Malott, Kulick Avenge Losses in PBA Shark Championships
Reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, avenged his 2008 PBA Shark Championship title match loss to Rhino Page of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., won a stunning rematch battle against USBC Queens champion Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., in the PBA Women's Shark Championship semifinals Saturday night at Thunderbowl Lanes.
Malott, who hadn't made a TV final in five previous PBA World Series of Bowling events, rallied to edge Page, 4-3, in their best-of-seven-game elimination match.
"It was pretty crazy," Malott said. "I saw Rhino was getting forced to move to the right, and he was trying to open up the lane condition, which you can't do on this pattern. When he started to struggle, I relaxed more."
"There's really no history between us," Malott said of their Shark title rematch, "other than we don't like to lose to each other. It's another week, another year, a different bowling center."
Also advancing to the semifinal round were two "comeback" players and one of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour's talented young power players, Michael Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., who is trying for his first singles title.
Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, N.Y., who won his only PBA Tour title in 1995, defeated Tim Mack of Indianapolis, 4-2, while 15-time PBA titlist Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., on the comeback trail after undergoing knee surgery in 2007, advanced to the TV finals with a 4-2 win over Australia's two-handed sensation, Jason Belmonte.
"I've had an unbelievable four weeks in Detroit," Jurek said, "but it's been a long time since I've won. It's not like I have a bad record on TV; I've averaged 220-something, but my opponents have averaged 250. You just have to keep knocking on the door and one of these days, something good will happen."
Jurek, 46, missed the match play cut in the Motor City Open to start the five-week, seven-event PBA World Series of Bowling, but since then he has made match play in five consecutive events with three top eight finishes.
Couch, on the other hand, has made steady progress in coming back from surgery on his right knee.
"It's been a tough year and a half," he said. "I think I came back too early, but my issues have probably been more mental than anything. You worry about whether the knee will hold up or not. You can't bowl if you don't have confidence."
Fagan, who has won one doubles title in his eight-year career, said he realizes superstars Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Norm Duke weren't overnight successes, either.
"It's time to win, but I don't feel like I'm struggling. It's a tough sport," Fagan said. "You never know when it'll turn around. Even when you're bowling bad, the next week it can be completely different. This is my career. Someday I want to be one of those people you remember.”
On the women's side, Kulick won what she called "the best match of my career" when Johnson left the 6-7-10 split and missed in the 10th frame of the seventh game, handing Kulick a 246-240 victory and a 4-3 come-from-behind win. Johnson, who defeated Kulick in the USBC Queens title match in April, won the first two games, 261-238 and 279-258. Kulick won the next two games, but then lost again, 265-259. She then topped Johnson, 243-226, to force the seventh game.
"That's the best seven games I've put together in my life," Kulick said. "There was no missing. In the last game, I had her score circled as winning when she went high and left that split. She maybe went high on the headpin one other time in seven games. It was amazing."
In the other women's semifinal, 20-time women's champion Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, earned her berth in the Women's Shark title match with a 4-2 victory over 2009 U.S. Women's Open champion Tammy Boomershine of North Ogden, Utah, after taking a few days off to return home for her daughter Alyssa's first day in school.
"The Scorpion Championship was the first tournament I've missed in 18, 19 years as a professional," she said, "but some things take a precedent. There's only one word to explain that experience as a parent: priceless."
The PBA Shark Championship and Women's Shark Championship finals will be contested on Saturday, Sept. 6, for tape-delayed broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Defending Professional Bowlers Association Shark Champion Rhino Page of Wesley Chapel Fla., and No. 1 Women's Shark Championship qualifier Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, led their respective fields into the final round of match play at Thunderbowl Lanes Saturday night.
In another Round of 8 filled with upsets, Shark Championships top qualifier Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., was eliminated in a tense 4-3 best-of-seven-game match by injury-plagued Tim Mack of Indianapolis, who earned his first exemption to bowl on the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour in June at age 38. Duke battled back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the match, but a 4-6-7-10 split in the ninth frame of game seven killed his comeback bid.
