Bill O'Neill Wins First Major Title in 67th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open
Bill O'Neill of Southampton, Pa., who earned a "can't miss" tag after his 2005-06 Professional Bowlers Association Rookie of the Year season, cruised past defending champion Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 267-207, to win his first major title in the 67th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open at Woodland Bowl Sunday.
O'Neill, who won his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title earlier in the season in Detroit, had a spare in the first frame, failed to convert the 2-10 split in the second, and then threw 10 strikes in a row to race away to victory. Along with his title, he earned $60,000 and a three-year PBA Tour exemption.
"This title means everything to me. I can't begin to explain it," he said. "It's the most difficult title on tour to win. To have my name up there will the guys who have won it is amazing."
"I can't believe I bowled a game like that on this lane condition," the 28-year-old O'Neill said. "I found a little hold area and that's all I needed. It was just a matter of bearing down and making good shots."
"It was the most relaxed I've ever been on TV," he continued. "I don't know why, but from the time I got up this morning and came into the center, everything felt great. Even after throwing that split in the second frame, I knew I was going to throw the ball great."
"Scroggins has beaten me, like, the last 34 times I've bowled him, so it was nice to get some payback."
Scroggins never found a solid line to the pocket, failing to put two strikes together until the 10th frame. But it was a pocket 7-10 split in the eighth frame that clinched the win for O'Neill.
"At start of the match, my thumb shrunk just a bit and I was afraid to add a piece of tape because I didn't want to hang up in the ball," Scroggins said. "I was losing it just enough, so when I put the tape in the ball in the seventh frame, I got back to the pocket."
"But Bill bowled well. All of the strikes looked the same, so you know he was throwing the ball well," Scroggins added. "It's hard to beat 267 on an easy condition, let alone the U.S. Open oil pattern."
With his victory, O'Neill also jumped into the thick of the PBA Player of the Year race with only four tournaments remaining in the season.
"I picked up a couple of points on Walter Ray (Williams Jr.), but you know he'll make a couple of more TV shows before the season is over," O'Neill said. "I'll just have to try to win another one."
O'Neill earned his berth in the title match by defeating Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 203-152, after Jones romped past Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., 245-192, in the opening match. In the first game, Jones threw seven strikes in the first eight frames to win easily, but when the oil began to move, he got lost against O'Neill, leaving and failing to convert four splits.
The Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour's next event is the Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator which gets underway with preliminary qualifying rounds Monday at Sequoia Pro Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.
【JPBA】 関西オープンボウリングトーナメント 【ＴＶ決勝】
○ カン・ソンユ 237 - 226 × 中沢 奨
× パク・キョンシン 193 - 210 ○ 中沢 奨
○ 中沢 奨 212 - 187 × キム・ヨンピル
【JPBA】 関西オープンボウリングトーナメント 【ラウンドロビン】
【JPBA】 関西オープンボウリングトーナメント 【準決勝】
Defending Champion Scroggins Tops Field for Sunday's U.S. Open Finals
Defending champion Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, methodically worked his way through the field Saturday, rolling a key 300 game on the way to clinching the top qualifying position for Sunday's finals in the 67th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open at Woodland Bowl.
And Jason Couch of Clermont, Fla., bowled the biggest 214 game of his life to earn his shot at the title in a pressured-packed final round of match games.
In the intense position round to determine Sunday's finalists, Scroggins defeated Bill O'Neill of Southampton, Pa., 227-185, to pass O'Neill for the top rung on the stepladder with a total of 11,537 pins for 51 games. O'Neill, who is trying for his second career title and first major championship, dropped to second with 11,486 pins.
Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., slipped past Australia's Jason Belmonte in the final game, 203-190, to clinch the third spot in the finals. Belmonte, who led the tournament after the first match play round, battled a hamstring injury suffered earlier Saturday and dropped to sixth place because of his loss.
But the real drama was unfolding on the adjacent pairs of lanes where the winner of the Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., vs. Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., match was poised to pass Belmonte for the fourth position in Sunday's finals. Duke closed his game with four strikes to force Williams to get a double and good count in the 10th frame to win and earn 30 bonus pins. Williams got the first two strikes, but left four pins on his final shot to end the match between PBA Hall of Famers in a 201-201 tie.
Because the tie gave each player 15 bonus pins, Couch - who entered the position round in seventh place - jumped all the way to fourth by winning his match against four-time U.S. Open champion Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., 214-190. With 30 bonus pins for winning the match, Couch edged Williams by two pins for fourth place.
Scroggins will try to become the first bowler since Dave Husted in 1996 and 1995 to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles. Ironically, Husted won his 1996 in Indianapolis. Prior to changing its name to the U.S. Open in 1971, St. Louis bowling legends Dick Weber and Don Carter each won the former BPAA All Star in consecutive years twice.
Sunday's stepladder finals will air live on ESPN at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. At stake is the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour's final major title of the 2009-10 season, a $60,000 first prize and a three-year PBA Tour exemption.