COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, won his eighth career title and second of the 2009-10 season in the Professional Bowlers Association’s Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator finals at Sequoia Pro Bowl Sunday, surviving a 10th-frame error to edge home-state favorite Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 206-195, in the championship match.
Scroggins, 45, put together three strikes in the middle of the final game to pull away from Kretzer, but when he left and missed a 7 pin in the 10th frame, he gave Kretzer a chance to strike out for a tie. Kretzer got a break when he kicked out the 6 pin for his first strike in the 10th, but then he left the 2-4-5-8 on his second shot to end his hopes for his first title.
“I didn’t miss a 7 pin all week,” Scroggins said later. “I just got the ball a little left. I knew I missed it as soon as I let it go, and then I sat down and starting thinking about a roll-off.
“After finishing second in the U.S. Open last week, I wasn’t expecting much,” the 45-year-old Scroggins said. “But I got lined up after the first seven games and went from nowhere to somewhere.”
With his second win of the year, Scroggins has become a candidate for PBA Player of the Year honors heading into the final three events of the season.
“I’m just trying to follow in Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s footsteps,” he grinned. “He’s been setting an example for us older guys.”
Williams, at age 50, also is a two-time winner this season. Bill O’Neill, Williams and Scroggins are one-two-three in the PBA Player of the Year point standings.
Scroggins and Kretzer eliminated Finland’s Osku Palermaa, who had the high score in the first round, to reach the title match. In the second game, Palermaa lost his pocket just long enough for Scroggins and Kretzer to sail past him. Scroggins had a string of seven strikes on his way to a 254 game, Kretzer almost matched him with a six-bagger for a 245 and Palermaa put together a late string of four strikes for a 211.
Reigning PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, was the first player eliminated after bowling a 195 in the opening Eliminator game. Palermaa led the first round with a 233, Kretzer posted a 211 and Scroggins a 203 game.
During Sunday’s finals, Jimmy Johnson, son of the late PBA Hall of Famer after whom the tournament is named, and his wife Minda presented a check to Nationwide Children’s Hospital of Columbus and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for $40,826. The 2010 contribution brings the total raised during the tournament for Nationwide Children’s Hospital to more than $100,000 over the past three years.
The Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour will take a week off during NCAA conference basketball playoffs week before returning to action in its own version of “March Madness,” the Go RVing Match Play Championship March 17-21 at Norwich Bowling and Entertainment Center in Norwich, Conn.
This year, for the first time, the PBA will offer fans a chance to play along with the Match Play Championship. An online “PBA Bracket Battle,” giving fans a chance to pick winners of all matches from start to finish, will be announced Wednesday on the PBA’s official website, pba.com.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
ETONIC DON JOHNSON ELIMINATOR
Sequoia Pro Bowl, Columbus, Ohio, Sunday
Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas ($25,000) def. Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio ($13,000), 206-195.
Semifinal Round (low score eliminated)
Scroggins 254, Kretzer 245, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 211 (Palermaa eliminated earned $7,000).
First Round (low score eliminated)
Palermaa 233, Kretzer 211, Scroggins 203, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 195 (Malott eliminated, earned $6,000).