INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., overtook Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa., to take the lead in the 67th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open heading into Saturday night’s final eight games of match play at Woodland Bowl.
Jones, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, won seven of his eight matches Saturday afternoon to jump from third place into a 98-pin lead over O’Neill and a 136-pin margin over fifth-round leader Belmonte. Jones finished the sixth round with a 43-game total of 9,723 pins, including match play bonus pins.
Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., advanced from 10th place to fourth with a 9,553 total, but the battle for the fourth spot in Sunday’s ESPN stepladder finals is expected to be an all-out war during Saturday night’s final round. Trailing Couch in fifth place is defending U.S. Open champion Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, and chasing both are three PBA Hall of Famers as well as former U.S. Open champions: Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla.; Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., and Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla.
Duke, the 2008 U.S. Open winner, advanced from 17th to sixth heading into the final round. Weber, a four-time U.S. Open winner, is 16 pins behind Duke after winning a one-game roll-off on Friday to make it into the match play field in 24th place. Williams, a two-time U.S. Open winner and the PBA Tour’s all-time titles leader with 47 wins, is in eighth place, 23 pins behind Weber.
Williams, at age 50, is the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s only two-time winner in the 2009-10 season and is trying to become the first PBA player to win back-to-back major championships twice. Williams won his eighth career major title in the USBC Masters in Reno, Nev., on Feb. 14. The first time he won consecutive majors was in 2003 when he won the U.S. Open and the PBA World Championship back-to-back.
Sunday’s stepladder finals will air live on ESPN at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. At stake is the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s final major title of the 2009-10 season, a $60,000 first prize and a three-year PBA Tour exemption.
67TH LUMBER LIQUIDATORS U.S. OPEN
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 27
SIXTH ROUND (after 43 games, including won-lost records and pinfall including match play bonus pins)
1, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 13-3, 9,723.
2, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 9-7, 9,625.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 7-9, 9,586.
4, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 9-7, 9,553.
5, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 10-6, 9,534.
6, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 9-7, 9,444.
7, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 10-6, 9,428.
8, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 10-6, 9,405.
9, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 7-9, 9,390.
10, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 8-7-1, 9,342.
11, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 7-9, 9,320.
12, Ronnie Russell, Camby, Ind., 10-6, 9,319.
13, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 7-9, 9,268.
14, Jason Wojnar, Chicago, 9-7, 9,262.
15, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 6-10, 9,226.
16, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 8-8, 9,200.
17, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 8-8, 9,172.
18, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 8-8, 9,160.
19, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 7-9-0, 9,122.
20, Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 8-8, 9,114.
21, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 6-10, 9,087.
22, David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 5-10-1, 9,041.
23, x-PJ Haggerty, Clovis, Calif., 4-4, 8,958.
24, Anthony Jordan, Sycamore, Ill., 6-10, 8,938.
x-Haggerty replaced Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela who withdrew at the end of the fifth round due to injury.
300 Games – Nathan Bohr, Mitch Beasley