 6,805
20, John May, Lincolnton, N.C., 8-8, 6,802
21, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 6-10, 6,751
22, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 7-9, 6,741
23, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 7-9, 6,727
24, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 5-11, 6,653