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24th Malta Open Championships
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In a battle of first-time PBA Tour television finalists, Richie Teece won the Shark Championship presented by Xtra Frame at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., with a 193-176 victory over Charlie Brown Jr. of Grandville, Mich.
Teece, a four-time European Bowling Tour titlist and the Tour’s 2016 point ranking leader, joins Stuart Williams, who won the 2011 PBA Viper Open for his lone PBA title and five-time PBA champion Dom Barrett, who won his first title in the 2011 PBA Scorpion Open.
The Shark Championship, one of four PBA animal pattern championships conducted in November during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, aired Sunday on ESPN following the finals of the PBA Chameleon Championship. The back-to-back telecasts were part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour package.
Teece put the title away with back-to-back strikes in the ninth and 10 frames for his only double of the contest.
Brown (above left) earned his berth in the championship match with a 227 in the preliminary shootout. Teece was second with a 209, eliminating Tom Daugherty (right) of Riverview, Fla. (197) and Marshall Kent (below left) of Yakima, Wash. (193).
“It’s incredible,” Teece said. “It’s been a dream of mine ever since I started watching old VHS tapes of the PBA when I was 10 years old. I really, really give credit to the guys who won, and now I’ve joined that circle.”
Teece made his decision to come to bowl in PBA competition more by necessity than choice.
“I was a web developer for three years after college, but the company I worked for ran out of projects for me. I was pretty sad about it, but the money they gave me (as a severance package) made me think about it. Joining the PBA was something I’d always dreamed about. I was young and three or four years later, here I am.”
In winning his first PBA Tour title, Teece joined the ranks of the handful of players who have won a PBA title in their first television appearance. Canada’s Graham Fach was the most recent to accomplish that feat when he won the 2016 Barbasol PBA Players Championship.
ESPN’s coverage of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s WSOB IX package continues on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 1 p.m. EST with back-to-back telecasts of the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game and the Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com.
World Series coverage continues on Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. EST with the PBA World Championship finals.
National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev. (Nov. 18). ESPN delayed telecast aired on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. ET.
1. Richie Teece, England, 402 (2 games), $20,000
2. Charlie Brown Jr., Grandville, Mich., 403 (2 games), $10,000
3. Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 197 (1 game), $5,000
4. Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 193 (1 game), $4,000
Shootout Round: Brown 227, Teece 209, Daugherty 197, Kent 193
Daugherty and Kent eliminated.
Championship: Teece def. Brown, 193-176.
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