Mike Fagan of Patchogue, NY, earned top-qualifier honors Friday for Sunday’s stepladder finals of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) One A Day Dick Weber Open at Fountain Bowl.
Fagan posted a 17-7 overall match play record and was 8-0 after Friday night’s final match play round. His 9,136 39-game overall pinfall was 172 pins ahead of PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. who qualified second for the finals. Fagan will be hoping to avenge his 278-168 championship match loss to Norm Duke in last season’s Dick Weber Open.
“Well I can’t do any worse than last year,” said the 29-year-old Fagan.
“I’m going to be thinking about a game plan for Sunday so I’ll be as prepared as I can be for the championship match and hopefully the results will be different this year.”
Fagan is trying for his first individual PBA Tour title. He has one Tour win which came in the 2007-08 season in the PBA Exempt Doubles Classic with partner Danny Wiseman.
Williams, the all-time leader in career PBA Tour titles, will be looking to win his 47th tournament and second of the season. He had a 12-12 match play record and 8,964 pinfall.
“It’s just a matter of finding the right line and getting a good ball reaction,” said the 50-year-old Williams. “I’ve won from every position in the finals so I like my chances for Sunday.”
Qualifying in the No. 3 spot for the finals was Hall of Famer Pete Weber with an 8,941 39-game pinfall and 14-9-1 overall match play record. He is hoping to win his 35th Tour title which is named after his legendary father and would put him in third place all alone on the all-time list.
“I love this house,” Weber said. “I always bowl well here but I just haven’t been able to put it all together for TV. Hopefully, it will be a different story on Sunday.”
Qualifying fourth was last year’s fourth-place finisher and four-time Tour titlist Ryan Shafer. Bill O’Neill, who won the PBA Chameleon Championship earlier this season for his first career title, defeated Eugene McCune in the position round match 278-227 to qualify for the fifth stepladder spot.
The tournament featured the “traditional” qualifying and match play format used in the PBA’s early years with three rounds of qualifying determining the top 24 advancing to three eight-game blocks of round-robin match play.
The top five players after match play advanced to the stepladder finals. Sunday’s live ESPN2 finals will get underway at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific).
PBA One A Day Dick Weber Open
Fountain Bowl, Fountain Valley, Calif.
Jan. 29, 2010
Sixth Round (after 39 games including match play record and pinfall including bonus) Top five advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific)
1, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 17-7, 9,136.
2, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 12-12, 8,964.
3, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 14-9-1, 8,941.
4, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 17-6-1, 8,919.
5, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 14-10, 8,814.
6, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 12-12, 8,789, $5,000.
7, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 14-10, 8,720, $4,500.
8, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 14-10, 8,640, $4,000.
9, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 14-10, 8,597, $3,800.
10, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 10-14, 8,556, $3,600.
11, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 10-13-1, 8,514, $3,400.
12, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 10-14, 8,507, $3,200.
13, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 12-12, 8,501, $3,000.
14, Christopher Collins, Savannah, Ga., 10-13-1, 8,484, $2,800.
15, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 13-10-1, 8,466, $2,700.
16, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 7-14-3, 8,389, $2,600.
17, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 12-12, 8,383, $2,500.
18, Steve Harman, Indianapolis, 14-10, 8,345, $2,400.
19, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 12-12, 8,330, $2,350.
20, Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, Fla., 9-15, 8,317, $2,300.
21, Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., 8-15-1, 8,263, $2,250.
22, Ronnie Russell, Camby, Ind., 8-15-1, 8,225, $2,200.
23, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 10-14, 8,200, $2,150.
24, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 10-14, 8,160, $2,100.