Finland's Osku Palermaa leads Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions after four rounds


    2012-13 PBA Tour #12

    Two-handed player retains 29-pin lead after first round robin match play round

    201213PBAOskuPalermaa.jpg201213PBAPeteWeber.jpgFinland's Osku Palermaa (pictured left) left a 7-10 split on his first shot of the day, converted the so-called impossible split and carried that momentum into the lead after four rounds of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Thursday at Woodland Bowl.

    Ironically, Palermaa retained a 29-pin lead over Pete Weber (right) of St. Ann, Mo., when Weber left a 7-10 split in the 10th frame of his final match Thursday night, which he was unable to convert, costing him a chance to overtake the Finnish two-handed star.

    Palermaa, a three-time PBA Tour champion and winner of the 2011 PBA World Championship, averaged 240.56 through his first 32 games, but struggled through his the opening round of match play Thursday night, winning four of his eight matches to finish with a total of 7,818 pins.

    201213PBAJasonBelmonte.jpg201213PBAStuartWilliams.jpgWeber, who can tie the PBA record for most major championships if he wins his 10th major title this week, posted a 5-3 match play record and finished with 7,789 pins.

    Palermaa saw his 146-pin third-round lead over Australia's Jason Belmonte (left) shrink to 29 pins in the evening session. "I made a few bad shots," Palermaa said. "I felt like I had no ball reaction, but I got away with three wins. I should have bowled better."

    Reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., was in third place with 7,724 pins followed by Belmonte with a 7,688 total and Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., with a 7,536 total.

    201213PBAAndresGomez.jpg201213PBAAmletoMonacelli.jpgJust outside the box looking in were four international bowlers. England's Stuart Williams (above right) was sixth with 7,477, trailing Allen by only 59 pins. Mere one pin behind in seventh place was Andres Gomez (left) of Colombia with 7,476.

    PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli (right) of Venezuela was further 13 pins behind in eighth place with 7,463. 100 pins off the pace for the top was Dominic Barrett (below left), England, in ninth place with 7,436.

    All-time PBA titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., saw hopes for a 48th title fade. He sat in 19th place with 16 match play games remaining on Friday, 372 pins away from the fifth spot in Sunday's stepladder finals.

    201213PBADominicBarrett.jpg201213PBAWalterRayWilliams.jpgWilliams (right) needs to win the Tournament of Champions to become the eighth player to complete the PBA Triple Crown (Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and PBA World Championship) and the third to complete the Grand Slam (Triple Crown plus USBC Masters).

    The Tournament of Champions continues Friday with the final two match play rounds at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday's live ESPN stepladder finals at 2:30 p.m. ET.

    Friday's match play rounds (and the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Saturday night) will be covered live, exclusively on PBA's online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.


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    Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions - Standings after Round Four

    Players with position, hometown and 32-game total including match play bonus pins.

    300 Games: (6) Mike Scroggins, Scott Norton, Scott Newell (Round One); Pete Weber (Round Two); Jason Belmonte (Round Three); Sean Rash (Match Play Round 1).