LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Colombia’s Andres Gomez, with an 18-game total of 4,471 pins, held the third-round lead by 64 pins over Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., in the Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship Tuesday at South Point Bowling Center. Both players are trying to win their first PBA Tour title.
Gomez followed a 179 opening game with games of 218, 268, 256, 247 and 241 to hold onto the lead. He is averaging 248.39 for the first 18 games of Elite Players qualifying.
“I’m doing well on the medium length patterns, which is generally where I have my best success,” Gomez said. “The two shows I’ve made have been on medium patterns and I’m usually confident I can finish in the top 10 whenever we bowl on it. They usually require me to eventually play way inside which enables me to get the reaction I need to stay competitive with the players who throw higher revs than I do.”
After two rounds of qualifying on the Carmen Salvino lane conditioning pattern, all remaining competition in the PBA Elite Players Championship is being contested on the Earl Anthony pattern.
The Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship features an exclusive field of 49 PBA Tour exempt players. The entire field will bowl six more qualifying games Tuesday afternoon, with the top 32 based on 24 games advancing to Round Five Wednesday morning.
After a total of 30 qualifying games, the top 16 players will advance to the Eliminator Round of 16 Wednesday afternoon where they will compete for four spots in the Elite Players Championship finals, and the same 16 players will compose the field for the Lumber Liquidators Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship which will be contested on Sunday as part of a four-day PBA World Series of Bowling television extravaganza at South Point.
Beginning Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific, the PBA will produce the first of 14 television shows for delayed telecast on ESPN in a special arena in South Point’s Exhibition Hall A. Admission is free for all of the shows.
PEPSI PBA ELITE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Nov. 15
Round Three (after 18 of 24 qualifying games)
1, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 4,471.
2, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4,407.
3, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 4,347.
4, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4,340.
5, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 4,276.
6, Mike DeVaney, Murrieta, Calif., 4,259.
7, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4,224.
8, Dan MacLelland, Saginaw, Mich., 4,211.
9, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 4,210.
10, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 4,189.
11, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 4,176.
12, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 4,170.
13, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 4,167.
14, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 4,145.
15, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4,126.
16, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 4,125.
17, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 4,096.
18, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 4,071.
19, Patrick Allen, Baltimore, 4,067.
20, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 4,056.
21, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 4,054.
22, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 4,049.
23, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 4,043.
24, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 4,037.
25, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 4,036.
26, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 4,029.
27, Tyler Jensen, Ft. Worth, Texas, 4,016.
28, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 4,015.
29, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 4,013.
30, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 4,003.
31, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 3,998.
32, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,997.
33, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 3,991.
34, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 3,988.
35, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 3,976.
36, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 3,973.
37, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 3,971.
38, Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., 3,968.
39, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 3,950.
40, Scott Norton, Costa Mesa, Calif., 3,935.
41, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,932.
42, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 3,892.
43, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 3,872.
44, Paul Gibson, Brunswick, Ohio, 3,856.
45, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 3,819.
46, Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 3,751.
47, Kerry Painter, Henderson, Nev., 3,577.
48, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 3,502.
49, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,349.