【USBC】 2010 USBC Queens 【Finals】
Kulick takes USBC Queens title
Kelly Kulick proved she could beat the men earlier this year and Wednesday she came out on top against a field of the top women bowlers in the world, earning her second United States Bowling Congress Queens title.
The Union, N.J., native climbed the five-player stepladder, winning four consecutive matches, and defeating top seed Tennelle Milligan of Arlington, Texas, 232-188, to win the Queens at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center.
Kulick, the No. 4 seed, made sports history when she became the first woman to win a title on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour in January by defeating Chris Barnes, 265-195, to win the PBA Tournament of Champions. On Wednesday, she added her third career major women's title to her resume.
"I feel like I've been carrying a four-leaf clover in my pocket and have had luck on my side lately," said Kulick, who earned $25,000 for the victory. "This has been the ride of a lifetime. The only way it gets better at this point is if in three months I'm driving a Lexus and have a million dollar endorsement deal."
The 2007 Queens champion and 2003 U.S. Women's Open champion, Kulick got ahead early in the match and never looked back against Milligan. Kulick threw four consecutive strikes from the fourth to the seventh frame, while Milligan failed to double in that stretch.
"It's heartbreaking for Tennelle because I know what a stellar performance she had all week," said Kulick, who was the runner-up to Liz Johnson at the 2009 Queens. "I just had a good performance all week long as well and it was just about getting to the show and seeing what would happen."
Milligan, the 2005 Queens and 2000 U.S. Women's Open champion, said she was pleased with her performance this week despite losing in the title match.
"I was excited, nervous, pumped up and ready to go out there and put on a good show," said Milligan, who earned $15,000 for second. "I just went out there and overthrew the ball. Once I calmed down, everything fell into place, but when you are bowling a game on TV, it's the fastest game of your life."
In reaching the title match, Kulick took out USBC Hall of Famer Anne Marie Duggan of Edmond, Okla., 226-176. With the third place finish and a $10,000 prize, Duggan became the fifth woman to earn $1 million in her career, joining Wendy Macpherson, Tish Johnson, Aleta Sill and Leanne Barrette-Hulsenberg.
Kulick escaped with a victory over Missy Bellinder of Fullerton, Calif., 220-212, in the match before when Bellinder left a pocket 7-10 split in the final frame. Kulick threw the last five strikes to force Bellinder to mark in the 10th frame, which she failed to do.
"I made an adjustment on that lane after I had the messenger take out the 10 pin on the previous shot," Bellinder said. "I moved a little bit right and squared up. Off my hand I thought I threw it perfect, and that's all you can really do."
To open the championship round, Kulick defeated Michelle Feldman of Auburn, N.Y., 186-170. After Kulick left the 4-7-10 split in the ninth frame and spared in the 10th, Feldman had a chance to throw two strikes and a five count to win, but left a 10 pin on her first shot.
The Queens, which will be rebroadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 2 at 3:30 p.m. EDT, featured a field of 201 of the top female bowlers in the world competing for a total prize fund of $166,750. Storm Bowling Products is the official ball company of the 2010 USBC Queens.
○ Tommy Jones 223 - × Dino Castillo 192
Japan Cup 初出場初タイトル（PBAタイトル0）を狙った Dino Castillo だったが経験に勝る'04・'05大会チャンピオンの Tommy Jones が落ち着いた試合展開で勝負を決め Japan Cup 3勝目を飾る｡
× Mike Fagan 213 - ○ Tommy Jones 223
逆転につぐ逆転の接戦を'04・'05大会チャンピオンの Tommy Jones が制す。10フレ1投目 Mike Fagan がストライクを持ってくれば勝ち上がるところ10ピンが残り万事休す。
× Norm Duke 244 - ○ Dino Castillo 277
Dino Castillo が1フレからストライクを続け会場内が期待感を持ちかけた8フレ2.4.10スピリット、これを見事カバー。Norm Duke は1フレオープンとするも2フレからストライクを続け Castillo を追いかける。しかし勝負どこの8・9フレと10ピンが残り、Castillo は9フレからオールウェーを決め優勝決定戦へ進出。
Tommy Jones Wins Third DyDo Japan Cup, Denies Best Friend Dino Castillo His First Title
Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., won his third DyDo Japan Cup title Sunday at Tokyo Port Bowl, but it was a bittersweet 223-192 victory over his best friend because it denied Dino Castillo of Carrollton, Texas, his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title.
