Russell overtakes Gomez to lead Pepsi PBA Elite Players Qualifying


    2011-12 PBA Tour #7

    Top 32 advance to Round Five

    201112PBARonnieRussell.jpg201112PBAAndresGomez.jpgRonnie Russell (pictured left) of Marion, Ind., with a 24-game total of 5,850 pins, claimed the fourth-round lead in the Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship Tuesday by 86 pins over Colombia's Andres Gomez (right) at South Point Bowling Center. Both players are trying to win their first PBA Tour title.

    Russell and Gomez jockeyed for the lead for 12 games before Russell moved in front behind games of 231, 255, 226, 235, 247 and 249 in Tuesday's fourth round. Russell maintained a 243.75 average for the first 24 games of Elite Players Championship and overcame Gomez's 64-pin third-round lead.

    201112PBAWesMalott.jpg201112PBAMartinLarsen.jpgWes Malott (left) of Pflugerville, Texas, was mere three pins behind Gomez in third place with 5,761 and was followed by Sweden's Martin Larsen (right) in fourth with 5,688.

    Sean Rash (below left) of Montgomery, Ill., who has made five TV shows during the PBA World Series of Bowling so far, was in sixth place with 5,638, while Jason Belmonte (below right), Australia, who will appear in four TV finals, ranked 14th with 5,475.

    "Round to round it seems like we need to move left on the lanes quicker and I've been able to stay on top of those changes in conditions with my adjustments and equipment," Russell said.

    201112PBASeanRash.jpg201112PBAJasonBelmonte.jpg"There's more friction on the conditions we're bowling on now and that's a situation I'm more comfortable with. I just need to continue to make good shots, not press and finish off each round."

    "I'm doing well on the medium length patterns, which is generally where I have my best success," Gomez said. "The two finals I've made have been on medium patterns and I'm usually confident I can finish in the top 10 whenever we bowl on those conditions."

    Russell and Gomez had previously qualified for the Carmen Salvino Classic finals. Gomez also has qualified for the PBA World Championship finals.

    The Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship began with an exclusive field of 49 PBA Tour exempt players. The field has been reduced to the top 32 for a final six-game qualifying round Wednesday morning.

    201112PBAParkerBohn.jpg201112PBAOskuPalermaa.jpgPBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III (left), Jackson, N.J., beat out Finlan's two-hander Osku Palermaa (right) for the 32nd and last spot to advance, 5,266 to 5,240.

    After Round Five, the top 16 players based on 30 games will advance to the Eliminator Round of 16 Wednesday afternoon where they will compete for four spots in the Elite Players Championship finals.

    The same 16 players will compose the field for the Lumber Liquidators Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship which will be contested on Sunday as part of a four-day PBA World Series of Bowling television extravaganza at South Point.

    Beginning Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific, the PBA will produce the first of 14 television shows for delayed telecast on ESPN in a special arena in South Point's Exhibition Hall A. Admission is free for all of the shows.


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    Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship - Round Four

    Players with position, hometown and 24-game total. The top 32 advance to Round Five

    1, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 5,850
    2, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 5,764
    3, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 5,761
    4, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 5,688
    5, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 5,679
    6, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5,638
    7, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 5,558
    8, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 5,536
    9, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 5,519
    10, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5,512
    11, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 5,511
    12, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 5,487
    13, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 5,479
    14, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 5,475
    15, Dan MacLelland, Saginaw, Mich., 5,452
    16, Mike DeVaney, Murrieta, Calif., 5,451
    17, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 5,446
    18 (tie), Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., and Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 5,403
    20, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 5,402
    21, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 5,345
    22, Patrick Allen, Baltimore, 5,344
    23, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 5,342
    24, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 5,325
    25 (tie), Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., and Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 5,324
    27, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 5,320
    28, Tyler Jensen, Ft. Worth, Texas, 5,308
    29, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,297
    30, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 5,295
    31, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 5,294
    32, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 5,266

    Missed Cut:
    33, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,240, $2,150
    34, Scott Norton, Costa Mesa, Calif., 5,231, $2,140
    35, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 5,210, $2,130
    36, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 5,201, $2,120
    37, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 5,200, $2,110
    38, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 5,193, $2,100
    39, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 5,191, $2,090
    40, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 5,190, $2,080
    41, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 5,163, $2,070
    42, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 5,156, $2,060
    43, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 5,150, $2,050
    44, Paul Gibson, Brunswick, Ohio, 5,022, $2,040
    45, Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 5,013, $2,030
    46, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 4,978, $2,020
    47, Kerry Painter, Henderson, Nev., 4,804, $2,010
    48, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 4,717, $2,000
    49, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., withdrew, $2,000