ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., was a man on a mission, and survived a battle that wasn’t resolved until the final frame in defeating Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., 215-194, to win his third Professional Bowlers Association Tour title in the Mark Roth Classic at Thunderbowl Lanes.
The Mark Roth Classic title match, and the PBA League Mark Roth round finals, aired Sunday on ESPN.
Haugen, 46, won both of his previous PBA titles in 2008, but came into the 2012-13 season without the support of a bowling ball company sponsor and felt snubbed because he wasn’t one of the 48 players selected to participate in the new PBA League. He vowed it would take 10 quality shots by Norton to beat him for the Roth title, and Norton fell short, leaving back-to-back 4-6-7-10 splits in the ninth and 10th frames which turned a tight battle into an easy win for Haugen.
“Being able to stay in the moment and make the shot you need to make is very rewarding, and I was able to do that today,” Haugen said. “Scott and I both felt there wasn’t going to be a 250 game on those conditions, so it was a matter of staying clean. I was just very fortunate today that Scott got a couple of bad breaks. You never expect a guy that talented to make shots like that.”
Being overlooked in the inaugural PBA League draft also provided incentive for Haugen.
“I’ve been at this (PBA competition) for 14 years. I’ve made a TV show every year, and done ok in stats, but I didn’t get picked,” he said. “I don’t know why, but that was motivation for me, too. It feels really good.”
Next Sunday, ESPN will air the two-hour live finals of the United States Bowling Congress Masters from Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J., starting at 3 p.m. ET.
PBA League coverage continues on Sunday, March 3 at 3 p.m. ET with the title match of the Don Carter Classic between top qualifier Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and challenger Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., and the PBA League Carter round featuring the BROOKLYN STyLES, the New York City WTT KingPins, Chris Hardwick’s Silver Lake Atom Splitters and the team that advances from the Clash eliminator round.
PBA MARK ROTH CLASSIC
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.
Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz. ($15,000) def. Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif. ($7,500), 215-194.