SHAWNEE, Okla. – Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, rallied from a 45-pin deficit after three frames, throwing the final nine strikes to defeat Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Okla., 245-203, Sunday to win the Professional Bowlers Association Southwest Region’s Regional Players Invitational title at FireLake Bowling Center.
Barnes, a 43-year-old 15-time PBA Tour title winner, earned $6,000, a paid entry into the PBA World Series of Bowling V in Las Vegas in late October and a berth in a new PBA RPI Finals which will be televised on ESPN. The regional title was Barnes’ 25th including two previous titles during the 2012-13 season.
After qualifying 10th for the single-elimination match play finals, Barnes eliminated George Brooks, Loveland, Colo., 3-0, in the Round of 16; fellow PBA Tour champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, 3-2, in the Round of 12; Chris Hibbitts of Fort Worth, Texas, 3-1, in the Round of 8, and Blake Starr of Oklahoma City, 246-236, in the semifinal round.
In the title match, Barnes failed to convert splits in the first and third frames while Edwards jumped into the early lead behind a string of three strikes. Barnes then switched to a ball he had used successfully a little earlier while Edwards was unable to put back-to-back strikes together during the rest of the match. One chopped spare attempt gave Barnes the margin he needed for the win.
“I survived,” Barnes said. “With a couple of games left against (Malott), I figured out how to play outside. I missed practice session because I was in Las Vegas watching my wife (Lynda) bowl in the USBC Queens finals. I started the tournament playing inside and I struggled.
“In my match against Wes, I got to the point where I didn’t think I could strike any more playing where I was, so I moved to the right to try to find something and I was able to throw some strikes.
“Never was eligible to bowl for the Southwest Region title before,” Barnes said, “so it’s absolutely a nice win. You have to bowl the best guys in your region, and the extra benefits of winning a World Series spot is a great benefit.”
The Southwest Region RPI, presented by Grand Casino and Hotel, was the third in a series of six PBA Regional championship events. The PBA Central, East and combined West/Northwest Regions also will host RPI events in the coming weeks, with each RPI winner advancing to the PBA RPI Finals that will be taped for delayed airing on ESPN as part of the World Series of Bowling V at South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center, Oct. 26-Nov. 3. Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., won the South Region title in early August, and Dave Beres of Waukesha, Wis., won the Midwest RPI title over Labor Day weekend.
Each RPI is open to 48 players who have qualified through a season-long points competition in their respective regions, and each RPI is being covered live from start to finish on PBA’s exclusive bowling channel, Xtra Frame. Visit pba.com for Xtra Frame subscription information.
The next RPI will be the PBA Central RPI at Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Sept. 13-15. The remaining RPI events include the East RPI at Maple City Bowl, Hornell, N.Y., Sept. 20-22, and the West/Northwest RPI at the National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Oct. 18-20.
PBA SOUTHWEST REGION PLAYERS INVITATIONAL
presented by Grand Casino and Hotel
FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla., Sept. 8
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas ($6,000) def. Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla. ($3,500), 245-203.
Semifinal Round (Losers earned $1,600)
Barnes def. Blake Starr, Oklahoma City, Okla., 246-236.
Edwards, def. Casey Powell, Dallas, Texas, 223-186.
Round of 8 (Best of five games. Losers eliminated, earned $1,050)
Barnes def. Chris Hibbitts, Keller, Texas, 3-1.
Edwards def. Michael Austin, Magnolia, Texas, 3-1.
Powell def. Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 3-2 .
Starr def. Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 3-2 .
Round of 12 (Best of five games. Losers eliminated, earned $850)
Barnes def. Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3-2.
Powell def. Kris Koeltzow, Wheat Ridge, Colo., 3-1.
Castillo def. Nathan Bohr, Derby, Kan., 3-1.
Austin def. Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3-0.
Round of 16 (Best of five games. Losers eliminated, earned $750)
Barnes def. George Brooks, Loveland, Colo., 3-0.
Powell def. Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 3-2.
Castillo def. Clint Dacy, Fort Worth, Texas, 3-0.
Austin def. Brett Cooper, Fort Worth, Texas, 3-1.