Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio and Michelle Feldman of Auburn, NY finished atop their respective fields in Friday's match play at the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Pepsi Viper Championship at Thunder Alley in which the top 32 men and top 10 women competed for a spot in the finals.
Loschetter, who competed for the University of Nebraska 1999-2001, went 12-6 in match play Friday to earn the top seed for Sunday's final round.
"It's pretty special," Loschetter said of his results. "I've never been in that position before. We did a lot of match play last year and now we're doing some different formats, so I never had to bowl only one game to win my first title. So it's exciting. I'll be excited tomorrow but then Sunday I'll get back to business."
The right-hander is coming off his best career season, ranked eighth in the 2007-08 PBA World Point Rankings. He credits his final position to the strategy he developed while competing.
"I stayed a little farther right tonight and a lot of the guys burned up the middle of the lane and it forces you, in a way, inside the sixth arrow and I decided to stay away from that and it helped a lot," Loschetter said.
For Sunday's finals, however, he said it's too early to predict a plan of attack.
"There's a lot of elements involved in TV and you never know what's going to happen," Loschetter said. "You can be playing really far right or really far left. It depends on what other players do and the TV lights have a big effect so you kind of have to do that at that moment and decide what you want to do."
Veteran bowler Walter Ray Williams, Jr. or Ocala, Fla. earned the number two seed. Brad Angelo, of Lockport, N.Y. took the third spot. In a miraculous comeback, Wes Malott, of Argyle, Texas was tied for seventh with one game remaining and shot 268 to catapult from seventh to fourth place and claim the last spot for Sunday's finals.
"I was obviously very frustrated, I felt like I bowled OK but wasn't catching the breaks," Malott said.
"When the last game came around I felt like I lost all momentum and was kind of down but it actually kind of helped me relax. Halfway through the game I had a spare, a three-bagger, a spare and a strike. I was on the other side of the house and a couple guys came over and told me to keep it going. I got lucky late in the game. It's pretty unbelievable. I have no clue how it (making the final) happened."
In the Women's Series, sponsored by the U.S. Bowling Congress (USBC), Feldman and Stefanie Nation of Miami finished No. 1 and 2, respectively, to earn spots in Sunday's live ESPN finals. Feldman finished 7-2-0 in match play with 5,208 pins and Nation also finished at 7-2-0 with a score of 5,079.
"Actually I was surprised I did as well as I did," Feldman said. "Yesterday, bowling across from the men is easier for me because I kind of go with them. Not that I didn't bowl well today, but I'm a little more left than the women and it's a lot easier."
"It's indescribable, it's overwhelming," Nation said. "I really can't put in into words. I definitely had to work hard today to get there. I'm excited. I've always wanted to be on the professional women's tour. It didn't really exist when I thought I could get there. I just want to make the best of it and bring home the title."
Wes Malott of Argyle, Tex. and Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix, Ariz. finished atop their respective fields in Thursday's Qualifying at the Pepsi Viper Championship at Thunder Alley in which the top 32 men and top 10 women advanced to Friday's match play.
Malott, who ended the first block of qualifying in seventh, was able to remain consistent in his second block with scores of 213, 241, 258, 221, 248, 255 and 236 to finish with a score of 3261, averaging 232.93 over the 14-games. He bested No. 2 and All-Time PBA Title leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla. by 81 pins.
"After last week, I had a fairly poor performance ... I have somewhat of a history of lower back pain and I wasn't able to perform to the best of my ability," Malott said. "But this week I feel really good. I also was able to work out some timing issues in my swing and kind of came together with the right ball choices as always."
"Tomorrow is match play, I'll be crossing pairs and I don't have to worry about breaking pairs down," Malott added. "I've been working with my ball rep on some strategies for tomorrow in case the pattern starts to flatten out."
Pluhowsky, one of only two lefties in the Women's Series field, moved from third after the first block to finish as the leader, with a 14-game total score of 3032. Pluhowsky averaged 216.57, and led second-place Michelle Feldman of Auburn, N.Y. by 29 pins.
"I bowled pretty well on this pattern (Viper) at the Women's U.S. Open so I tried to take what I did there and use it here," Pluhowsky said. "But obviously bowling with all the guys makes it a little different. I'll pretty much have the same game plan tomorrow. It's not easy to throw a lot of strikes, so you have to make spares when possible."
Former Husker Michael Machuga finished third on the day and had a 300 during his first block. Mitch Beasley, who just missed the cut in 34th, also had a 300 in the first block.
Ted Baer, owner of Thunder Alley, received a Commissioner's exemption to compete in today's field as a result of bidding on an exempt spot in an auction to benefit Bowl for the Cure. Baer finished 61st with 2,650 pins.
Former Husker Michael Machuga is off to a successful start as he led the Pepsi Viper Championship first block of Round of 64 qualifying on Thursday at Thunder Alley. He finished his seven game block with 1695 pins, including a 300 in game five.
Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y. was close behind with a score of 1646 followed by Dave D'Entremont at 1632.
Mitch Beasley of Puyallup, Wash, who is currently sitting in 16th, also shot a 300 in his game six.
In the Women's Series Round of 16, Michelle Feldman of Auburn. N.Y. currently leads the field with a score of 1526. However, Joy Esterson if Annapolis, Md. And Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix, Ariz. Are right behind with scores of 1523 and 1522, respectively.
× 吉田真由美 216 - 223 ○ 清水弘子
× 谷川章子 221 - 279 ○ 清水弘子
○ 清水弘子 268 - 247 × 松永裕美