Four-time Tour winner Bill O’Neill topped a field of 24 players advancing to the first match play round of the Lucas Oil Milwaukee Open Wednesday at AMF Bowlero Lanes.
The 28 players who competed in today’s Milwaukee Open cashers round were the top scorers from the combined qualifying rounds of the GEICO Summer Swing Badger, Wolf and Bear Opens. Mika Koivuniemi, Osku Palermaa, Sean Rash and Andrew Graff failed to advance to match play.
O’Neill had games of 224, 181, 167, 220 and 231 in today’s round to bring his 35-game pinfall total to 7,896 (225.6 average). He maintains a 19-pin lead over Mike Fagan in second with 7,877.
“I’ve been able to play wherever I’ve wanted to play throughout the whole tournament,” O’Neill said of competing in three different tournaments on three different lane conditions. “In this situation where you’re bowling multiple events on multiple conditions, it’s a matter of finding the part of the lane where you feel the most comfortable.
“In the middle of this round I wasn’t able to find that comfortable place but I was fortunate to get in a better position toward the end of the round.”
O’Neill, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, has already qualified for one Summer Swing TV final as the No. 5 qualifier for the Lucas Oil PBA Wolf Open.
Rounding out the top five heading into tonight’s first match play round are Chris Barnes (7,862), Chris Loschetter (7,824 and Pete Weber (7,804).
After this evening’s match play round, match play continues Thursday at 11 a.m. (Wolf pattern) and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. (Badger pattern). The top five after 59 games will advance to the Milwaukee Open finals at 11 a.m. Sunday at Bowlero.
The Milwaukee Open cashers round and match play rounds are being covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
The stepladder finals for the Badger, Wolf, Bear and Milwaukee Opens will be contested Saturday at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. The GEICO Summer King of the Swing special event will follow the Milwaukee Open finals Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Summer Swing finals will air on five consecutive Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET beginning June 11.
LUCAS OIL PBA MILWAUKEE OPEN
AMF Bowlero, Milwaukee, Wis., May 29
Cashers round (after 35 games, top 24 advance to first eight-game match play round this evening at 6:30 p.m. ET).
1, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 7,896.
2, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, TX, 7,877.
3, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 7,862.
4, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 7,824.
5, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 7,804.
6, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 7,757.
7, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 7,751.
8, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 7,736.
9, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 7,726.
10, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 7,717.
11, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 7,678.
12, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 7,665.
13, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 7,634.
14, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 7,627.
15, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 7,622.
16, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 7,616.
17, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 7,609.
18, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 7,607.
19, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 7,592.
20, Jake Peters, Decatur, Ill., 7,589.
21, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 7,575.
22, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 7,543.
23, Patrick Girard, Canada, 7,524.
24, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 7,515.
25, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 7,489, $1,000.
26, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 7,478, $980.
27, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 7,476, $960.
28, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 7,408, $940.