"This is very special to me," Jones said of his 13th career title and first since the 2007-08 season. "It's my sixth time here and the third time I've won. It's a great honor to come here every year and it's something that I look forward to every season."
It was a nerve-racking victory on several fronts. After starting with a spare and three strikes, Jones missed a 10 pin for an open frame in the fifth frame to give Castillo some hope. But Castillo failed to capitalize, leaving a 4-6-7 split in his fifth frame. When Jones threw a key strike in the eighth frame to cap another string of three strikes and virtually lock up the victory, he let out a scream of relief.
"I was excited for that shot because it meant that I only needed to stay clean to shut Dino out," Jones said. "That's the position you want to be in and hitting the pocket was becoming more of a challenge. That's why that shot was so important."
On his fifth-frame split, Castillo said, "I made sure I stayed aggressive with the shot but I got faked out. I wasn't as far left as I should have been which caused a bad angle when the ball hit the pocket."
"Bowling at Tokyo Port Bowl is tough because the lanes transition faster because it's an older surface," he added. "I got a couple breaks earlier. Both (Brad) Angelo and (Mike) Fagan threw good shots in their 10th frames that didn't carry, or I would have lost. And then I had to bowl my best friend."
Jones slipped past Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., 252-247, in his first championship round match when Angelo failed to strike on his second shot in the 10th frame. He then eliminated Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., in the semifinal round, 223-213, when Fagan failed to strike on his first shot in the 10th.
Castillo, in the meantime, defeated fellow non-titlist Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, 255-225, in the Round of 8, and Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., 277-244, in his semifinal round match.
"It was overwhelming but humbling," Castillo said of his first television experience. "I still had to concentrate on bowling and not let the TV show atmosphere, fans and just the experience of it all affect me."
The 25th Japan Cup, televised nationally in Japan, was the final event of the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season.
Six PBA Players, Two Koreans Advance to Sunday's DyDo Japan Cup Championship Round
Six Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour competitors will join two Korean players in the eight-man championship round of the 25th DyDo Japan Cup Sunday at Tokyo Port Bowl.
In addition to PBA Tour champions Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla.; Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y.; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., and Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., non-winners Dino Castillo of Carrollton, Texas, and Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, will compete for a first PBA Tour title. Also in the finals, trying to become Korea's first Japan Cup titlist, will be Park Jeon-Soo and Choi Won Young.
Sunday's finals will begin with one-game, single-elimination matches pitting Park against Duke, Castillo against Loschetter, Angelo against Jones and Choi against Fagan. The Park-Duke winner will then bowl the Castillo-Loschetter winner and the Angelo-Jones winner will meet the Choi-Fagan winner to determine the two finalists who will bowl a single game for a $40,000 prize.
One of Saturday's most impressive performances was put on by Duke, a 33-time PBA Tour champion who has never won in Japan. After qualifying 25th for the best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match play portion of the tournament, he rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the Round of 48 to eliminate Japan's Satoshi Tsushima. He then eliminated four-time Japan Cup champion Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., 4-1, in the Round of 32 and then averaged 259 in a four-game sweep over defending Japan Cup champion Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., to reach the championship round.
"Because of the injuries I've had this year, I fell out of the Japan Cup points list for next season," Duke said. "Given that I've never won in this country after as many opportunities as I've had before, it seems like it's something that has been out of reach. A victory in this country is something I've often dreamed about, but also it would tie me with one of the greatest of all-time, Mark Roth, in titles. So in both cases, I have plenty to be nervous about going into tomorrow.
"Typically the left-handers have had an advantage at Tokyo Port Bowl and to see my bracket this morning it seemed impossible to beat Patrick or Parker," Duke continued. "To win back-to-back against those two players, when they were so comfortable? There might some fate going on here."
Castillo, on the other hand, hopes to become the third PBA player to win his first title in the Japan Cup. Jones won his first title in Japan in 2004 and Amleto Monacelli converted his first triumph in the 1987 Oronamin C Japan Cup into a PBA Hall of Fame career. He also has a chance to Steve Wilson (1996), Doug Kent (1997) and Robert Smith (2002-03) as the fourth player to win the Cup in his first appearance.
"Winning the Japan Cup and my first title would cap off the great season I had in 2008-09 (when he qualified for this year's Japan Cup.) Winning my first title would cap off my career to this point and winning in Japan would mean that I represent the elite from PBA, Japan PBA and Korean PBA.
