Rhino Page leads after first round in PBA Tournament of Champions


    2009-10 PBA Tour #10

    Red Rock Lanes, Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. (Jan. 19-24, 2010)

    200910PBA07RhinoPage.jpg200910PBA08MichaelFagan.jpgRhino Page (pictured left) of Wesley Chapel, Fla., averaged 235.6 for eight games to take the first round lead in the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes Wednesday.

    Page, a three-time Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titlist, had a 1,885 pinfall to hold a 43-pin lead over Mike Fagan (right) of Patchogue, N.Y. in second with 1,842.

    Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte (1,840) is mere three pins behind in third place with Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., (1,833) in fourth and Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C (1,825) in fifth.

    Page is hoping to avenge his defeat in the championship match of last year's Tournament of Champions where he threw a four-count washout in the 10th frame, handing the victory to Patrick Allen. Allen, currently in 21st after today's first round, defeated Page 267-263.

    "I was miserable for about a day," said the 26-year-old Page recalling last year's defeat. "Obviously it was a big disappointment, but I wasn't going to let it affect me. I just kept looking ahead.

    "I'm coming in here really focused and motivated this year and I'm off to a good start but there's a long way to go."

    The 63-player field will bowl another eight-game qualifying round at 5 p.m. this afternoon and one more eight-game qualifying round Thursday morning. The field will then be cut to the top 24 qualifiers who will advance to match play which begins Thursday evening and continues with two additional rounds on Friday. The top four after 48 games will advance to Sunday's stepladder finals which air at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific) on ESPN.

    The Tournament of Champions, one of four majors on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, is open exclusively to Tour exempt-player champions; the winners of the most recent PBA Regional Players Championship and Regional Players Invitational; the USBC Masters winner; the USBC Senior Masters, PBA Senior U.S. Open and PBA Senior World Championship winners; all Tournament of Champions past winners, PBA Hall of Famers and the PBA Women's Championship winner (Kelly Kulick, 26th 1,737).


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