All four of the Shark Championships top qualifiers who earned first-round match play byes lost in the Round of 8.
Page defeated No. 4 qualifier Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., 4-2; Australian two-handed sensation Jason Belmonte rallied to defeated No. 2 qualifier Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., 4-3, and Michael Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., ousted No. 3 qualifier Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 4-3.
In other matches, reigning PBA Player of the year Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, knocked out Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, 4-1; Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, N.Y., edged Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Okla., 4-3; Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., eliminated Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., 4-2, and Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, defeated Lonnie Waliczek of Wichita, Kan., 4-2.
The possibility of the first husband and wife tandem reaching the televised finals in the same event ended early Saturday when Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., lost a 4-3 match against Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, N.Y., in the Round of 28 while wife Leslie Bohn was eliminated by Dorin-Ballard, 4-1, in the women’s Round of 8.
In other women's Round of 8 matches, Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., eliminated No. 2 qualifier Wendy Macpherson of Hendersonville, Nev., 4-1; U.S. Women's Open champion Tammy Boomershine of North Ogden, Utah, ousted Colombia's Clara Guerrero, 4-2, and Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., stopped Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas, 4-2.
The men's Shark Championship Round of 8 and the women's Shark semifinal rounds were held Saturday night to determine the four men and two women who will advance to the Shark Championships finals on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Shark Championships will air on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Duke, Dorin-Ballard Top Qualifiers in PBA Shark Championships
Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, led the qualifying fields in the Professional Bowlers Association Shark Championships at Thunderbowl Lanes Friday, but most eyes will be on the wife-and-husband tandem of Leslie and Parker Bohn III who will attempt to become the first TV finals couple in PBA history when the tournament begins match play competition Saturday.
The Shark Championships are the last of five so-called "animal pattern" lane conditioning events in the inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling, a festival of professional bowling which ends on Sept. 6.
Duke, a PBA Hall of Famer and 34-time Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour champion, averaged 221.79 for the 14 qualifying games, finishing with a 3,105 pinfall total and a 65-pin edge over Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., in the men's Shark Championship. First-round leader Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., was third with 3,026 pins followed by Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., at 3,013, and Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, with 3,007 pins.
Dorin-Ballard, a 20-time Professional Women's Bowling Association champion and a two-time PBA Women's Series presented by USBC winner, out-averaged Duke at 226.71 and finished with a 3,113 total to top Wendy Macpherson of Henderson, Nev., by 28 pins for the Women's Shark Championship qualifying lead. Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas, was third with 3,083 pins followed by 2009 U.S. Women's Open champion Tammy Boomershine of North Ogden, Utah, at 3,070 and Colombia's Clara Guerrero at 3,067.
Parker Bohn, who has struggled during the World Series of Bowling, made his first match play cut in six attempts, qualifying for the 28-player best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match play field in a tie for 24th place. Wife Leslie, who made it into the women's qualifying field through the pre-tournament Tour Qualifying Round, earned the eighth and final spot in the women's match play field.
Exempt tour players Chris Barnes and his wife Lynda, Double Oak, Texas, have advanced to the match play finals in both the Viper and Chameleon Championships. Chris is a TV finalist in the Motor City Open, the first World Series event, and Lynda advanced to the Women's Viper Championship title match, but no married couple has ever made it to the same TV show.
"If you could pencil that in, I'd take it," Parker said. "Me, too," Leslie added. "It would be a lot of firsts, including my first TV show as a singles bowler."
"Maybe it was the inspiration of my wife being out there," Parker added. "I will say I beat her the first game of each block, but that's about it. After that, she bowled three-and-a-half times better than me (Parker finished with 2,861 pins, Leslie with 3,016).
