Lightning strikes twice in Bayer Classic

    02/26/07

    2006-07 PBA Tour #16

    Emerson Lanes in Parkersburg, W.V. (Feb. 21-25, 2007)

    2007PBA16MikeMineman2.jpg They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but on the Denny's Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour, Emerson Lanes has been hit with a historic lightning bolt two years running.

    Mike Mineman became just the second bowler in Tour history to win a title after advancing through the Denny's PBA Tour Qualifying Round, joining Sean Rash who became the first in last year's West Virginia Championship at Emerson Lanes.

    Mineman, a 48-year-old journeyman who is a stark contrast to the 24-year-old Rash who won as a virtual unknown on Tour last year, defeated Mike Machuga, 223-202, Sunday to win the 2007 Bayer Classic for his first career title.

    Emerson Lanes hosted a PBA Tour event in 1965 and then did not host another Tour stop until last season, when Rash came out of nowhere to win the title. Mineman was appearing in his 41st career Tour event and had never previously advanced past the Round of 16. He earned $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 season with the win.

    "It's tough to go through that (Qualifying Round) on Wednesdays, but the gentlemen did it last year and paved the way and proved it could be done," said Mineman (Belleville, Ill.), who didn't even cash at Emerson Lanes last year. "It's just been a magical week. It's everything I ever thought it would be."

    2007PBA16MikeMineman.jpg The title match came down to the last frame despite Mineman leading throughout as Machuga had a chance to tie the match and send it to a one-ball sudden death roll-off.

    Working on a four-bagger while Machuga was working on an open in the 7th, Mineman made a crucial mistake when he chopped the 4-pin off the 2-4-5 to let Machuga back in the match, and he responded with a double in the 8th and 9th. After a nine-spare, Mineman struck out the 10th, forcing Machuga to strike out to tie. Machuga left the 10-pin with his first shot, however, to give Mineman the win.

    Mineman advanced to the title match with a 217-178 win over Dale Traber. Traber led after four frames before splits in the fifth and 7th frames. Mineman took advantage with a double in the sixth and 7th to take the lead, then struck again in the 9th and 10th frames to move on to the title match.

    In the first semifinal, Machuga defeated all-time Denny's PBA Tour title leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., 264-223.

    Machuga (Erie, Pa.) took home $13,000 for second, while Traber (Cedarburg, Wis.) earned $6,500 for third and Williams (Ocala, Fla.) earned $5,500 for fourth.

    Next week the Denny's PBA Tour heads to North Brunswick, N.J. for the 64th U.S. Open, the second of four Majors this season, Feb. 26–March 4. The live ESPN-televised finals take place Sunday, March 4 at Noon EST at Brunswick Zone Carolier.


    Bayer Classic

    Emerson Lanes in Parkersburg, W.V. (Feb. 21-25, 2007)

    Championship Round:
    1. Mike Mineman, Belleville, Ill. 440 (2 games), $25,000
    2. Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa. 466 (2 games), $13,000
    3. Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis. 178 (1 game), $6,500
    4. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 223 (1 game), $5,500

    Playoff Results:

    Semi-final Match #1:Machuga def. Williams, 264-223
    Semi-final Match #2:Mineman def. Traber, 217-178
    Championship Match: Mineman def. Machuga, 223-202.

    This is Mineman's first career Denny's PBA Tour title.
    Pictures courtesy of PBA LLC/Baughan.


    Mineman follows in Rash's footprints in Bayer Classic


    2007PBA16MikeMineman_small.jpg Mike Mineman knew coming into the 2007 Bayer Classic that Emerson Lanes might contain some magic. After watching Sean Rash become the first-ever non-exempt bowler on the Denny's Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour to win a title in the building last year, Mineman knew there might be something special about the center.

    The right-hander from Belleville, Ill., wasn't the only bowler to think so as a Denny's PBA Tour record 114 bowlers entered Wednesday's Tour Qualifying Round. Mineman finished fifth in Wednesday's seven-game qualifying round and advanced to Thursday's Round of 64, where he finished 12th.

    Mineman followed Thursday's finish by knocking off 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones and 16-year Tour veteran Mike Scroggins before eliminating Eugene McCune, four-games-to-one, Friday to advance to Sunday's finals.

    "I was here for Sean Rash's win last year. It was awesome. He paved the way and showed it's possible. It'll be very difficult but as Sean proved, it's possible," said Mineman. "I always wondered about how it (making the finals) would happen and how I would react. I think it's going to take a couple of days for it to really set in. It's been kind of magical."

    Mineman will face Dale Traber (Cedarburg, Wis.) in one of two Sunday semifinals. Traber advanced by knocking off Richard Wolfe (Vienna, Va.), 4-1.

