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24th Malta Open Championships
Slow Motion Video
Pictured above from left, NBS Director of Bowling Bob Thomas, PBA Scorpion champion Tommy Jones and Ebonite International Sales manager.
The Scorpion Championship, the third of four PBA animal pattern championships conducted during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII, presented by Silver Legacy Resort & Casino, at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium, aired as part of a WSOB VIII doubleheader Sunday, Dec. 25, on ESPN.
“That (Scorpion) pattern is really tricky, especially when you’ve got four guys playing in a similar part of the lane,” Jones said.
“You have to stay ahead of the moves, but if you get too far ahead, you go right by what’s happening to the condition. It’s one of the hardest patterns for me because I’m not very good at throwing the ball slow. It actually hurts the next day because I’m so tense from trying to slow down.”
Jones (left) won the event by starting the title match with four strikes to jump into a 41-pin lead midway through the match, and he kept the pressure on while the 28-year-old Moore struggled to find the pocket.
“I got fortunate on the first shot, but the next three were as good as I’ve thrown all week,” Jones said. “I got off to a little lead and he got a bad break (4-6-7 split in the third frame). From that point, it was just a matter of surviving.
“It was hard throwing the ball slow during the week, but it was really hard on TV when you’ve got the adrenalin going. It’s something I’ve been working at and I’m getting better. We’ll call it mission accomplished.”
With his 18th PBA Tour title, Jones joined PBA Hall of Famers Nelson Burton Jr., Dave Davis, Dave Soutar, the late Billy Hardwick and future hall of famer Chris Barnes in a tie for 15th place on the all-time PBA Tour titles list.
“Eighteen is great, but 20 is special,” he said. “There aren’t many guys in PBA history who have won 20 titles so that’s something that’ll hopefully happen down the road.
“Right now, the most important thing is I tied Chris Barnes…and I’m a decade younger than him, and you can quote me on that,” he added with a grin. (For the record, Barnes is 46).
The PBA’s World Series animal pattern championships on ESPN concluded with the PBA Shark Championship which aired immediately following the Scorpion Championship.
ESPN’s World Series of Bowling coverage continues with an encore presentation of the PBA World Championship on New Year’s Day at 4 p.m. ET., followed by the special USA vs. The World team event on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 1 p.m. ET.
National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., USA (Nov. 29 – Dec. 10, 2016), aired on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 25.
1. Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., $20,000
2. B.J. Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., $10,000
3. Jesper Svensson, Sweden, def. $5,000
4. Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, $5,000
Elimination Match (top two scores advanced):
Moore III 224, Jones 212, Svensson 194, Novak 175
Championship: Jones def. Moore, 211-168.
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