DJ Archer bids for second title as PBA Players Championship leader


    2015 PBA Tour #2 & 3

    'Odd couple' Williams, Smallwood lead Mark Roth/Marshall Holman Doubles finalists into match play

    2014PBADJArcher2.jpg2014PBARonnieRussell2.jpgAfter 12 years and 159 tournaments before winning his first title, DJ Archer (pictured left) of Friendswood, Texas, put himself into position for a second Professional Bowlers Association Tour title Wednesday as the leader in the PBA Players Championship at AMF Bowlero.

    Archer, 34, won his break-through title in the PBA Chameleon Championship during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI in early November in Las Vegas, and used his new-found confidence to take the lead in the PBA Players Championship, winning seven of his first eight matches and averaging 244.25 to finish with 5,065 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins.

    Archer will take a 42-pin lead over Ronnie Russell (above right) of Marion, Ind., who is going through a similar career renaissance, into the final two rounds of match play Thursday.

    2014PBAJasonBelmonte.jpg2014PBANormDuke2.jpgNewly-crowned PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte (left) of Australia, who led the top 24 of 85 players after 12 games of qualifying into match play, was third with 4,997 pins followed by Hall of Famers Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., with a 4,881 total and Norm Duke (right) of Clermont, Fla., in fifth place with a 4,879 total.

    "I have a lot of making up to do," Archer said with a smile. "I feel more confident, more relaxed knowing I've been there. I know what the feeling (of winning a title) is.

    "Tomorrow is going to be one of those days when I'm not going to worry about matches, but I'll try to bowl 240 and see what happens. It's just confidence bowling against these guys. If you're relaxed, your ball reaction comes along.

    "It's very much the same way with Ronnie Russell right now," Archer added. "I figure we'll go back and forth tomorrow, and hopefully when the day is over, I'll be in the same place. It's kinda like a football game where the last team with the ball wins."

    2014PBAWalterRayWilliams2.jpg2014PBATomSmallwood2.jpgIn the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship qualifying which is being held concurrently with the Players Championship, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. (left) of Oxford, Fla., and his partner, Tom Smallwood (right) of Saginaw, Mich., combined for a 5,760 pinfall total – a composite 240 average – to maintain their lead with a 72-pin margin over Belmonte and his partner, Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pa., who finished with 5,688.

    The top 12 teams after 24 combined games advanced to the match play rounds which will be held Friday.

    Williams and Smallwood are an "odd couple" pairing, considering the 55-year-old Williams favors a "straighter is greater" bowling style while Smallwood, 37, is a high-rev player who prefers to hook the ball a lot. Williams holds the PBA Tour record with 47 titles while Smallwood is a two-title winner, including the 2009 PBA World Championship.

    "I haven't been bowling that well the past couple of years so I was pleasantly surprised when (Smallwood) asked me to bowl with him," said Williams, who hasn't made a TV show since 2013 and hasn't won a PBA Tour title since the Walter Ray Williams Jr..

    "We're doing two different things, but we're making it work. (Smallwood) is able to take advantage of the inside shot as the lane break down and I'm able to stay outside and stay effective there. We're able to learn some things that we can both benefit from even though we're playing two different parts of the lane."

    Smallwood said he was surprised that Walter Ray was still available as a doubles partner, so he jumped at the chance to bowl with the Tour's all-time leader.

    "I had already assumed he had a partner, but when I found out he was available I jumped at the opportunity," Smallwood said. "When Walter Ray's available you call him. It's as simple as that.

    "We're basically playing in two different zip codes (on the lanes)," Smallwood added. "Even though we're playing two different parts of the lane, our adjustments are still surprisingly similar, two boards here, two boards there. We're just doing what we do best."

    The PBA Players Championship finalists will bowl their final two eight-game match play rounds Thursday at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. CT, with the top five after 36 games advancing to the stepladder finals on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

    The top 12 doubles teams will bowl two six-game match play rounds at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. CT on Friday. After a composite total of 36 qualifying and match play games, the top five teams will advance to the Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship finals on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Woodland Bowl, following the live 1 p.m. telecast of the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions finals.

    The PBA Players Championship finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. ET. The PBA Doubles show will air on ESPN on March 1 at 1 p.m. ET.

    All match play rounds of the Players Championship and PBA Doubles are being covered live on PBA's Xtra Frame online bowling channel, and on's "live scoring" feature.


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    PBA Player Championship - Third Round Results

    Players with position, hometown, won-lost-tied record and 20-game total including match play bonus pins; top five after 36 games will advance to the stepladder finals

    1, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 6-2, 5,065
    2, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 5-2-1, 5,023
    3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3-4-1, 4,997
    4, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 5-1-2, 4,881
    5, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 5-3, 4,879
    6, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 4-4, 4,861
    7, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 5-3, 4,841
    8, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, Ariz., 4-4, 4,808
    9, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3-5, 4,778
    10, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., 2-5-1, 4,777
    11, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 2-5-1, 4,763
    12, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 5-3, 4,750
    13, Patrick Girard, Canada, 6-2, 4,741
    14, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 5-2-1, 4,717
    15, Dom Barrett, England, 4-4, 4,704
    16, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3-5, 4,689
    17, Dave Wodka, Beaver Creek, Ohio, 4-4, 4,679
    18, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 3-5, 4,629
    19, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 4-4, 4,619
    20, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 2-6, 4,594
    21, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 3-5, 4,567
    22, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 2-5-1, 4,561
    23, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 4-4, 4,558
    24, Dan MacLelland, Saginaw, Mich., 3-5, 4,529


