England’s Dom Barrett wins first PBA Tour title in Scorpion Open


    2011-12 PBA Tour #3

    Rash victimized again as international contingent claims fourth straight World Series of Bowling title

    201112PBA03DominicBarrett2.jpg201112PBA02SeanRash2.jpgIn his American television debut, England’s Dom Barrett (pictured left) defeated Sean Rash (right) of Montgomery, Ill., 247-204, to win the Professional Bowlers Association Scorpion Open.

    The finals of the PBA's third tournament of the 2011-12 season was also the third of four PBA "animal pattern" championships and has been contested November 19, 2011 on a pair of lanes specially installed in an exhibit hall at South Point Hotel and Casino in suburban Las Vegas. The tape-delay telecast of the championship round aired Sunday on ESPN.

    All three animal pattern championships (Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion) and the PBA World Championship have been won by international players.

    Barrett joined countryman Stuart Williams, winner of the Bayer Viper Open, as the second English player ever to win a PBA Tour title. He came into the finals as the top qualifier and worked his way through two elimination matches before throwing his best game at the hard-luck Rash, who was once again plagued by a fatal error.

    201112PBA03DaveWodka3.jpg201112PBA03PatrickAllen2.jpgIn the opening game of the eliminator-format finals, Rash led the four-man field with a 217 game. Barrett was right behind with a 207. Hometown favorite Dave Wodka (left) of Henderson, Nev., nipped Patrick Allen (right) of Baltimore, 177-173, to remain in contention. Allen, as low man, was eliminated.

    In game two, Rash again led the survivors, using a late string of five strikes to post a 221. Barrett advanced to the title match with a 214. Three open frames led to a 164 game and doomed Wodka’s hopes for his second PBA Tour title.

    In the title match, Rash and Barrett both struck on six of their first seven shots, but Rash’s unconverted 2-4-8-10 split in the third frame gave Barrett an 18-pin advantage. Both players converted single pin spares in the eighth and ninth frames before Barrett doubled in the 10th frame to claim the $15,000 first prize and a berth in the Round of 36 for the end-of-season PBA Tournament of Champions.

    201112PBA03DominicBarrett3.jpg"It's a fantastic feeling," Barrett (left) said. "I kind of got to go through some of the emotions with Stu (Williams) after he won his title, and that gave me a little insight about what was going to happen to me if I got this far.

    "I just wanted to throw the best 10 shots I could, and I think most of them were pretty good," he added. "The thing to remember is the lane is still 60 feet and there are 10 pins at the other end, and you can't control your opponent. You just have to make a good shot yourself."

    For Rash and the United States professionals, the loss was another bitter disappointment. In four straight World Series of Bowling finals appearances, Rash has finished third in the PBA World Championship and Bayer Viper Open, and second in the Chameleon and Scorpion Opens.

    He also finished second to Mika Koivuniemi in the WTBA World Bowling Tour TV Finals to kick off the World Series. With four tape-delay telecasts aired on ESPN, the U.S. has yet to win a World Series title.

    Following Koivuniemi's win in the WBT Finals for Finland, fellow Finn Osku Palermaa won the PBA World Championship, England's Stu Williams won the Bayer Viper Open, and Australia's Jason Belmonte won the Chameleon Open.

    "If you were to roll the calendar back 10 years, this wouldn't be happening," Barrett said of the surprising international dominance. "But we have so many international tournaments now, and the PBA Tour has opened events like the World Series to international players, that the experience we've been able to get on the European and Asian tours has really meant a lot.

    201112PBA03StuartWilliamsDominicBarrett.jpg"The tournaments we have in Europe have televised finals, but nothing quite like this," he added. "The arena setting here reminds me of the Weber Cup back home, so when I walked in and saw how close this setting was to the Weber Cup, it made me feel right at home."

    Barrett didn't want to rate himself against Williams (pictured left) as to who the best British bowler might be, but he said, "Stu was the best after the Viper Open, and I put myself into the running today. But the fact is, we're the only two Englishmen to win a PBA Tour title, so that's what is really cool."

    The tape-delay telecast of the final "animal pattern" championship, the GEICO Shark Open, will air on Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

    Sean Rash will appear in his fifth straight elimination final along with top qualifier Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Jason Belmonte of Australia, and reigning PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich.


    PBA Scorpion Open - Eliminator Finals

    South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nov. 19, 2011 (aired on tape delay on Feb. 19, 2012)

    201112PBA03DominicBarrett4.jpgRound One (lowest score eliminated):
    Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 217; Dom Barrett, England, 207; Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 177; Patrick Allen, Baltimore, 173 ($4,000)

    Round Two (lowest score eliminated):
    Rash 221, Barrett 214, Wodka 164 ($4,500)

    Barrett ($15,000) def. Rash ($7,500), 247-204.


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