Monday, January 17, 2011

Chris Barnes in Final 4 of PBA World Championships

Chris Barnes of Double Oak, TX, kept his 
bid to complete the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Triple Crown alive Saturday 
night when he defeated Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., 243-172, to 
advance to Sunday’s finals in the PBA World Championship at South Point Bowling 

In eliminating Haugen, Barnes also avenged his 215-214 loss to Haugen in the 
2008 PBA Tournament of Champions title match.

“My focus wasn’t revenge. My focus was on getting a lead and building on it. I 
can’t remember the last time I was up by 20 pins early in a match,” Barnes said. 
“Part of my mood tonight was a matter of choice; you can get wrapped up in what 
you’re doing, super-focused, or you can relax and enjoy what you’re doing. 
Tonight I decided to just enjoy what I was doing and whatever happened, 
happened. I may not always look like I’m having fun, but I was tonight.”

Barnes, a 12-time Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titlist, will meet No. 3 qualifier 
Osku Palermaa, Europe’s leading two-handed player, in Sunday’s first 
championship round match. The winner of that match will bowl against No. 2 Sean 
Rash of Montgomery, Ill., for the right to meet leading qualifier Bill O’Neill 
of Southampton, Pa., for the $50,000 first prize and the first major 
championship of the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season.

“I don’t expect the lanes to play the same way tomorrow because we’ve got guys 
with high rev rates and they’ll break down the lane condition differently than 
we played on tonight,” Barnes said. “If the scoring pace comes down and it 
becomes a shot-makers match, that’s fine with me. We’ll see who can make the 
best shots.”

The World Championship will air live on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The 
finals are being contested on the PBA’s Viper lane condition, selected by 
O’Neill as the tournament’s top qualifier over 60 games bowled during the PBA 
World Series of Bowling earlier in the season at South Point.

Barnes, who won the 2005 U.S. Open and 2006 PBA Tournament of Champions, must 
win three matches Sunday to become the sixth player to complete the PBA Triple 
Crown. Barnes qualified in fourth position for the World Championship stepladder 

In Saturday’s first elimination match, Haugen nipped No. 5 qualifier Mika 
Koivuniemi of Hartland, MI, 233-232, when Koivuniemi left a 10 pin on his 
final ball in the 10th frame after converting a seven-count spare on his first 
shot in the final frame.

“I just made a bad shot,” Koivuniemi said. “It was my mistake and I have to live 
with it. I thought the fill ball was a good shot. If it carried, we would have 
tied. But if I hadn’t made such a bad shot on the first one in the 10th, I 
wouldn’t have had to worry about the second one.”

In Friday’s first two matches in the three-day, eight-player stepladder finale, 
Australia’s Jason Belmonte, the No. 8 qualifier, defeated No. 7 Wes Malott of 
Pflugerville, Texas, 222-186, and No. 6 Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, AZ, 
then eliminated Belmonte, 233-220, to advance to Saturday’s elimination round.

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