7-10 Split Conversion Propels Palermaa into Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Lead

by Bill Vint March 28, 2013 12:50

INDIANAPOLIS – Finland’s Osku Palermaa left a 7-10 split on his first shot of the day, converted the so-called impossible split and carried that momentum into the lead after four rounds of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Thursday at Woodland Bowl.

Ironically, Palermaa retained a 29-pin lead over Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., when Weber left a 7-10 split in the 10th frame of his final match Thursday night, which he was unable to convert, costing him a chance to overtake the Finnish two-handed star.

Palermaa, a three-time PBA Tour champion and winner of the 2011 PBA World Championship, averaged 240.56 through his first 32 games, but struggled through his the opening round of match play Thursday night, winning four of his eight matches to finish with a total of 7,818 pins. Weber, who can tie the PBA record for most major championships if he wins his 10th major title this week, posted a 5-3 match play record and finished with 7,789 pins.

“I left a 7-10 split in my first frame and converted it, and that’s the way my day started,” Palermaa said. “It was a good omen. To be honest, I’ve probably converted the 7-10 more times than I have bowled 300 games - and I have a few of those – but it was a good day.

“I felt like I bowled better physically Wednesday, but I scored better today,” he added. “Yesterday I made the right moves, but I didn’t make big enough moves. Today the moves were smaller, but I made them pair to pair and I stayed right on top of things.”

But Palermaa saw his 146-pin third-round lead over Australia’s Jason Belmonte shrink to 29 pins over Weber in the evening session.

“I made a few bad shots,” Palermaa said. “I felt like I had no ball reaction, but I got away with three wins early in the round. I should have bowled better.”

Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., was in third place with 7,724 pins followed by Belmonte with a 7,688 total and Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., with a 7,536 total.

All-time PBA titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., saw hopes for a 48th title fade. He sat in 19th place with 16 match play games remaining on Friday, 372 pins away from the fifth spot for Sunday’s stepladder finals. Williams needs to win the Tournament of Champions to become the eighth player to complete the PBA Triple Crown (Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and PBA World Championship) and the third to complete the Grand Slam (Triple Crown plus USBC Masters).

The Tournament of Champions continues Friday with the final two match play rounds at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN stepladder finals at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Friday’s match play rounds (and the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Saturday night) will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com.

BARBASOL PBA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Thursday

Round Four (after 32 games, including match play bonus pins)

1, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 4-4, 7,818.
2, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 5-3, 7,789.
3, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5-3, 7,724.
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3-4-1, 7,688.
5, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 5-3, 7,536.
6, Stuart Williams, England, 4-4, 7,477.
7, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 6-2, 7,476.
8, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 5-3, 7,463.
9, Dom Barrett, England, 5-3, 7,436.
10, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 5-2-1, 7,428.
11, Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif., 4-4, 7,412.
12, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5-3, 7,387.
13, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-5, 7,370.
14, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 3-5, 7,301.
15, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 3-5, 7,300.
16, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3-5, 7,267.
17, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 5-3, 7,245.
18, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 3-5, 7,180.
19, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 3-5, 7,164.
20, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 2-6, 7,160.
21, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 3-5, 7,089.
22, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 3-5, 7,088.
23, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 3-5, 7,080.
24, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 5-3, 7,070.

Other Cashers (after 24 games):

25, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 5,315, $2,800.
26, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 5,313, $2,700.
27, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 5,299, $2,600.
28, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 5,291, $2,500.
29, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 5,290, $2,400.
30, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 5,268, $2,350.
31, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 5,262, $2,300.
32, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 5,260, $2,250.
33, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 5,257, $2,200.
34, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 5,251, $2,150.
35, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 5,247, $2,200.
36, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 5,245, $2,050.
37, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 5,237, $2,000.
38 (tie), Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, and Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 5,220, $1,925.
40, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 5,215, $1,850.
41, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 5,201, $1,800.
42, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 5,175, $1,750.
43, Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 5,133, $1,700.
44, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 5,097, $1,650.
45, John Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., 5,079, $1,600.
46, Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 5,071, $1,550.
47, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 5,064, $1,500.
48, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 5,063, $1,450.
49, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 5,056, $1,400.
50, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 5,019, $1,400.
51, George Branham III, Indianapolis, 4,857, $1,400.
52, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, withdrew, $1,400.
53, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, withdrew, $1,400.

300 Games: Jason Belmonte, Sean Rash.

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