D.J. Archer wins first PBA title in emotional Chameleon Championship


    2014 PBA Tour #9

    Runner-up Ronnie Russell bowls the PBA's 24th nationally-televised 300 game in opening match

    2014PBA09DJArcher2.jpg2014PBA09RonnieRussell2.jpgTwo months after losing his mother to cardiac failure, D.J. Archer (pictured left) of Friendswood, Texas, bowled the biggest game of his life, winning his first Professional Bowlers Association Tour title in the PBA Chameleon Championship and stealing the spotlight from Ronnie Russell (right) of Marion, Indiana, who bowled the first nationally-televised 300 game in the new, $35 million South Point Bowling Plaza a game earlier.

    The Chameleon finals, the third of five PBA Tour title events, was conducted November 1 during GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI for tape delay broadcast on Sunday, December 21 on ESPN.

    After starting the championship match with two strikes, Archer left the 1-2-4-7-10 in the third frame and failed to convert. But he quickly righted his ship and closed the match with a string of seven strikes to lock Russell out, winning, 241-215.

    "Coming into the finals, with everything that's gone on in my life the past month-and-a-half, I just felt like (my mother) was there," Archer said about the loss of his mother Sharon at age 59 in mid-September.

    "The only thing that could have happened in the 10th frame was for me to throw two really good shots and that's what I did. I felt like nothing was going to stand up. She knocked the pins over for me, and I'm very grateful."

    Archer had finished second once before (in the 2013 Carmen Salvino Classic) during his 12-year PBA Tour career, so he got to experience the thrill of victory for the first time.

    "I've been chasing this feeling for years, and now that I know what it feels like, I'm going to work harder and get stronger, and hopefully I'll get this feeling more often," he said. "I'm excited, very excited. Those guys have been beating my head in for a long time and I figured out a way I learned how to bowl."

    2014PBA09SeanRash2.jpg2014PBA09JRRaymond.jpgIn the opening three-player shootout match, Russell and Sean Rash (left) of Montgomery, Illinois, each started with six strikes to open a big lead over J.R. Raymond (right) of Bay City, Michigan, who was making his PBA television debut. Raymond opened in the second frame and never had a chance to catch up.

    Rash was the first to end his strike string, leaving a 10 pin in the seventh frame and the 1-2-4-10 "washout" in the eighth, while Russell kept on striking on his way to the PBA's 24th nationally-televised 300 game. Rash finished with a 265 and Raymond a 186.

    "That was a lot of fun," Russell said, "but you're still trying to get the win. I had three really good breaks where I tripped 4 or 10 pins, and I think that hurt me in the title game because my laydown point went away a little bit. I kept chasing the transition (in the changing lane condition) with my eyes and feet, but I knew I should have changed balls. I just did it two frames too late."


    PBA Chameleon Championship

    South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nev., United States (Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2014)

    Championship Round:
    1, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 241 (1 game), $20,000
    2, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 515 (2 games), $10,000
    3, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 265 (1 game), $6,000 and
    J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 186 (1 game), $6,000

    Playoff Results:
    Shootout Match: No. 2 Russell (300) def. No. 3 Rash (265) and No. 4 Raymond (186)
    Championship: No. 1 Archer def. Russell, 241-215.


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