Rhino Page rallies to retain Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions lead


    2015 PBA Tour #5

    Final 16 games of match play Friday to decide Sunday's ESPN stepladder finalists

    2014PBARhinoPage.jpg2014PBAScottNorton.jpgAfter temporarily surrendering the lead, Rhino Page (pictured left) of Dade City, Fla., rallied Thursday night at Woodland Bowl to regain a 109-pin lead over Scott Norton (right) of Mission Viejo, Calif., heading into Friday's final two rounds of match play in the 50th anniversary Barbasol Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions.

    Page, who trying for his fourth career title and first since the 2009 Viper Championship, won six of his eight matches Thursday night and averaged 246.63 to finish with a 32-game total of 8,072 pins, including 30 bonus pins for each match play win, to retain the lead he has held since the first round.

    2014PBAJasonBelmonte.jpg2014PBADominicBarrett.jpgNorton won his first seven matches to move into second with 7,963 pins, followed by defending Tournament of Champions winner Jason Belmonte (left) of Australia with a 7,868 total, and Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., with 7,861 pins.

    Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pa., moved into fifth place with 7,791 pins, 16 ahead of England's Dom Barrett (right; 7,775) who rolled a pair of 300 games in round four.

    "This is stressful," Page, the 2008 PBA Rookie of the Year, said of his battle to stay ahead of the field. "Anyone who thinks this is easy is out of his brain.

    "Coming out of the gate tonight, I had better focus than I did this morning (he started the night with a 289 game), but there was so much (bowling) traffic on the left side of the lanes tonight, I'm going to have to think about a new strategy for tomorrow.

    "The top four starting the night (Page, Mike Scroggins, Norton and Allen) were all lefties and we kept hitting the same pairs, and we all kind of struggled (with changing lane conditions)."

    Holding the lead is nice, Page added, but "there are 16 more games and with this high-scoring environment, I'm not terribly worried about (being in first place). It feels good to lead, but it can go away in a second. The thing is, I put myself in the spot I want to be in, and now it's just a matter of keeping on going."

    The final two eight-match rounds of match play are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Friday. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday's live ESPN stepladder finals where they will compete for the $50,000 first prize and the second major title of the 2015 season at 1 p.m. ET.

    Friday's match play rounds will be covered live on PBA's Xtra Frame online video streaming channel.


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    50th PBA Tournament of Champions - Match Play Round 1 (Fourth round overall)

    Players with position, hometown, won-lost-tie record and 32-game total including match play bonus pins (30 pins per win, 15 for a tie)

    201550thTOCLogo.jpg 1, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 6-2, 8,072
    2, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 7-1, 7,963
    3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4-4, 7,868
    4, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 6-2, 7,861
    5, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 4-4, 7,791
    6, Dom Barrett, England, 4-4, 7,775
    7, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 5-3, 7,735
    8, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4-4, 7,718
    9, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 5-3, 7,696
    10, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 4-4, 7,675
    11, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 4-4, 7,663
    12, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 4-4, 7,637
    13, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 3-5, 7,614
    14, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, New York, 3-5, 7,600
    15, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 6-2, 7,598
    16, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 2-6, 7,517
    17, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 4-3-1, 7,494
    18, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 4-4, 7,473
    19, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3-5, 7,463
    20, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 4-4, 7,435
    21, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3-4-1, 7,407
    22, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 3-5, 7,374
    23, Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 3-5, 7,292
    24, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 0-8, 7,212.


    300 Games (17) - Fourth Round: Dom Barrett (2), Chris Barnes, DJ Archer. Third Round: Chris Barnes, Anthony LaCaze, Sean Rash, Stuart Williams, Dennis Horan Jr., Steven Arehart. Second Round: Kyle Troup, Chad Lusche. First Round: Brian Voss, Dom Barrett, Scott Norton, Travis Celmer, Lonnie Waliczek.