A little work goes a long way. At least that's the case for Denny's PBA Tour exempt bowler Jeff Carter.
Carter, who entered this week's 64th U.S. Open 42nd on the PBA World Point Rankings, currently sits on top of the 489 bowler field after two days of qualifying at Brunswick Zone Carolier.
Carter, who has a 12-game pinfall of 2,673, credited work with his ball rep for his early success in the Open, the second of four PBA Majors.
"To be honest (Storm Ball Rep Chris) Schlemer and I have been working a lot the last couple weeks and some of the things we've been working on are really coming together, so I guess I owe it all to him," said Carter (Springfield, Ill.). "There are a lot of problems in my physical game we've been trying to fix. This is as good as I've felt physically in a while. It's nice when things like that come together. I matched up really well the last couple days."
Carter opened Wednesday's action with a 235 followed by four consecutive games over the 200 mark, including a 256 in game four, to finish with a six-game total of 1,319.
Wes Malott (Argyle, Texas) is 30 pins behind Carter in second with 2,643. Malott, who finished with 1,282 in six games on Tuesday, improved with 1,361 on Wednesday.
Mika Koivuniemi (Hartland, Mich.) is in third with 2,631 after finishing Wednesday with 1,293.
Rounding out the top four is Ritchie Allen (Columbia, S.C.). Allen, who was to be exempt on the 2006-07 Denny's PBA Tour before receiving an injury exemption to the 2007-08 Denny's PBA Tour, ended Wednesday action with 1,241 for a 12-game total of 2,604.
In a tournament known for low scores and challenging lane conditions, Tommy Delutz Jr. made sure he took advantage of the one day in which he could rack up high scores.
Delutz averaged 239.67 with a 1,438 six-game pinfall Tuesday to take the lead after day one of the 64th U.S. Open, the second of four Major events on the Denny's PBA Tour.
The 492-bowler field is split into three squads over the first three days of qualifying. The first and third squads bowl on freshly oiled lanes, while the second squad bowls on lanes already broken down which typically results in higher scores. Each squad bowls at different times during the three days of qualifying.
"This is old school bowling today. The U.S. Open starts tomorrow for me," Delutz (Flushing, N.Y.) said. "If you are an exempt bowler or a top amateur, this is where you get your pins. You stock up your pins here and then try to survive the fresh tomorrow."
Bowling on the second squad Tuesday, Delutz came out on fire with a 279 in game one. After a 194 and 201 in games two and three, Delutz averaged 254.67 over the final three games to build a huge lead.
A two-time Denny's PBA Tour titlist, Delutz is looking for his first Major title. He has not historically bowled well in the U.S. Open, finishing no better than 40th the last five seasons.
"I usually despise the U.S. Open," Delutz said. "Since the PBA went to set oil patterns, I've done horrible at the U.S. Open. But it's my first time home since January 2 and I'm able to sleep in my own bed. Even with this being a Major, I have a low level of stress this weekend."
Finishing second with 1,376 was 62nd U.S. Open champion Chris Barnes (Double Oak, Texas). The eight-time titlist who captured this season's GEICO Classic, is one of several bowlers looking to break out this week and take control of a wide open PBA Player of the Year race. This week's event is one of three Majors in the final four events of the 2006-07 season.
Ritchie Allen (Columbia, S.C.) who returned to the lanes this week after missing the entire season to date due to a right hand injury, is fifth with 1,363.
In addition to Barnes, three other former U.S. Open champions are in the top 30, as three-time U.S. Open winner Pete Weber (St. Ann, Mo.) is 22nd with 1,303, two-time champion Del Ballard Jr. (N. Richland Hills, Texas) is 27th with 1,284 and one-time winner Mika Koivuniemi (Hartland, Mich.) is ninth with 1,338.
The entire field returns Wednesday for another six games, followed by the final six game block on Thursday after which the field will be cut to the top 123. Those 123 will bowl another nine games on Friday to determine the final 24 bowlers for round robin match play.
The top four after Saturday's match play will bowl for the $100,000 top prize and three-season exemption live on ESPN Sunday at Noon EST at Brunswick Zone Carolier.
300 games (1) - Lonnie Waliczek.
They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but on the Denny's PBA Tour, Emerson Lanes has been hit with a historic lightning bolt two years running.
Mike Mineman became just the second bowler in Tour history to win a title after advancing through the Denny's PBA Tour Qualifying Round, joining Sean Rash who became the first in last year's West Virginia Championship at Emerson Lanes.
Mineman, a 48-year-old journeyman who is a stark contrast to the 24-year-old Rash who won as a virtual unknown on Tour last year, defeated Mike Machuga, 223-202, Sunday to win the 2007 Bayer Classic for his first career title.
Emerson Lanes hosted a PBA Tour event in 1965 and then did not host another Tour stop until last season, when Rash came out of nowhere to win the title. Mineman was appearing in his 41st career Tour event and had never previously advanced past the Round of 16. He earned $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 season with the win.
"It's tough to go through that (Qualifying Round) on Wednesdays, but the gentlemen did it last year and paved the way and proved it could be done," said Mineman (Belleville, Ill.), who didn't even cash at Emerson Lanes last year. "It's just been a magical week. It's everything I ever thought it would be."
The title match came down to the last frame despite Mineman leading throughout as Machuga had a chance to tie the match and send it to a one-ball sudden death roll-off.
Working on a four-bagger while Machuga was working on an open in the 7th, Mineman made a crucial mistake when he chopped the 4-pin off the 2-4-5 to let Machuga back in the match, and he responded with a double in the 8th and 9th.
After a nine-spare, Mineman struck out the 10th, forcing Machuga to strike out to tie. Machuga left the 10-pin with his first shot, however, to give Mineman the win.
Mineman advanced to the title match with a 217-178 win over Dale Traber. Traber led after four frames before splits in the 5th and 7th frames. Mineman took advantage with a double in the 6th and 7th to take the lead, then struck again in the 9th and 10th frames to move on to the title match.
In the first semifinal, Machuga defeated all-time Denny's PBA Tour title leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., 264-223.
Machuga (Erie, Pa.) took home $13,000 for second, while Traber (Cedarburg, Wis.) earned $6,500 for third and Williams (Ocala, Fla.) earned $5,500 for fourth.
【JPBA】 DHC ツアー 2006/07 第４戦 【ＴＶ決勝】