    Sunday's first semifinal will feature Mike Machuga (Erie, Pa.) taking Denny's PBA Tour all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. (Clermont, Fla.).

    Machuga, who entered the Round of 32 seeded No. 31, scored the biggest upset in Friday's opening round, taking down PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III in seven games, throwing a perfect game in the seventh for the win. Machuga then dispatched of Marv Sargent, 4-2, and Billy Oatman, 4-1.

    Williams, who owns 42 career titles compared to the other three bowlers' combined one title, went seven games with Mike Wolfe in the Round of 8, winning the final game 228-216.

    The four bowlers advance to Sunday's live ESPN televised finals at 12:30 p.m. EST at Emerson Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny's PBA Tour exemption.


    Round of 8

    Single elimination, best-of-seven-games match play. Losers eliminated, cash.

    #27 Walter Ray Williams Jr, Ocala, Fla., def.
    #30 Mike Wolfe ($5,000), New Albany, Ind., 4-3
    (257-237, 248-228, 207-257, 249-258, 267-266, 192-226, 228-216)

    #31 Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa., def.
    #7 Billy Oatman ($3,700), Chicago, 4-1
    (237-299, 248-240, 238-223, 206-198, 256-202)

    #8 Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., def.
    #17 Richard Wolfe ($3,500), Vienna, Va., 4-1
    (257-241, 268-247, 228-241, 258-257, 247-225)

    #12 Mike Mineman, Belleville, Ill., def.
    #4 Eugene McCune ($4,000), Munster, Ind., 4-1
    (238-206, 279-246, 246-231, 259-278, 289-279)



    Round of 16

    Single elimination, best-of-seven-games match play. Losers eliminated, cash.

    #12 Mike Mineman, Belleville, Ill., def.
    #28 Mike Scroggins, $2,650, Amarillo, Texas, 4-2
    (227-253, 279-259, 236-213, 257-267, 248-245, 268-257)

    #30 Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., def.
    #14 Bill O'Neill, $2,550, Levittown, Pa., 4-1
    (240-226, 246-150, 278-228, 204-249, 279-239)

    #17 Richard Wolfe, Vienna, Va., def.
    #1 Andrew Cain, $3,000, Scottsdale, Ariz., 4-3
    (243-204, 254-196, 247-176, 162-212, 221-224, 185-242, 222-212)

    #27 Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., def.
    #11 Michael Haugen Jr., $2,900, Cave Creek, Ariz., 4-3
    (235-258, 279-258, 210-226, 259-185, 226-250, 257-239, 248-246)

    #7 Billy Oatman, Chicago, def.
    #10 Jason Couch, $2,700, Clermont, Fla., 4-2
    (231-258, 215-188, 257-268, 228-225, 267-211, 225-194)

    #4 Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., def.
    #20 Norm Duke, $2,800, Clermont, FL, 4-3
    (248-234, 181-230, 227-247, 234-234, 234-258, 202-195, 214-199)

    #31 Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa., def.
    #15 Marv Sargent, $2,600, Temecula, Calif., 4-2
    (170-236, 235-205, 269-205, 278-239, 224-225, 224-193)

    #8 Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., def.
    #9 Chris Hayden, $2,500, Orlando, Fla., 4-0
    (235-216, 247-194, 237-196, 238-204)



    Round of 32

    Single elimination, best-of-seven-games match play. Losers eliminated, earn $2,200

    #15 Marv Sargent, Temecula, Calif., def.
    #18 Fred Carroll Jr., $2,200, Yorktown, Va., 4-2
    (212-235, 239-187, 217-206, 211-217, 235-214, 273-191)

    #20 Norm Duke, Clermont, FL, def.
    #13 Tom Baker, $2,200, King, N.C., 4-3
    (248-205, 229-245, 216-236, 244-238, 278-213, 174-278, 256-247)

    #11 Michael Haugen Jr., Cave Creek, Ariz., def.
    #22 Tim Criss, $2,200, Bel Air, Md., 4-2
    (183-248, 257-235, 235-232, 235-220, 216-259, 236-215)

    #9 Chris Hayden, Orlando, Fla., def.
    #24 Brian Voss, $2,200, Alpharetta, Ga., 4-1
    (268-204, 265-215, 267-231, 213-248, 255-192)

    #7 Billy Oatman, Chicago, def.
    #26 David Traber, $2,200, Hebron, Ill., 4-2
    (238-216, 226-228, 232-228, 181-277, 228-227, 278-228)

    #28 Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, def.
    #5 Tommy Delutz Jr., $2,200, Flushing, N.Y., 4-3
    (236-244, 209-245, 247-238, 237-267, 244-225, 248-214, 244-224)