"It wouldn't validate my PBA career, but it would validate my ability to succeed," Castillo continued. "Obviously, as a kid, I always thought about winning my title. PBA bowlers have always set goals to win player of the year, majors, etc. My goals have always been to do the best I can and let the pieces fall where they may."
Either Castillo or Loschetter will see his title hopes end early Sunday because they will bowl each other in the Round of 8. Loschetter earned his shot by eliminating Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 4-2, in Saturday's final elimination round.
Korea's Park ended 2009-10 PBA Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr.'s hopes for a third Japan Cup title, 4-2, but countryman Choi put on the day's top performance, firing consecutive games of 278, 300 and 298 - an 876 total - in his last three games of a 4-1 victory over Japan's Minoru Sendan.
Japan's Aizawa Leads Japan Cup Qualifying
Hideaki Aizawa of Japan averaged 233 to earn the top qualifying position in the 25th anniversary DYDO Japan Cup Friday at Shinagawa Prince Hotel Bowling Center, topping Professional Bowlers Association star Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, by 60 pins as the top 48 players advanced to the match play elimination portion of the event.
Aizawa, who finished the 12-game qualifying round with 2,798 pins, is trying to become on the third Japanese player - and first since Takeo Sakai in 1988 - to win the Japan Cup. Aizawa and the 15 other high qualifiers will earn first-round byes when the event moves to Tokyo Port Bowl Saturday to begin best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match play competition.
"I'm very excited to be leading the Japan Cup," Aizawa said. "I'm very happy to be at the top with the strong PBA players today."
Malott, who was the qualifying leader in the 2009 Japan Cup, finished with 2,738 pins in his bid for his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title in the final event of the 2009-10 season. Malott is one of 20 PBA Tour stars invited to participate in the event.
"Normally we see longer oil patterns here," Malott said, "but because of the length of the pattern there was more hook than we are used to seeing. I stayed focused on staying slow and getting my hand around it to create the correct angles. "
"I still missed a lot of spares," he added. "I feel like my game is slowing getting better but my spare game needs help.
Defending champion Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., qualified in ninth place, one spot behind four-time Japan Cup winner Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J. Reigning PBA Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., a two-time winner and the only player who has bowled in all 25 Japan Cups, qualified 16th.
The final eight survivors will bowl in the championship round which will be nationally-televised in Japan. First prize in the tournament is $40,000.
【JPBA】 宮崎プロアマオープン 【準決勝ブロックラウンドロビン】
【JPBA】 宮崎プロアマオープン 【予選後半・Ｂシフト】
【JPBA】 宮崎プロアマオープン 【予選前半・Ａシフト】
○ 貞松保行 236 - 225 × 北岡義実
○ 北岡義実 249 - 198 × 長谷宏
○ 長谷宏 268 - 235 × 梅田寿雄
Williams' Record Seventh PBA Player of the Year Honor "Unimaginable"
For the second consecutive year, the Professional Bowlers Association's Chris Schenkel Player of the Year race came down to the final game and the eventual winner had to watch from the sidelines to await his fate.
When it was over, Walter Ray Williams Jr. won a record seventh Player of the Year honor at the conclusion of the season-ending Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open in Baltimore April 4, after going into the event tied in the points race with Bill O'Neill. Mike Scroggins was third, a longshot, but still in the mix until he lost in the title match to Pete Weber.
Williams thus became the first to win the PBA Player of the Year title seven times, breaking a tie with the late Earl Anthony. And at age 50, Williams also became the oldest to win the crown breaking the previous record of 45 held by Anthony.
He also is thought to be the oldest player in any major sport to win his sport's season-long points or "most valuable" title.
"I could never have imagined winning Player of the Year seven times and at my age I didn't think it was even a possibility," Williams said. "But after I won the first tournament of the season I thought if I could win one more, or a major, that I could be in contention at the end."
During the 2009-10 season Williams won two titles - the Motor City Open and the United States Bowling Congress Masters for his eighth major - to improve his all-time career titles record to 47. He had five championship round appearances and his titles in 2009-10 extended his record run of consecutive seasons with at least one title to 17.
As it turned out Scroggins almost achieved the biggest upset of his career, advancing to the ESPN final as the top qualifier which put him into a tie with Williams and O'Neill in Player of the Year points. Because Williams barely missed the TV final, winning the Marathon Open would have given Scroggins his first Player of the Year title. But Scroggins, who played a decisive role in last season's Player of the Year race with his win in the U.S. Open, suffered the same fate himself this time when Weber denied him the honor handing the crown to Williams.