    PBA Player Championship - Second Round Results

    Players with position, hometown and 12-game total; top 24 advance to match play

    1, Jason Belmonte , Australia, 2,972
    2, D.J. Archer , Friendswood, Texas, 2,950
    3, Tom Smallwood , Saginaw, Mich., 2,915
    4, Ronnie Russell , Marion, Ind., 2,914
    5, Norm Duke , Clermont, Fla., 2,881
    6, Rhino Page , Dade City, Fla., 2,858
    7, Dave Wodka , Beaver Creek, Ohio, 2,854
    8, Chris Barnes , Double Oak, Texas, 2,845
    8, Walter Ray Williams Jr. , Oxford, Fla., 2,845
    10, Tom Daugherty , Tampa, Fla., 2,829
    11, Connor Pickford , Charlotte, N.C., 2,790
    12, Dan MacLelland , Saginaw, Mich., 2,775
    13, Anthony LaCaze , Melrose Park, Ill., 2,773
    14, Dick Allen , Columbia, S.C., 2,763
    15, Jon VanHees , Charlestown, R.I., 2,761
    16, Dom Barrett , England, 2,759
    17, Brian Himmler , Cincinnati, 2,757
    17, Brian Valenta , Lockport, Ill., 2,757
    19, Wes Malott , Pflugerville, Texas, 2,746
    20, Patrick Girard , Canada, 2,739
    21, Scott Norton , Mission Viejo, Calif., 2,734
    22, Parker Bohn III , Jackson, N.J., 2,733
    23, Michael Haugen Jr. , Phoenix, Ariz., 2,732
    24, Eugene McCune , Munster, Ind., 2,728
    McCune def. Fagan, 217-166, in roll-off to advance to match play.

    Missed Cut:
    25, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 2,728
    26, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 2,723
    27, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 2,722
    28, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 2,721
    29, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 2,718
    30, Dean Billings, Rootstown, Ohio, 2,717
    31, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,716
    32, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2,714
    33 (tie), Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, and Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 2,713
    35, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 2,700
    36, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,699
    37, Bob Learn Jr, Erie, Pa., 2,697
    38 (tie), Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., and Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2,691
    40, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 2,689
    41, Blake Demore, Springfield, Mo., 2,688
    42, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 2,684
    43, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,678
    44, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2,676
    45, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 2,673
    46, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonowanda, N.Y., 2,671
    47, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 2,665
    48, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2,664
    49, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,656
    50, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 2,647
    51, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 2,646
    52, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 2,645
    53, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2,644
    54, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 2,641
    55, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 2,638
    56, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 2,632
    57, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 2,629
    58, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, Calif., 2,628
    59, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 2,624
    60, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,623
    61 (tie), Stuart Williams, England, and John Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., 2,616
    63, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 2,615
    64 (tie), John Furey, Freehold, N.J., and Aaron Lorincz, Saginaw, Mich., 2,613
    66, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 2,609
    67, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 2,595
    68, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,591
    69, Paul Moor, England, 2,586
    70, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,579
    71, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 2,564
    72, Steven Arehart, Chesapeake, Va., 2,563
    73, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 2,562
    74, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 2,561
    75, Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., 2,557
    76, Chad Lusche, Arvada, Colo., 2,550
    77, Brad Miller, St. Charles, Mo., 2,490
    78, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 2,486
    79, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 2,472
    80, Julio Cesar Blancas, Mexico, 2,469
    81, Chad Roberts, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 2,447
    82, Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 2,434
    83, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 2,429
    84, Missy Parkin, Lake Forest, Calif., 2,417
    85, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 2,008

    300 Games (2) - Chris Loschetter, Stuart Williams

    Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship - Second Round Results

    Teams with position, hometown and 24 composite games; top 12 advance to Baker format match play

    1, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich./Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 5,760
    2, Jason Belmonte, Australia/Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 5,688
    3 (tie), Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla./Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, and Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio/Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 5,627
    5, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas/Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla., 5,532
    6, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas/Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, 5,514
    7, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla./Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 5,490
    8, Dom Barrett, England/Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,473
    9, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J./Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 5,432
    10, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas/Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5,424
    11, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y./Brian Himmler, 5,413
    12, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C./Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 5,410

    Missed Cut:
    13, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz./Dan MacLelland, Canada, 5,404
    14, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla./Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 5,395
    15, John Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y./John VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 5,377
    16, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind./Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 5,374
    17 (tie), Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas/Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., and J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich./Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 5,372
    19, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa./Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 5,361
    20, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix/Stuart Williams, England, 5,348
    21, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash./EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 5,341
    22, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa./Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 5,336
    23 (tie), Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa/Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., and Aaron Lorincz, Saginaw, Mich./Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 5,334
    25, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas/Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 5,327
    26, Dave Wodka, Columbus, Ohio/Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 5,326
    27, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill./John Szczerbinski, Columbus, Ohio, 5,316
    29, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla./Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 5,312
    30, David Haynes, Las Vegas/Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 5,295
    31, Andres Gomez, Colombia/Martin Larsen, Sweden, 5,267
    32, Blake DeMore, Springfield, Mo./Chad Lusche, Arvada, Colo., 5,238
    33, Thomas Larsen, Denmark/Paul Moor, England, 5,195
    34, Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga./John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 5,167
    35, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif./Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 5,151
    36, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas/Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 5,058
    37, Julio Cesar Blancas, Mexico/Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 4,898
    38, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich./Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill. (Koivuniemi withdrew, injury)