Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Columbia's Gomez Leads Carmen Salvino Classic

Colombian native Andres Gomez, who has won titles around the world as a member of his national bowling team for more than a decade, will try to add a Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour title to his collection in the finals of the PBA’s Carmen Salvino Classic as part of the PBA Tour’s final “doubleheader” weekend of the 2011-12 season.
The seventh of eight PBA World Series of Bowling finals will air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Also this weekend, the PBA Tour’s competition points leaders will join the best players from the PBA’s seven regional programs and the 2011 PBA Senior Tour points list for the Xtra Frame Tour Dick Weber PBA Playoffs presented by Hammer at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis. The PBA Playoffs will be covered live, exclusively by PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, including all qualifying and elimination rounds Saturday and Sunday.

Gomez, a 38-year-old veteran of four seasons of PBA Tour competition, earned top qualifier honors for the Carmen Salvino Classic by averaging 249.44 over 16 games at South Point Bowling Center. He will face 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott of Pflugerville, TX; non-titlist Ronnie Russell of Marion, IN, and Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte, who has already won two World Series of Bowling titles, in the four-player “eliminator” format finals.

Gomez, who now lives in the Miami area, came closest to victory during the 2010 PBA World Series of Bowling when he finished second in the Pepsi Viper Championship, losing to Bill O’Neill of Southampton, PA, 237-203, in the title match.

Malott won his seventh career PBA Tour title, and first in three years, when he teamed with Norm Duke to win the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship earlier in the World Series. In the process of winning, Malott helped deny Russell his first PBA Tour title for the fourth time. Russell and Sean Rash of Suburban Chicago (Montgomery), IL, were top qualifiers in the doubles championship, but lost to Malott and PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, FL, 193-167.

Belmonte, now a three-time PBA Tour winner, has already won the 2012 Chameleon Open and GEICO Shark Open titles.

Sunday’s ESPN eliminator-format finals will feature three one-game rounds. All four players bowl the opening game, with the lowest-scoring player after each game being eliminated. In the two rounds to follow, the same “low man out” format applies.

In the Salvino title match, the two surviving players will bowl for $15,000 and a PBA Tour title. Gomez and Russell also have a chance to earn a berth in the Round of 36 for the end-of-season PBA Tournament of Champions (TOC) if either wins (Belmonte and Malott have already qualified for the Round of 36 as title winners).

Malott and Russell will try for a second American title in World Series competition while Gomez and Belmonte will try to improve the international players’ domination in the World Series to six titles in seven events.

In the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs presented by Hammer, the winner (if he hasn’t previously won a title during the 2011-12 season), also will earn a TOC Round of 36 berth along with $20,000 and a PBA Tour title. Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., is defending champion.

A Carmen Salvino Classic pre-event show will be webcast at no cost on’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel starting Wednesday, with a follow-up post-game show immediately following Sunday’s ESPN telecast. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit and click on the Xtra Frame logo. The monthly subscription rate is $7.99; a full-year subscription is $64.99.

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