The tie between the three players was broken by virtue of Williams having earned his eighth Harry Smith Point Leader Award, also a record. In the overall competition points race for the season, Williams held a comfortable lead over O'Neill and Scroggins.
"It was a season where a lot of guys had very good years but no one really dominated, which probably played in my favor," Williams added. "I just had a little better year. I would have liked to have won it by making the finals (of the Marathon Open), but there were five other guys who had a better tournament than me."
Williams, who began his full-time Tour career in 1983 and has competed in 723 Tour events, earned his Player of the Year crowns over a 24-year span. His previous Player of the Year honors came in the 1986, '93, '96, '97, '98 and 2002-03 seasons.
Even with all he has accomplished, Williams lists a Tournament of Champions victory and a 300 game on television as two goals he would still like to accomplish. Next season's Tournament of Champions will feature a record $1 million prize fund and $250,000 first prize.
"As long as I'm still competitive and feel good I'll keep going," Williams said. "I'm really looking forward to next year's Tournament of Champions - that will be so big."
Williams' plans for the near future include competing in his 25th Japan Cup April 22-25 (he is the only player who has competed in every Japan Cup in its modern configuration) and making his Senior Tour debut sometime this season.
"I plan to bowl Senior Tour events this season but it's a pretty busy schedule the next few months with some possible schedule conflicts with Teams USA and other events, so I'm not quite sure how many I'll be able to bowl," Williams said. "I hope to be able to bowl at least three, but I'll have to see how the schedule works out."
Weber Re-Writes PBA History with Marathon Open Victory, Hands Williams Player of the Year Title
Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., re-wrote the Professional Bowlers Association history book Sunday when he defeated top qualifier Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 268-224, to win the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open at AMF Country Club Lanes.
With his 35th career victory, breaking his tie for third place on the all-time PBA Tour titles list with Mark Roth, Weber denied Scroggins' bid to become 2009-10 PBA Player of the Year, and handed that crown to his long-time rival, Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla.
Williams therefore becomes the first to win the PBA Player of the Year title seven times, breaking a tie with the late Earl Anthony. Williams, with 47 career titles, and Anthony, with 43, are now the only two with more PBA titles than Weber.
"I feel like I just won my first title," the teary-eyed Weber said. "I don't know what to say. It's been three years since I won. I thought I was never going to win again."
Weber led the title match throughout, starting with five strikes before converting a single-pin spare. He then threw another four strikes to end Scroggins' hopes for a third 2009-10 title and his first Player of the Year award. Scroggins entered the finals in a three-way title in the Player of the Year competition, but he needed to win the title because he trailed Williams in the overall competition points tie-breaker.
"So Walter Ray owns me another one," Weber said, referring to the payback he wants because of Williams' dominance over Weber on television. "But I said yesterday, if Mike was going to win Player of the Year, he was going to have to earn it and I'm sure the other guys on the show felt the same way."
"Mike, I'm sorry I shot 268 at you…not," Weber grinned.
On breaking his titles tie with Roth, Weber said, "I never thought I'd get to 34 titles, let alone pass Mark Roth. He was my idol growing up. I feel kind of bad about going past him, but not really."
Weber advanced to the title match with a 233-212 victory over Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., in the semifinal match. Angelo eliminated defending Marathon Open champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, in the opening game, 207-192, and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, 256-227, in the second game before losing to Weber.
The championship round was conducted on the Dick Weber lane condition, one of seven used during the tournament. Scroggins, as top qualifier, selected that pattern for the TV finals.
"It was Mike's choice, but winning on the pattern named in honor of my father makes it even more special," Weber said.
The Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open concluded the PBA Tour's 2009-10 regular season. Champions from the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark Championships conducted in Detroit last August will compete in a special PBA Experience Showdown presented by BOWL.COM while top finishers from six PBA Women's Series events will compete in the PBA Women's Series Showdown presented by BOWL.COM next week at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas. The PBA Experience Showdown will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 11, at 1 p.m. Eastern and the Women's Series Showdown will air on Sunday, April 18, also at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Following the Arlington special events, 20 top PBA players based upon 2008-09 points will travel to Tokyo April 22-25 to compete in the 25th anniversary DYDO Japan Cup. Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., is defending champion.
Underdog Scroggins Goes for Title, PBA Player of the Year in Sunday's Marathon Open Finals
Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, put himself into position Saturday at AMF Country Club to not only win the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open, but win the Professional Bowlers Association Players of the Year title at the same time.
