Tony Reyes makes steady climb to PBA Tournament of Champions lead


    2009-10 PBA Tour #10

    Two more eight-game match play rounds Friday before the cut to top 4

    200910PBA10TonyReyes.jpgTony Reyes (pictured left) of San Bruno, Calif., who won his only Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association Tour title in 2006, averaged 225.5 in the first round of match play to take the lead in the 45th PBA Tournament of Champions Thursday at Red Rock Lanes.

    Reyes finished the fourth round with a 32-game total of 7,483 and a 5-3 match play record to hold an 11-pin lead over PBA Hall of Famer and 1987 Tournament of Champions winner Pete Weber in second, and a 32-pin lead over reigning Player of the Year Wes Malott in third. Rhino Page, who led the first three rounds, went 3-5 in match play and trails by 52 pins in fourth.

    200910PBA01PeteWeber2.jpg“I was struggling to start the tournament but I’m really finding a groove now,” said Reyes, who finished second in the 2007 Tournament of Champions. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish so obviously I’m going to have to carry this momentum through tomorrow’s match play rounds.”

    Weber (right), tied for third all-time with 34 Tour titles, is trying for his ninth major. He is currently tied for second with Mike Aulby in career majors with eight. Earl Anthony is the all-time leader with 10 major titles.

    “It’s been awhile since I’ve won but for the last year I’ve been happy with my game,” Weber said. “There’s no secret here but just to stay focused, stay calm and make the right adjustments when I need to.”

    200910PBA06KellyKulick.jpgKelly Kulick (left) of Union, N.J., the only woman in the Tournament of Champions field, finished the day in fifth with a 7,376 32-game total and a 4-3-1 match play record. Kulick is making a bid to become the first woman to win a Tour title. The best previous finish by a woman in a Tour event is second by Liz Johnson in 2005.

    200910PBA06JasonCouch.jpgThe 24-player field will bowl two more eight-game match play rounds Friday, after which the top four will advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals that will air live on ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific).

    Other past Tournament of Champions winners in the field of 24 are Jason Couch (right; 1999, 2000, 2002) who is trying to become the first four-time winner and is tied for ninth with 2007 winner Tommy Jones; two-time winner Mark Williams (1985, 1988), 11th; Chris Barnes (2006), seventh; Bryan Goebel (1998), 18th and Wayne Webb (1980), 22nd.

    All-time PBA Tour win leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., with 46 Tour titles, is in 16th and needs a Tournament of Champions win to complete PBA’s Triple Crown, Grand Slam and Super Slam.


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    PBA Tournament of Champions - Standings after Match Play Round 1 (fourth round overall)

    Players with position, hometown and 32-game total including match play records and bonus (30 per win).