    #30 Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., def.
    #3 Patrick Allen, $2,200, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 4-1
    (247-257, 248-247, 238-208, 210-206, 257-237)

    #1 Andrew Cain, Scottsdale, Ariz., def.
    #32 Dave D'Entremont, $2,200, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 4-0
    (212-169, 233-175, 233-169, 299-225)

    #31 Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa., def.
    #2 Parker Bohn III, $2,200, Jackson, N.J., 4-3
    (236-300, 226-194, 226-204, 211-237, 235-224, 237-259, 300-279)

    #4 Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., def.
    #29 Michael Fagan, $2,200, Greenlawn, N.Y., 4-1
    (279-203, 223-191, 254-184, 245-257, 258-216)

    #27 Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., def.
    #6 Kelly Kulick, $2,200, Union, N.J., 4-2
    (243-268, 210-238, 199-177, 242-225, 279-224, 290-238)

    #8 Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., def.
    #25 Rick Steelsmith, $2,200, Wichita, Kan., 4-2
    (234-268, 244-212, 237-214, 212-236, 235-211, 225-170)

    #10 Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., def.
    #23 Jack Jurek, $2,200, Lackawanna, N.Y., 4-2
    (256-267, 300-276, 249-214, 228-202, 223-245, 247-202)

    #12 Mike Mineman, Belleville, Ill., def.
    #21 Tommy Jones, $2,200, Simpsonville, S.C., 4-3
    (266-227, 248-227, 181-228, 258-241, 223-226, 224-237, 249-237)

    #14 Bill O'Neill, Levittown, Pa., def.
    #19 Patrick Girard, $2,200, Jonquiere, Quebec, 4-1
    (185-221, 207-200, 278-218, 258-189, 200-199)

    #17 Richard Wolfe, Vienna, Va., def.
    #16 Sean Rash, $2,200, Wichita, Kan, 4-3
    (269-204, 244-259, 201-179, 219-218, 198-236, 204-221, 247-194)

    300 Games (3) – Parker Bohn III, Jason Couch, Mike Machuga.


    Cain continues to lead, Kulick sixth in Bayer Classic


    2006KellyKulick_small.jpg On the highest scoring pattern on the Denny's Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour, Kelly Kulick showed she can more than keep up with the men.

    Kulick, the first woman to earn a full-season exemption on the Denny's PBA Tour, averaged 246.21 over her 14 games Thursday to finish sixth in the 2007 Bayer Classic Round of 64 at Emerson Lanes.

    The 29-year-old finished sixth out of 140 bowlers at last summer's Denny's PBA Tour Trials to earn one 10 exemptions given out that week. She has struggled in her rookie season, making matching play just three times in 15 events coming into this week and is 54th in the PBA World Point Rankings. She needs to finish in the top 40 – or win a title – to stay exempt for next season.

    Kulick started with a bang Thursday, firing a 299 in the first game. She sat 18th after the first seven games, but averaged 253.43 over the final seven with no games under 230 to move up to sixth.

    "I had two bad games today, one was just a bad pair (of lanes) and the other I missed two spares so that was my fault," said Kulick (Union, N.J.). "Tonight I came out and the lanes were different than the first block but I made a good ball choice and I was very aggressive with my ball speed. I threw a couple bad shots and got some good breaks, I must admit."

    Kulick will have the unenviable task of facing all-time Denny's PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the Round of 32. Williams was 50th after the first seven games, but averaged 244.29 over the final seven to finish 27th.

    2006EBT18AndrewCain_small.jpg Leading the field with a 3,507 14-game pinfall and a 250.50 average was Andrew Cain (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Cain is bowling in just his fifth Tour event as a PBA member but has already posted two top-eight finishes, including a TV appearance and a fourth-place finish in the 2007 Dick Weber Open in his first career event.

    Cain will face No. 32 Dave D'Entremont (Middleburg Heights, Ohio), who fired a 240 in the final game to edge out Chris Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) by 10 pins for the final spot in match play.

    Last week's Go RVing Classic winner Patrick Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) finished third and will face No. 30 Mike Wolfe (New Albany, Ind.)

    The Round of 32 gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. EST, followed by the Round of 16 at 2 p.m. and the Round of 8 at 7 p.m.

    The top four bowlers will advance to Sunday's live ESPN televised finals at 12:30 p.m. EST at Emerson Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny's PBA Tour exemption.


    Round of 64

    Top 32 advanced. Players 33-64 cashed $1,800.




    300 Games (8) – Parker Bohn III, Jason Couch, Tommy Delutz Jr., Mike DeVaney, Patrick Girard, Chris Hayden, Riga Kalfas, Mike Mineman.


