Three of top four seeds upset in PBA's Go RVing Match Play Championship


    2009-10 PBA Tour #16

    No. 1 Williams, defending champ Barnes, reigning Player of the Year Malott eliminated in opening round

    200910PBAWalterRayWilliams.jpg200910PBABillONeill2.jpgTop-seeded Walter Ray Williams Jr. (pictured left), defending champion Chris Barnes and reigning Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Player of the Year Wes Malott were upset victims as the Go RVing Match Play Championship got underway Thursday at Norwich Bowling and Entertainment Center.

    Among the top four seeds in the PBA Tour's version of "March Madness," only No. 2 Bill O'Neill (right) of Southampton, Pa., survived the opening round. And O'Neill needed a double in the 10th frame of game seven to complete a come-from-behind, 4-3 win over No. 63 seed David O'Sullivan of Orlando, Fla., in their best-of-seven-game match.

    Williams, a two-time winner this season and the PBA Tour's 2009-10 points leader from Ocala, Fla., was knocked out of the 64-player single-elimination bracket competition by No. 64 seed Justin Warhol of Sound Beach, N.Y., 4-1.

    200910PBAWesMalott.jpg200910PBAChrisBarnes.jpgMalott (left) , the No. 3 seed, was eliminated by No. 62 seed Ryan Abel of Bel Aire, Kan., 4-2, while Barnes (right) , the No. 4 seed from Double Oak, Texas, lost a 4-1 decision to No. 61 Alex Aguiar of Dartmouth, Mass.

    "I had nothing at the start, but I made a couple of moves and suddenly I couldn't miss the pocket," said the 31-year-old Warhol, a bowling pro shop operator on Long Island. After advancing out of the Tour Qualifying Round Wednesday to win a spot in the Round of 64, he had laughingly said he planned to show up Thursday, bowl four games against Williams, pack up and head for home.

    200910PBA16JustinWarhol.jpg"I was trying to be modest and not say anything crazy," Warhol (pictured left) said after his win. "I knew who I was bowling. Walter Ray is the top-ranked bowler in the world. But anything can happen in a seven-game match. I got matched up with the lane conditions and he didn't. The more comfortable I got, the more I felt like I could win."

    After losing the first game to Williams, 205-168, Warhol won the next four, 234-194, 198-191, 194-177 and 254-175, to eliminate the 50-year-old, 47-time PBA Tour champion.

    200910PBA16AlexAguiar.jpgAguiar (right), a 30-year-old amateur, was equally dominant in ousting the tournament's defending champion. Aguiar won the first game, 214-191; lost the second to Barnes, 238-213; and won the final three games, 279-231, 268-214 and 254-213.

    "It wasn't a surprise to me," Aguiar grinned afterward. "I'm just happy to beat one of the best players in the world. I felt good this morning. I got matched up early and everything fell into place.

    200910PBA16RyanAbel.jpg"I have no fear of bowling anyone," he added. "It's just a game. You win some, you lose some. There's no sense having fear. I've had some mild success here in Norwich before. I've made it into the top 64 all three years I've bowled here. I just don't have the ability to bowl on tour full-time because I have a wife and little one at home."

    Abel (left), a 26-year-old former collegiate bowler, jumped into a 3-0 lead over Malott, but the Pflugerville, Texas, favorite rallied to win the next two games before Abel put the match away, 245-228, in game six.

    "I made it interesting," Abel said. "My focus was just making good shots and not worrying about him. I try not to watch what my opponent is doing. But it was fun.

    "I wasn't worried," Abel said of Malott's rally. "I knew I had a good look. It was just getting the left lane (Shark lane condition) figured out. I had no problem on the right lane (Cheetah pattern)."

    200910PBAMikeScroggins.jpg200910PBAJasonBelmonte.jpgIn other significant Round of 64 upsets, No. 50 Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y., eliminated No. 15 Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., 4-0; No. 54 Cassidy Schaub of Polk, Ohio, toppled No. 11 Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y.; No. 57 Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., the winner of the TQR, swept No. 8 Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 4-0; and No. 56 Tom Baker, a four-time PBA Senior Tour Player of the Year from King, N.C., bounced No. 9 Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., 4-2.

