Jason Belmonte of Australia and Michelle Feldman of Auburn, N.Y., picked up where they left off in qualifying and combined forces to take a commanding lead after the first round of match play in the PBA Bayer Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Friday at Brunswick Zone Wheat Ridge.
Qualifying leaders Belmonte and Feldman combined for a 6-2 Baker format match play record with a 5,355 22-game overall pinfall putting them 279 pins ahead of Eugene McCune and Kelly Kulick in second.
The Baker format requires each player to alternate frames in a game to combine for one score.
“The only strategy we had was determining which lane we felt best bowling on,” said Belmonte, the 2008-09 PBA Rookie of the Year. “We’ll do the same thing for tonight’s round. I believe in having a good rhythm and we both have that right now.”
Belmonte is trying for his second career Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title and Feldman her third PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM title.
“It’s easy to help each other because we both have a lot of hook,” Feldman said. “We both play the same part of the lane so it’s just a matter of making little adjustments here and there.”
Kulick is also trying for her third Women’s Series title. This is her first PBA event since winning the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions on Jan. 24 becoming the first woman to win a PBA Tour title. McCune is trying for his second career Tour title.
The 16 doubles pairs will compete in one more eight-game match play round beginning at 6 p.m. After 16 total head-to-head Baker format doubles matches, the top five teams will advance to the stepladder finals.
The Mixed Doubles finals will be televised live by ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Mountain) on Sunday, Feb. 21.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
BAYER DON AND PAULA CARTER MIXED DOUBLES
Brunswick Zone Wheat Ridge, Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Third Round (after 22 games, including match play records and pinfall including bonus pins)
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia/Michelle Feldman, Auburn, N.Y., 6-2, 5,355.
2, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind./Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 4-4, 5,076
3, Brian Voss, Alpharetta, Ga./Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 6-2, 5,046
4, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla./Shannon Pluhowsky, Kettering, Ohio, 5-3, 5,045
5, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas/Shannon O’Keefe, Arlington, Texas, 6-2, 5,017
6, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich./Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., 6-2, 4,953
7, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas/Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4-4, 4,920
8, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich./Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 3-5, 4,910
9, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla./Lindsay Baker, Amherst, N.Y., 2-6, 4,886
10, Steve Harman, Indianapolis/Missy Bellinder, Lake Forest, Calif., 3-5, 4,818
11, Stuart Williams, England/Tammy Boomershine, North Ogden, Utah, 4-4, 4,814
12, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C./Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 4-4, 4,812
13, Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan./Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pa., 2-6, 4,796
14, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash./Laura Hardeman, Chula Vista, Calif., 4-4, 4,762
15, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y./Brenda Edwards, Mansfield, Texas, 3-5, 4,757
16, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla./Stefanie Nation, Grand Prairie, Texas, 2-6, 4,697