    Cain averages 261.00 to take first block lead in Bayer Classic


    2005EBT18AndrewCain.jpg One pin was all that kept Andrew Cain from his first career 300 as a Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) member. Cain will gladly take his lead in the first block of the Round of 64 in the 2007 Bayer Classic at Emerson Lanes, however, over his first perfect game.

    Cain's 299 in his final game of the first block gave him a 1,827 seven-game pinfall and the lead in between Thursday's two blocks. Cain opened the block with a 279 before slipping down to a 215 in his fourth game. He rebounded in his final three games, topping the 275 mark in each.

    "It feels pretty good to be leading. I'll be honest, I was thinking about the 300. I still haven't bowled a PBA 300 yet so I was looking toward that," said Cain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) "Things matched up pretty well. I used a different ball than yesterday (in the Denny's PBA Tour Qualifying Round). Fortunately the lanes matched well and I was able to stay in my zone. I made some good shots and the lanes were high scoring, but I felt like I bowled well."

    Jason Couch (Clermont, Fla.) is second after firing the day's fifth 300 game in his final game of block to give him 1,741.

    In third is Chris Hayden (Orlando, Fla.) with 1,734, who threw a 300 in his fifth game and was the leader heading into the seventh game before posting a 190 in his final game.

    Norm Duke, who bowled his first full seven-game block since the 2006 Columbia 300 Classic due to a toe injury, is in fourth with 1,727.

    All 64 bowlers return Thursday evening for another seven games at 6 p.m. EST. The top 32 will advance to Friday's single-elimination match play beginning at 9 a.m.

    The top four bowlers will advance to Sunday's live ESPN televised finals at 12:30 p.m. EST at Emerson Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny's PBA Tour exemption.


    Round of 64 – First Block of seven games



    300 Games (5) – Jason Couch, Tommy Delutz Jr., Patrick Girard, Chris Hayden, Mike Mineman.


    Another week, another record for Castillo

    2006PBA13DinoCastillo.jpg Dino Castillo led Wednesday's Denny's PBA Tour Qualifying Round for the 2007 Bayer Classic with a 1,802 seven-game pinfall at Emerson Lanes. Castillo has led the qualifier in three of the last four weeks, becoming the first bowler in the short history of the TQR to lead three times in a season.

    The Carrollton, Texas, resident qualified for the eighth time overall this season, tying the record for most times qualifying in a single season.

    Currently 41st in the PBA World Point Rankings, Castillo is looking to earn an exemption for 2007-08 by finishing in the top 40 in points. Should he finish outside the top 40, Castillo would earn his exemption as the high non-exempt bowler in the rankings. With a 25,000 lead over the next non-exempt bowler, those below him are pulling for a top-40 finish.

    "For those six or seven of us who have been out here all season, it'd be nice if I can get in the top 40 and help one of those guys out," Castillo said. "There are still three events after this week though including two Majors so there's still a lot of work to do. Either way it'd be an honor to gain that spot for next year."

    Castillo dominated on Wednesday, leading the field by 120 pins with his 257.43 average. He started with games of 256 and 248 before firing his fourth 300 game of the season in game three. Two games later Castillo was nearly perfect again with a 298.

    "I had a bad week last week and after a long streak of some good bowling I really felt like I let myself down last week," said Castillo, who missed the cut last week for the first time in five events. "I went into this week telling myself not to let that get to me and I just bowled unbelievable."

    Finishing second with 1,682 was Andrew Cain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) who earlier this season made the championship round of the 2007 Dick Weber Open in his first career event as a PBA member.

    Nathan Bohr (Wichita, Kan.) who finished sixth in last week's 2007 Go RVing Classic, finished third with 1,666.

    Also advancing were Malcom Sanders (Taylors, S.C.), Mike Mineman (Belleville, Ill.), Dave D'Entremont (Middleburg Heights, Ohio), Fred Carroll Jr. (Yorktown, Va.) and amateur Donald Hipkiss Jr. (Mingo Junction, Ohio).

    This week, the top seven PBA members and top amateur out of the record 114-bowler field advanced as exempt bowlers Jason Hurd and Amleto Monacelli withdrew.

    Thursday's Round of 64 features two seven-game qualifying blocks, the first of which gets underway at 11 a.m. EST. The top 32 advance to Friday's single elimination match play. The final four bowlers after match play advance to Sunday's live ESPN televised finals at 12:30 p.m. EST. The winner will take home $25,000 and an exemption for the 2007-08 Denny's PBA Tour season.

    Denny's PBA Tour Qualifying Round


    Players with position, hometown, seven-game total and average. Top seven PBA members (1-7) and top amateur (8) advance. Places 9-28 cash.


    300 games (1) - Dino Castillo.
    * Non PBA member