In his fourth season competing on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., broke through to win his first title Sunday in the PBA One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl.
In a battle of lefthanders in the championship match, the 24-year-old Ciminelli defeated Tour veteran and 13-time Tour titlist Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., 237-215, to win the $20,000 first prize.
Ciminelli’s previous best Tour finishes were second in the 2009 PBA Cheetah and Viper Championships and third in the 2010 United States Bowling Congress Masters.
“Even though I didn’t win last year I had a good year and just didn’t want to go back into a slump,” Ciminelli said. “Sometimes I think you have to go through the losing part first to prepare yourself to win.”
As the top seed for the tournament, Ciminelli felt this was his best opportunity to win a title and as a result lost a lot of sleep the night before the finals.
“I probably only got four or five hours of sleep last night,” he said. “But every time I closed my eyes I visualized a lot of scenarios and hoped this would be the outcome so I’m extremely relieved.
“I was bowling against one of my heroes in a tournament named after one of the greatest bowlers of all-time so it was even more than I could ask for.”
In the semifinal match Allen defeated PBA Hall of Famer and 35-time Tour titlist Pete Weber who finished third, 212-206, to advance to the final.
Even though Allen had to settle for second he was encouraged by his finish.
“Ryan got off to a strong start and I just couldn’t catch him,” Allen said. “He bowled great and I’m happy for him.
“I haven’t bowled well since late last year so this was a confidence booster for me. I bowled well against Tommy (Jones) in the first but was probably lucky to win against Pete but overall it was a good tournament for me.”
In the opening match, Allen defeated another 13-time Tour winner, Tommy Jones of Greenville, S.C., who finished fourth, 226-223.
PBA One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial
Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl, Dublin, Calif., Jan. 30
1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., (one game) 237 pins, $20,000.
2, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., (three games), 653, $10,000.
3, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., (one game), 206, $6,000.
4, Tommy Jones, Greenville, S.C. (one game), 223, $5,000.
Allen def. Jones, 226-223.
Allen def. Weber, 212-206.
Ciminelli def. Allen, 237-215.