Saturday, March 27, 2010

Belmonte Top Seed in PBA GEICO Plastic Ball Championships

Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte earned the top seed for Sunday’s
stepladder finals of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) GEICO Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship Friday at AMF Babylon Lanes. 

The 2008-09 Rookie of the Year had a 10-8 match play record and 32-game 8,081 overall pinfall total to edge out amateur Brian Ziesig of Levittown, NY, for the top spot. Ziesig, a former Tour player, qualified second for the finals with a 12-6 match play record and 8,070 pinfall. 

The unique Plastic Ball Championship requires all players to use two specially-
made Mark Roth plastic bowling balls incorporating 1970s-era technology.
Sunday’s finals will be telecast by ESPN at 2 p.m. Eastern. 

Belmonte bowled three 300s and two 299 games in the tournament. He bowled
one 300 Friday in addition to the 299s in which he left a 4 pin on the final shot
of the first one and an 8 pin on the final shot of the second. 

The record for most 300s in a PBA Tour event by an individual is four held by three bowlers—Dave D’Entremont, John Bauerle Jr. and Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., who qualified as the No. 3 seed for Sunday’s finals. 

“The 300 game in the first game really surprised me but the rest of the block went as I expected,” said Belmonte of Friday’s second nine-game match play block. “I had to hang in there as the block went on but then I started to get stronger toward the end like I usually do.” 

Belmonte, who has two second-place finishes this season, won The Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic at AMF Babylon Bowl last season to become the first two-hander to win a Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title. 

“I love this place and apparently it loves me,” Belmonte added. “Being the top seed is where I want to be.” 

The 35-year-old Ziesig, who earned his way into the field through Wednesday’s tour qualifying round, bowled on Tour in the 1998, ‘99 and 2000 seasons with a best finish of 10th. 

“I’ve really prepared for this tournament by practicing the last four weeks with plastic equipment which probably is a little bit of an advantage over the other guys because they haven’t had that opportunity,” Ziesig said. “I’ve had tremendous support from the hometown fans so even with all that preparation
it’s way more than I could have imagined.” 

Williams, PBA’s all-time leader in career Tour titles, will be trying for his 48th title and third of the season having won the season opening Motor City Open and the United States Bowling Congress Masters in February. 

With one tournament remaining after the Plastic Ball Championship Williams is making a run at a record seventh Player of the Year honor. 

Competing in the opening stepladder match will be No. 4 seed Wayne Garber of Modesto, CA, trying for his first title against No. 5 seed and two-time Tour titlist Michael Machuga of Erie, PA. Garber finished second in the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Classic presented by USBC earlier this season. 


AMF Babylon Lanes, West Babylon, NY, March 26  


(After 32 games, includes match play record and bonus pins. Top five players advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals) 
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 10-8, 8,081. 
2, Brian Ziesig, Levittown, N.Y., 12-6, 8,070. 
3, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 9-9, 7,944. 
4, Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 11-6-1, 7,912. 
5, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 9-9, 7,825. 
6, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 12-6, 7,818, $4,500. 
7, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 12-6, 7,800, $4,300. 
8, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 10-8, 7,777, $4,100. 
9, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 9-9, 7,701, $3,900. 

10, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 10-8, 7,628, $3,700. 
11, Johnny Petraglia Jr., Youngstown, Ohio, 10-8, 7,622, $3,600. 
12, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 7-11, 7,559, $3,500. 
13, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 11-7, 7,533, $3,400. 
14, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 8-10, 7,513, $3,400. 
15, Ronnie Russell, Camby, Ind., 7-10-1, 7,506, $3,300. 
16, Alex Cavagnaro, Lindenhurst, N.Y., 4-14, 7,334, $3,100.


(After 23 games, includes match play record, total pins including bonus. Top 16 advanced to 
Friday's final match play round)

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 5-4, 5,725.
2, Brian Ziesig, Levittown, N.Y., 6-3, 5,691.
3, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 3-6, 5,611.
4, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 7-2, 5,592.
5, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 5-4, 5,551.
6, Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 4-4-1, 5,543.
7, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 6-3, 5,483.
8, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 6-3, 5,468.
9, Johnny Petraglia Jr., Youngstown, Ohio, 6-3, 5,464.
10, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 4-5, 5,438.
11, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 6-3, 5,418.
12, Ronnie Russell, Camby, Ind., 4-4-1, 5,416.
13, Alex Cavagnaro, Lindenhurst, N.Y., 3-6, 5,406.
14, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 3-6, 5,397.
15, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 5-4, 5,383.
16, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 6-3, 5,374.
17, Brian Waliczek, Birch Run, Mich., 6-3, 5,370, $2,890.
18, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 6-3, 5,349, $2,700.
19, Cassidy Schaub, Ashland, Ohio, 6-3, 5,345, $2,600.
20, (tie) Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 4-5, and Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 3-6, 5,333, $2,450.
22, John Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., 4-5, 5,310, $2,300.
23, (tie) J. Sterner, McDonough, GA, 5-4, and R. Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, NY, 2-7, 5,308, $2,225.
25, Brian Voss, Alpharetta, Ga., 3-5-1, 5,302, $2,150.
26, Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 6-3, 5,272, $2,100.
27, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 2-7, 5,267, $2,050.
28, Derek Sapp, Keokuk, Iowa, 4-5, 5,233, $2,000.
29, (tie) Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, TX, 4-4-1, and Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, KS, 4-5, 5,232, $1,925.
31, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 0-9, 5,174, $1,950.
32, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 4-5 5,116, $1,800.
300 games – Ronnie Russell, Jason Belmonte (3), Patrick Allen, Robert Smith

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