"I was delighted to see the women have some TQR opportunities," Leslie continued, "but I didn't have much time. My husband finally told me to pick my favorite lane condition, bowl that event and have a good time. Shannon O'Keefe (an exempt women's player) said she'd watch the kids so I could bowl the TQR. She did and I made it. Then Osku Palmermaa's fiance offered to the watch kids today.
"I've learned so much by watching Parker and how he handles situations. I put that into play today, and it really helped. I worked really hard, filled a lot of frames, had fun and it was enough."
"The big thing for me was starting both rounds with 240 games," Parker said. "Coming out of the gate with big games was the turn around. I felt like I was bowling the U.S. Open every tournament. I'm not blaming anyone. Whether it's good, bad, tight, hooking, inside, outside - it doesn't matter. You have to figure it out."
"Hopefully both of us with have a good day tomorrow," Parker smiled, "and it would be even better if we both get to do interviews after the Shark Championships TV show."
The finals of both the men's and women's Shark Championships will be contested on Sept. 6 at Thunderbowl Lanes for delayed telecast on ESPN on Dec. 6.
Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, raced into the first round qualifying leads in the Professional Bowlers Association Shark and Women's Shark Championships, respectively, at Thunderbowl Lanes Friday.
The Shark Championships are last of five so-called "animal pattern" lane conditioning events in the inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling, a festival of professional bowling which will determine 13 championship events by the time it ends on Sept. 6.
Jones averaged 229 for the first seven qualifying games, finishing with a 1,603 pinfall total and a 23-pin lead over Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo. Patrick Dombroski of Parma, Ohio, who qualified for the event through the Tour Qualifying Round, was third with 1,545 pins follosed by Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., at 1,533 and Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan., at 1,525.
"It's been a rough road for me so far at Thunderbowl Lanes," Jones said. "My ball really hasn't been rolling well, but we tried some new drilling patterns and so far, so good. Normally the Shark pattern is my least favorite of the animal patterns, but I bowled okay on it at Taylor Lanes (where he made the championship round of the Motor City Open earlier in August) and so far, I'm doing okay on the Shark pattern here. I'll take it."
Dorin-Ballard, a 20-time Professional Women's Bowling Association champion and a two-time PBA Women's Series presented by USBC winner, averaged 226.71 for a 1,587 total and a 37-pin lead over 2009 U.S. Women's Open champion Tammy Boomershine of North Ogden, Utah. Wendy Macpherson of Henderson, Nev., was third with 1,539 pins followed by Colombia's Clara Guerrero at 1,512 and Leslie Bohn of Jackson, N.J., with 1,499 pins.
"The one thing about the Shark pattern is you know where you have to play ? inside," Dorin-Ballard said. "There is nowhere else to go. Today the ladies broke the pattern down pretty well, and I was about to get a double here, a turkey there, so I'm happy."
Dorin-Ballard withdrew from the Women's Scorpion Championship earlier in the week to return home for a rest break, and to be on hand for her daughter Alyssa's first day of school.
"That's the first tournament I've missed in 18, 19 years as a professional," she said, "but some things take a precedent. There's only one word to explain that experience as a parent: priceless."
After qualifying concludes this evening the top 28 players in the men's Shark Championship and the top eight in the Women's Series Shark Championship will advance to best-of-seven game match play beginning Saturday morning. The finals of both events will be taped on Sept. 6 at Thunderbowl Lanes for airing on ESPN Dec. 6.
【JPBA】 プロボウリングレディース新人戦 【決勝トーナメント】
○ 佐藤まさみ 224 - 203 × 森 彩奈江
× 粕谷純代 191 - 211 ○ 森 彩奈江
× 清水弘子 202 - 209 ○ 佐藤まさみ
Tuesday was a big day for the underdogs in the Professional Bowlers Association Scorpion Championships at Thunderbowl Lanes where defending champions Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and Michelle Feldman of Auburn, N.Y., were among the victims, and a local player who is the face of Michigan's struggling automotive industry was one of the heroes.