Scroggins, a 46-year-old left-hander, advanced from sixth place at the end of the sixth round, averaging 244 for seven games on the Dick Weber lane conditioning pattern Saturday to clinch the top rung for Sunday's stepladder finals with a 53-game total of 12,204 pins.
Scroggins, who trails Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., by eight points in the PBA Player of the Year race, averaged 230.26 on the seven different lane conditions used in the Marathon Open and took the top spot by 54 pins over 34-time PBA Tour winner Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo. Weber rolled his second 300 game of the tournament in the final game Saturday to finish with 12,150 pins.
Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, qualified third with a 12,125 total followed by Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., with 12,006 pins and defending champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, in fifth position with a 12,005 total. Williams, who was trying to add to his PBA-record 47 titles, dropped out of the show in the final game Saturday, finishing 33 pins behind Malott.
Scroggins' march to the top qualifying position began when he was 33rd after two rounds and it set the stage for a dramatic finale to the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour's regular season on Sunday. A win would give him three titles for the season and nine for his career, along with 16 Player of the Year points. A loss in the title match would give him eight points, resulting in a tie with Williams and Bill O'Neill of Southampton, Pa. But Williams would win Player of the Year because he leads the three in overall competition points for the season. Williams, at age 50, would then win the points title for a record seventh time - breaking a tie with the late Earl Anthony - and he would become the oldest ever to win that award.
The irony of Sunday's situation is that Scroggins also was the deciding factor in last season's Player of the Year race when he defeated Barnes and Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., on his way to winning the U.S. Open - and by doing that, he knocked both Barnes and Duke out of the race, handing the title to Malott.
"I can't believe it comes down to one game for Player of the Year," Scroggins said. "It's weird how things have come down to that. The last two years I've been close, but this year I hung in."
"I don't think anyone thought I'd take the lead today, but I'm pretty much always the underdog and I'm fine with that. Actually, I like it. Tomorrow, everyone's going to be cheering for Pete (Weber). He's a hall of famer. Or Barnes or Malott. I'll probably be the fourth or fifth favorite, but I'm used to that. I like to sneak up on people."
Sunday's finalists bowled 53 games over seven rounds on seven different lane conditions. Scroggins, as top qualifier, has selected Saturday's Dick Weber lane condition for the stepladder finals on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Malott Regains Lead as Fierce Battle for Top Five Shapes in for Saturday’s Marathon Open Final Round
Defending champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, slipped to third place with one game to go, but rallied in the final game Friday night to regain his lead in the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open at AMF Country Club Lanes.
With seven games remaining Saturday morning on the Dick Weber lane condition, however, the race for five spots on Sunday's ESPN telecast remained wide open, and the battle for the 2009-10 Chris Schenkel Player of the Year title boiled down to two players who were hot on each other's heels.
Malott, who entered Friday's play with a 91-pin lead over Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, escaped the Scorpion and Earl Anthony lane conditioning rounds with a 45-pin lead over Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., who started the day in 13th place. Malott has averaged 230.74 for 46 games on six different lane conditions for a 10,614 total. Weber, who rolled the event's 10th 300 game Friday morning, had 10,559 pins in his bid for his first title since the 2007 U.S. Open.
Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., was third with 10,557 pins followed by Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., at 10,507 and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, with 10,506 pins. None of the current top five has won a title this season.
Fewer than 20 pins behind the five front-runners were Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, and Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., the two remaining contenders in the Player of the Year race. They were only seven pins apart. Bill O'Neill of Southampton, Pa., who is tied with Williams for the Player of the Year points lead, was eliminated from contention when he finished 20th and failed to advance to Saturday's Weber round.
Scroggins, who started the day in 11th place, can win the Player of the Year race if he wins the Marathon Open and Williams finishes lower than second place. In any other scenario, the 50-year-old Williams will win the season-long Player of the Year points honor for a record seventh time and become the oldest player ever to win the title.
None of that matters to Malott, however, because his chance to defending his 2008-09 Player of the Year title is long gone and his goal is to salvage his season with a win Sunday.
"I just couldn't get anything going tonight," Malott said. "My morning round was better, but my thumb's getting a little tender and it's hard to relax my grip. We're getting close to 50 games, so I think everyone would tell you they're having the same issue."