    Among favorites advancing were No. 5 seed Mike Scroggins (left) of Amarillo, Texas, a 4-1 winner of No. 60 Matt O'Grady of South Amboy, N.J.; No. 6 Jason Belmonte (right) of Australia, 4-1 over No. 59 Anthony LaCaze of Melrose Park, Ill., and No. 7 Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., defeated No. 58 Jesse Buss of Wichita, Kan., 4-1.

    Thursday's winners will continue competition in Friday's best-of-seven-game Rounds of 32, 16 and 8. The four survivors will be paired for three-game, total pinfall matches Saturday evening to determine the two finalists who will square off for the $25,000 top prize in Sunday's three-game finale on ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern.


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    Go RVing Match Play Championship Round of 64

    Best of 7 games; losers eliminated, each earned $1,400

    #64 Justin Warhol, Sound Beach, N.Y, def. #1 Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 4-1
    #32 Brian Voss, Alpharetta, Ga., def. #33 Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 4-2
    #17 Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., def. #48 Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 4-2
    #16 Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., def. #49 Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 4-0

    #56 Tom Baker, King, N.C., def. #9 Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 4-2
    #24 Stevie Weber, Chalmette, La., def. #41 Tim Mack, Indianapolis, 4-2
    #40 Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, def. #25 Ronnie Russell, Camby, Ind., 4-3
    #57 Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., def. #8 Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 4-0

    #5 Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, def. #60 Matthew O'Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 4-1
    #37 Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., def. #28 Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 4-2
    #21 Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., def. #44 Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, 4-2
    #12 Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., def. #53 Brian Waliczek, Birch Run, Mich., 4-1

    #13 Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., def. #52 John Nolen, Grand Blanc, Mich., 4-2
    #20 Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, def. #45 John May, Lincolnton, N.C., 4-1
    #36 Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., def. #29 Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 4-3
    #61 Alex Aguiar, Dartmouth, Mass., def. #4 Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 4-1

    #2 Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., def. #63 David O'Sullivan, Orlando, Fla, 4-3
    #34 Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., def. #31 Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 4-3
    #18 Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., def. #47 Derek Sapp, Keokuk, Iowa, 4-0
    #50 Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., def. #15 Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 4-0

    #55 Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., def. #10 Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., default
    #42 PJ Haggerty, Clovis, Calif., def. #23 Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 4-2
    #39 Stuart Williams, England, def. #26 Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 4-1
    #7 Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., def. #58 Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 4-1

    #6 Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. #59 Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 4-1
    #27 Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, def. #28 Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 4-0
    #22 Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., def. #43 Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 4-1
    #54 Cassidy Schaub, Ashland, Ohio, def. #11 Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 4-2

    #51 George Lambert IV, Canada, def. #14 Mike DeVaney, San Diego, default
    #46 Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, def. #19 Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 4-2
    #30 Steve Harman, Indianapolis, def. #35 Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 4-2
    #62 Ryan Abel, Bel Aire, Kan., def. #3 Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 4-2


    Round of 32 Pairings (Friday, 9 a.m.)

    #64 Warhol vs. #32 Voss
    #17 Couch vs. #16 Shafer
    #56 Baker vs. #24 Weber
    #40 Smith vs. #57 Ciminelli
    #5 Scroggins vs. #37 Bohr
    #21 P. Allen vs. #12 Rash
    #13 Jurek vs. #20 Loschetter
    #35 R. Allen vs. #61 Aguiar
    #2 O'Neill vs. #34 Wolfe
    #18 Koivuniemi vs. #50 Kent
    #55 Van Daniker vs. #42 Haggerty
    #39 S. Williams vs. #7 Jones
    #6 Belmonte vs. #27 Kretzer
    #22 Jaros vs. #54 Schaub
    #51 Lambert vs. #46 Book
    #30 Harman vs. #62 Abel