LAS VEGAS – England’s Dom Barrett, a second-year Professional Bowlers Association player, charged into the lead in the PBA World Championship Wednesday night at South Point Bowling Center behind a 237 average and a 10-6 match play record .
Barrett, who won his only PBA Tour title in the Scorpion Championship during the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling, entered the PBA World Championship as the No. 7 qualifier after a disappointing finish in the Bowlers Journal Scorpion Championship a day earlier. Barrett was the leading qualifier in the Scorpion event, but slipped to sixth place in the semifinal round, missing the cut to the ESPN stepladder finals by seven pins.
Wednesday night, however, he advanced from fifth place into a six-pin lead over Australia’s Jason Belmonte, finishing with a 48-game total of 11,687 pins, including match play bonus pins. Barrett rolled games of 280, 247, 277, 268, 210, 247, 245 and 235, and needed every pin to hold off Belmonte, who finished with a 11,681 total. Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., was third at 11,658 followed by fourth-round leader Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., at 11,597 and Canada’s Dan MacLelland at 11,506.
The final eight games of match play to determine the five players who will advance to Sunday’s ESPN stepladder finals begins at for 2 p.m. PT on Thursday.
The PBA World Championships is the concluding event to the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV, and the PBA’s first major championship of the 2012-13 season. ESPN will air the finals on Sunday, Jan. 13.
“When I played the finals of the Scorpion, I couldn’t get my ball through the pins,” Barrett said. “I left a lot of corner pins, but today the condition was more like what I’m used to seeing in Europe and I was able to get the corner pins out.
“I actually thought I bowled quite well in the Scorpion semifinal round, but I just couldn’t get my ball to match up. I made the adjustments today and they worked.
“Bowling here on the PBA Tour the last year, I’ve learned so much,” the three-time World Bowling Writers Bowler of the Year added. “It’s really a steep learning curve, but it’s also really special when you see the results of your hard work pay off.
“My game plan worked well today. I’m just going to try to keep striking. I know these other guys are coming after me. They’re going to bowl well, so I need to bowl well, too.”
GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling competition concludes with the final round of match play at 2 p.m. PT Thursday. Complete coverage of the final round will be available on the “live scoring” feature on pba.com, or by watching the action live on Xtra Frame, PBA’s online bowling channel.
PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Wednesday
Round Five (after 48 games, including match play bonus pins; top five after 56 games will advance to PBA World Championship finals)
1, Dom Barrett, England, 10-6, 11,687.
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 8-8, 11,681.
3, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 11-5, 11,658.
4, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 10-6, 11,597.
5, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 11-5, 11,506.
6, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 6-10, 11,503.
7, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 11-5, 11,452.
8, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 8-8, 11,448.
9, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 9-6-1, 11,422.
10, Scott Norton, Costa Mesa, Calif., 8-8, 11,408.
11, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 10-5-1, 11,403.
12, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 10-6, 11,390.
13, Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif., 10-6, 11,330.
14, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 10-6, 11,327.
15, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 9-6-1, 11,275.
16, Stuart Williams, England, 6-10, 11,272.
17, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 8-8, 11,265.
18, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 6-10, 11,224.
19, Hugh Miller, Mercer Island, Wash., 8-8, 11,101.
20, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5-11, 11,062.
21, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 5-10-1, 11,015.
22, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 5-11, 10,871.
23, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 3-12-1, 10,861.
24, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 2-13-1, 10,855.
300 Games: Dom Barrett, Tommy Jones, Pete Weber.