"I struggled in sixth game tonight and shot 154. I hit a bad pair and threw some bad shots, but sometimes it takes a bad game like that to get re-grouped and that's exactly what happened," he added. "I looked at the scoreboard and saw Pete (Weber) had gone around me, so it made me dig deep and get back on top to set myself up for tomorrow."
Malott threw a 279 final game to return to first place.
The Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open is a seven-round tournament, with each round bowled on a different lane conditioning pattern. The top 16 survivors after Friday's Scorpion Round of 32 and Earl Anthony Round of 24 will bowl a final seven-game round on the Dick Weber pattern Saturday morning. The field will then be cut to the top five players who will advance to the stepladder finals on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The tournament leader will select the lane condition to be used for the TV finals.
Malott Retains Marathon Open Lead After Four Rounds, But Here Comes Walter Ray...
Defending champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, retained a 91-pin lead over fellow Texan Chris Barnes in the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open at AMF Country Club Lanes Thursday, but the biggest move was by 50-year-old Walter Ray Williams Jr. in his bid to lock up a record seventh career PBA Player of the Year title.
Malott, who is about to surrender his 2008-09 Player of the Year crown, averaged 234.59 through the first four rounds of the Marathon Open to finish with a 32-game total of 7,507 pins. Barnes, who was Player of the Year prior to Malott, had a 7,416 total after Thursday's seven-game rounds on the PBA's Viper and Chameleon lane conditions. Both players are trying for their first title of the 2009-10 season.
But Williams made the boldest move, advancing from 14th place at the start of the day to move into third place with a 7,366 total. The PBA Tour's all-time leading title winner is seeking his 48th title and third of the season. He also is trying to become the oldest PBA Player of the Year ever. He needs to make Sunday's TV finals field to break a tie with co-points leader Bill O'Neill of Southampton, Pa., to win that title outright and break another tie with the legendary Earl Anthony, who also is a six-time PBA Player of the Year, for the most Player of the Year titles in PBA history.
O'Neill is still in the picture, but he barely survived Thursday's cut to 32 players who will advance to Friday morning's Scorpion round in 28th place. Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, who has an outside shot at Player of the Year if he wins the Marathon Open, advanced from 33rd place to 11th.
Malott's focus, however, is to hold off Barnes, Williams and a tightly packed field of challengers in his bid for his seventh career title.
"I'm surviving," Malott said. "The guys at the top are hanging around where I'm at, and the guys in middle bowling well and bunching up more than I like to see, so Friday I need to bowl better and try to build a bit of a lead so I can relax a little.
"I bowled OK today, not outstanding by any means," he added. "I struggled in the Viper round with spares. That's a funk I've been in, but my spare game on the Chameleon pattern tonight was a whole lot better. Hopefully tomorrow the Scorpion condition will soften up a little and I'll be able to strike."
The Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open is a seven-round tournament, with each round bowled on a different lane conditioning pattern. The top 32 survivors after Thursday's competition will bowl seven games on the Scorpion pattern Friday morning, after which the field will be cut to the top 24 for another seven games on the Earl Anthony lane condition. Then field will be trimmed to 16 for a final seven-game round on the Dick Weber condition Saturday morning to determine the top five players after 53 games who will advance to the stepladder finals on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The tournament leader will select the lane condition to be used for the TV finals.
Malott Maintains Marathon Open Lead After Viper Round; Williams Makes His Move in POY Race
Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, maintained a 117-pin lead over Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, at the end of the Viper Round of the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open at AMF Country Club Lanes Thursday.
After 25 games, Malott - who is trying for his first title of the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season in the final event of the campaign - had a 5,929 pinfall total while Barnes finished at 5,812. Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., slipped one spot to third but only 55 pins separated third from 11th place.
Among the contenders to make the top five for Sunday's 1 p.m. Eastern stepladder final is Walter Ray Williams Jr., who advanced from 14th to ninth place, but he's now only 23 pins out of "the show." Williams and Bill O'Neill are tied in the PBA Player of the Year race with 56 points each, so if Williams makes the top five and O'Neill doesn't, Williams will win the title outright. If neither make the show, Williams will win based on the tie-breaker, which is the overall PBA Tour points standings. Mike Scroggins, who can only win the POY title if he wins the Marathon Open and neither of the other two contenders makes the show, was in 31st place at the end of the Viper round.
All 44 players will return for the seven-game Chameleon round tonight, after which the top 32 will advance to Friday’s Scorpion round. After the Scorpion round, the top 24 advance to the Earl Anthony round Friday evening.