Mike Scroggins turns PBA Player of the Year chase into three-man sprint


    2010 PBA Spare Shots #7

    200910PBA08MikeScroggins.jpg200910PBA14BillONeill3.jpgWith his second victory of the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season, Mike Scroggins (pictured left) of Amarillo, Texas, has turned the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year race into a three-man sprint heading into the final three events of the season.

    By picking up 16 points with his win in the Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, Scroggins now has 48 points, eight behind leader Bill O’Neill (right) of Southampton, Pa., and four behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla.

    In each of the final three events, the top four players will earn 16, 8, 4 and 2 points, respectively. An additional point will be awarded to fifth-place finishers in the stepladder finals of the GEICO Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship March 28 in West Babylon, N.Y., and the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open April 4 in Baltimore.

    200910PBA12WalterRayWilliams3.jpgThe Go RVing Match Play Championship, which features a single-elimination match play format, will award points to the top four finishers only.

    In every other major statistical race other than Player of the Year points, Williams (left) – at age 50 – is the frontrunner.

    The 47-time PBA Tour champion leads O’Neill by $95 in earnings with $135,770, holds a 1.7-pin lead over Wes Malott in the George Young Memorial High Average race with a 221.91 for 465 games, and tops the Harry Smith Point Leader chase with 193,121 points, more than 12,000 ahead of O’Neill.


    CBS News, Sports Illustrated feature “The Remarkable Story of Tom Smallwood”

    200910PBA05ThomasSmallwood_small.jpgThe March 15 issue of Sports Illustrated, now on sale at newsstands across America, includes “The Remarkable Story of Tom Smallwood,” a four-page feature by Michael Farber.

    On Wednesday – the same day “SI” arrived in most American mailboxes, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric also aired a closing segment on Smallwood’s (pictured) all-American success story, rising from unemployed auto worker to PBA World Champion.


    Chris Barnes Challenge III turns into benefit for Johnson Charity effort

    200910PBA01ChrisBarnes3.jpgChris Barnes Challenge III, presented by Columbia 300, was a victory for Barnes Saturday at Sequoia Pro Bowl in Columbus, Ohio, and a victory for the Don Johnson family’s fund-raising efforts.

    Barnes (pictured) originally was going to bowl 16-year-old West Virginia high school sophomore Sean Johnson in a three-game match, but Jimmy Johnson – the son of the late PBA Hall of Famer who is the namesake of the Etonic Don Johnson Memorial – got involved in the match as well, and the three-way contest turned into an $800 contribution to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on behalf of the Don Johnson Family Foundation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital of Columbus.

    Barnes bowled games of 280, 233 and 233 for a 746 series, easily topping Sean Johnson’s 566 and a 580 by Jimmy Johnson, but he immediately handed over his “winnings” to the Johnson family. While the money stays in Columbus, the effort to help JDRF isn’t new to Barnes. One of his twin sons has juvenile diabetes and he and his wife Lynda are active members of the JDRF community in Texas.

    “It’s unbelievable the amount of work the Johnson family has put into this event,” Barnes said. “The fact that they have raised well over $100,000 the past three years to benefit JDRF and Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus is amazing.”


    Famous pair of Madras Slacks on auction block for charity

    KoivuniemisMadrasSlacks.jpgThat designer pair of Madras slacks made famous in the television duel between PBA Tour roommates Chris Barnes and Mika Koivuniemi (l-r) went on the online auction block during the Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator in Columbus, Ohio, to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

    The online auction will be conducted on BestSportsBid.com which will run the auction on behalf of the PBA. The opening bid will be $50 and the auction will run through Tuesday, March 16, at 6 p.m. Eastern.

    For the record, the trousers in question are from the Jos. A. Bank Executive Collection, they are “dry clean only” and size-wise, they are “36R”…in case the purchaser plans to actually wear them.


    Injury list takes its toll in Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator

    200910PBAJohnNolen_small.jpg2010PBCPIAJasonBelmonte_small.jpgJohn Nolen (left) of Waterford, Mich., remained on the sidelines after an emergency appendectomy following the USBC Masters, and he had company during the Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator when Australia’s Jason Belmonte (right) and veterans Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., and Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., bowed out due to health issues.

    Belmonte returned home to Australia to nurse a hamstring injury sustained in the final round of match play in the U.S. Open. Weber hurt his back during practice prior to the start of the Eliminator, and Allen withdrew due to a knee injury after four games. Robert Smith, who currently calls Columbus, Ohio, home, also withdrew during the second round due to a sudden illness.


    Liz Johnson makes PBA Tour exempt field for ninth time

    200910PBA05LizJohnson2_small.jpgLiz Johnson (pictured) of Cheektowaga, N.Y., finished eighth in the Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator Tour Qualifying Round to advance to the Field of 64 for the ninth time in her career, by far the most successful TQR record for women.

    Since the PBA opened competition opportunities to women in 2004, Johnson has bowled against PBA Exempt Tour fields 44 times, including “open field” events where TQR qualifying isn’t required.


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    2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Stats

    Earnings (Events, Total)
    1. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 15, $135,770.00
    2. Bill O'Neill, 15, $135,675.00
    3. Mike Scroggins, 15, $110,180.00
    4. Chris Barnes, 15, $105,710.00
    5. Tom Smallwood, 15, $87,060.00
    6. Wes Malott, 15, $76,170.00
    7. Rhino Page, 15, $75,910.00
    (tie) Mike Fagan, 15, $71,000.00
    (tie) Tommy Jones, 15, $63,010.00
    10. Jason Belmonte, 13, $62,640.00


    Averages (Events, Average)
    1. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 15, 221.94
    2. Wes Malott, 15, 220.20
    3. Chris Barnes, 15, 219.83
    4. Mike Fagan, 15, 219.46
    5. Tommy Jones, 15, 218.78
    6. Mike Scroggins, 15, 218.37
    7. Pete Weber, 14, 218.20
    (tie) Ryan Ciminelli, 14, 217.86
    (tie) Brad Angelo, 14, 217.44
    10. Sean Rash, 15, 217.43


    PBA Player of the Year Race (Events, Points)
    Based on championship round finishes only: Standard five-player events = 16, 8, 4, 2, 1 points; Major four-player events = 24, 12, 8, 4
    1. Bill O'Neill, 15, 56
    2. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 15, 52
    3. Mike Scroggins, 15, 48
    4. Chris Barnes, 15, 32
    5. Tom Smallwood, 15, 29
    6. Rhino Page, 15, 26
    7. Mike Fagan, 15, 24
    (tie) Ryan Ciminelli, 14, 24
    (tie) Kelly Kulick, 1, 24
    10. Wes Malott, 15, 20


    PBA World Ranking Points
    1. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 15, 193.121
    2. Bill O'Neill, 15, 180.527
    3. Wes Malott, 15, 166.245
    4. Chris Barnes, 15, 163.234
    5. Mike Scroggins, 15, 162.443
    6. Jason Belmonte, 13, 149.872
    7. Tommy Jones, 15, 142.286
    (tie) Tom Smallwood, 15, 136.873
    (tie) Rhino Page, 15, 133.217
    10. Pete Weber, 14, 130.544